Travelling abroad for the very first time induces a mystifying mix of excitement and a bit of wonder about the unknown, sometimes a bit of fear and anxiety as well because the truth is you’re literally venturing into some brand new territory and you can’t confirm with 100% conviction exactly what you can expect.

Fortunately though, wherever it is you’re going, there are plenty of travellers who have mapped the way before you and there’ll be plenty more who follow the same path after you. So it’s already somewhat of an institution and institutions tend to breed familiarity around them and it’s this familiarity which you can capitalise on to make sure your trip is a safe and enjoyable one.

Don’t Worry About the Language Barrier

Any seasoned traveller will tell you that effective communication is indeed still possible even if you’re travelling to a country where they don’t speak your language. If you speak English though, chances are you can find someone who’ll at least understand what you’re trying to communicate, otherwise all the gesticulations, pointing and perhaps even making use of a translation app is all part of the fun.

For some reason however, when someone is trying to sell you something, they seem to be able to communicate with you rather effectively, even if it’s just to demonstrate to you that you can get a “good deal” or a discount.

Exercise Common Sense and Vigilance

A trip abroad is only as good as the enjoyment and fulfilment it induces in you and simple common sense and vigilance is often all it takes for you to ensure your enjoyment of a trip abroad. Airport terminals don’t all work in exactly the same way and while you may not have to worry about keeping too much of a close eye on your luggage back home, in some airports there are opportunistic petty thieves who are just looking for any opportunity to nick some personal belongings.

The worst that could happen is that your official documents (ID and travel documents, like your passport) get stolen, so make sure to keep these very safe. It’s good practice to make photocopies as well, just in case.

Ask Questions, Ask for Help

Nobody is born knowing exactly where to go and what to do in any situation we find ourselves in, but even more so when you’re travelling abroad. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for assistance, but be careful to ask the right people who are trained and paid to help you.

Ask other travellers about things like the best transport services or about getting a local SIM card, for instance, instead of some random guys on the street who will probably try to solicit a big tip out of you. Travel agencies are particularly experienced in guiding you through every step of your international journey, but naturally that comes at a bit of a cost – a small extra cost that’s worth it if you ask me.