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How to travel abroad for the first time

Travelling abroad for the first time can feel all-at-once exhilarating, overwhelming, and every emotion between. With the right preparation, you can create an unforgettable trip, for all the right reasons. Here are some ideas for what to do when you touch down on your first overseas adventure – including a handy first time abroad checklist and tips for travelling abroad alone for the first time. 

What to do when travelling abroad for the first time 

You’ll no doubt have a long wanderlust wish list of things you’d like to do when travelling abroad for the first time. Whether you’re journeying to Paris for the Eiffel Tower or Peru for Machu Picchu, perhaps the best starting point is to seek out your destination’s most famous landmarks, as well as any other nearby attractions.

It’s worth looking on a map beforehand and circling the landmarks and places of interest that are close to each other – including some good spots to eat and drink. Plan to cover a certain area on one day; another area the next day, and so on. To maximise your time spent exploring, don’t forget to arrange your travel money ahead of time.

You might also choose to scout out some lesser-known locations or landmarks. Perhaps there’s a family-run café that offers the best ice cream around, or a beach that simply needs to be lounged on. Online forums and chatting to the locals are great ways to find out about those hidden gems that aren’t always advertised at the tourist information office.  

Of course, make sure to fully research any places you plan to visit when travelling abroad for the first time, and get to grips with the local customs and practices beforehand. If you’re travelling abroad alone, it’s always a good idea to keep your friends and family updated with your plans. 

First time abroad checklist

So much to do, and no matter how long you’re on your travels for, it will feel like so little time. If you’re travelling abroad for the first time, this first time abroad checklist offers ideas on what to do once you arrive. 

  • Explore the food. Do some research on the cuisine your destination is famed for. As well as helping you to work up an appetite, you’ll have a better idea of what you’d like to try – and how to pronounce it. 
  • Visit the famous sights. Work through your list of landmarks and other noteworthy attractions, grouping together the ones in close vicinity so you can tick them all off whilst you’re in the area. 
  • Take a trip to the local market. A whole new world awaits when you visit a market in a new country. The stalls give an insight into the food and goods that the country values.
  • Explore your hobbies. Trying out your interests in a new context guarantees a memorable first time abroad. If you love yoga, why not try a yoga class on the beach? Perhaps you love cooking. A cooking class on holiday might introduce you to new ingredients that you’ll enjoy using back home. 
  • Find the non-tourist attractions. Destinations abroad tend to be filled with hidden gems that weren’t on your original itinerary. Mixing up your transport is the best way to find them. Travelling by foot can take you to places that you never would have discovered by car or train, and vice versa. 
  • Slow the pace. It can be easy to get swept away by the excitement of travelling abroad for the first time, so take a moment to pause. Swap the landmark hopping for a seat at the park or café and soak up the atmosphere.

Travelling abroad alone for the first time

Whilst travelling abroad alone for the first time can feel daunting, it can also be hugely liberating – particularly once you reach your destination. It’s normal to feel nervous about spending time alone at the airport, but it needn’t be stressful or boring. 

Particularly for those travelling alone for the first time, it’s worth booking airport parking in advance. With Liverpool John Lennon Airport, you can easily book online; this guarantees you a space, saves money, and the car park is just a short walk from the airport.

With plenty of shops and restaurants to visit, it’s easy to turn the airport into a day out in itself. This is the perfect time for some pre-flight relaxation, refreshments and retail therapy. Don’t miss out on those duty free savings!

Before you know it, it will be time to board your flight, ready for your first time travelling abroad. For this part of your journey, you might consider booking a fast track ticket. This will allow you to skip the queues, save time, and spend longer enjoying all the airport has to offer. 

Whether you’re travelling abroad alone for the first time or with your friends for the 100th time, the airport is all part of your holiday, so make sure you leave plenty of time to enjoy it. Happy travels!