10 Reasons to Travel with your Partner

10 Reasons to Travel with your Partner

When it comes to travel, there are quite a few different options to choose from regarding travel buddies. You can choose to travel alone, with your family, a group of friends or my favourite – couple travel. There’s no right or wrong answer, and it can be hard to decide what’s right for you. Everyone enjoys different aspects of travel, and depending on your preferences, one style of travel can be better than the other. We love traveling together, and I definitely could not go back to traveling solo. There are lots of reasons to travel with your partner, and we’re going to talk about some of them in this post!

10 Reasons to Travel with your Partner | Rhiannon Travels

We love exploring the world together, making lots of incredible new memories and broadening our travel horizons. I’m extremely lucky to have the opportunity to travel with the person I love. If you’re trying to decide whether traveling as a couple is the best option for you, here are 10 of the best reasons to travel with your partner.

10 Reasons to Travel with your Partner

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Making memories

Making memories and experiencing new places together, is one of the best reasons to travel with your partner. Think about all the stories and special moments you will share with that person while seeing the world.

I often think back to the time I visited New York City back in June 2015 with Contiki. Although I had an incredible time, being able to experience the city I had dreamt about my entire life, with the person I love, would have made the moment so much more special.


In March 2017, we spent four weeks exploring Japan together. Neither of us had visited Japan before, so it was an incredible experience to have together. We have hundreds of photos and an endless amount of memories together, that we can look back on for years to come.

Couple Travel: 7 Perks to Traveling With Your Partner!

Help with carrying heavy bags

When it comes to travel, there are two things about me that can make it a super difficult experience (mainly for Russell). First, I am a terribly bad over-packer. I always bring far too much with me, and regret it almost instantly. As soon as I pick up my luggage from baggage claim, I immediately regret packing three pairs of leggings when I really only needed one.


Second, I am quite unfit. I can’t walk too far with my super heavy suitcase, without having to stop and take a breather. So when Russell and I spent the month of March in Japan, and realised that not every train station has elevators, it became quite a difficult task. There were many times that Russell had to carry both of our suitcases up and down staircases, because I was too weak to carry my own. Sorry, babe. Thanks for being a gem!

If I had been traveling solo, I definitely would have struggled. I know some travelers swear by backpacks, and this is probably why. Traveling as a couple means less heavy lifting, which is a pretty great reason to travel with your partner.

Couple travel is never lonely

I definitely couldn’t ever travel solo again, purely for the fact that I wouldn’t enjoy the loneliness. I know there are a lot of people who love exploring new places along and not having to rely on anyone. But I love having company while traveling. Sharing our excitement the night before a busy day of new adventures; or having a few drinks together in the hotel room while looking back on the day’s events, are some of my favourite parts about traveling with Russell.

Couple Travel: 7 Perks to Traveling With Your Partner!

Safety

Another one of our reasons to travel with your partner, is safety. Traveling with Russell automatically gives me an incredible feeling of safety. I know that he will always protect me if something were to happen. Not that you should rely on somebody else for your safety, and everyone should know basic self defence, but it’s still nice having the reassurance of traveling with another person.


Traveling with your partner means safety in numbers. If something were to go wrong, you will always have somebody there to help. Having someone you trust with you while traveling makes all the difference!

Working together to solve problems

Unfortunately, travel is going to bring some problems whether you travel solo, with a group of friends or with your partner. But traveling with someone who knows you well, and vice versa, is going to make life a lot easier.


Whether you’re stuck at the airport due to delayed flights, lost luggage, hotel rooms mix ups or transport issues. No matter what the situation may be, working together to solve the problem, is another reason why couple travel is awesome!

Different ideas lead to new experiences

I have seen and experienced so many things that I never would have, if I didn’t travel with Russell. Combining your interests and bucket list with the person you travel with, will mean seeing so many places that you never thought you would. If you and your partner want to see different things, even if it’s something that you don’t think you’ll enjoy, give it a shot! Bounce ideas off each other, and you never know where you’ll end up.

Couple Travel: 7 Perks to Traveling With Your Partner!

Planning and counting down to the next trip

Planning for an upcoming trip is so much more exciting when you’re traveling with another person. I love researching our next destination, watching endless videos about the next place Russell and I will be visiting. Writing those bucket lists are even more exciting when you’re traveling with your significant other, because we discover new and exciting places and attractions!

Strengthens your relationship

Traveling with your partner and dealing with travel issues, arguments, lost luggage, delayed flights, being stranded in a foreign city and not knowing how to get back to your hotel, is definitely going to strengthen your relationship. You’ll learn to communicate better, put each other’s needs ahead of your own and learn how to work together in ways you may not have yet.

Traveling together is cheaper

Think about all the costs that come with travel. From flights to accomodation, travel insurance, food, spending money, and transport. Traveling with your partner is a great way to cut most of those costs in half. If you’re booking accomodation for five nights and your total comes to $400, split that in half and you’re already saving a huge chunk!


This is one of my favourite reasons to travel with your partner, because it can significantly lower the cost of travel and make international travel in particular, a much more attainable goal. It’s still a good idea to set yourself a budget, and may mean being able to splurge in a different area, now that your costs are cut in half!

Couple travel is romantic

Depending on where you’re heading, traveling with your partner can be a super romantic way to spend time together. If your budget allows it, visiting a beautiful island such as Bora Bora or Fiji is something that you will never forget. Otherwise, there are plenty of places around the world to enjoy a romantic weekend away with your significant other.


If you have an anniversary coming up, book a week in a place neither of you have been before. This is a great way to spice things up, see more of the world and have a romantic time away with your partner.


There are lots of awesome reasons to travel with your partner. From saving money to the feeling of safety while exploring a new city. If you love the sound of experiencing a new city with your significant other, couple travel is definitely the right option for you. I love traveling with Russell, and being able to explore the world together. I will always be grateful for the chance to make new memories and see incredible places all over the world, with the person that I love.

Do you travel with your partner, a group of friends or go it alone? Tell me in the comments below!

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10 Reasons to Travel with your Partner | Rhiannon Travels 10 Reasons to Travel with your Partner | Rhiannon Travels
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!
The Top 20 Best Things About Japan

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan

There are so many reasons to visit Japan. We didn’t know much about the country before visiting for the first time back in March 2017, but after doing a ton of research before we arrived, we knew it would be an incredible adventure. It’s hard to narrow down the best things about Japan, because there are simply so many of them. But once we arrived in the country, we quickly learned what we would miss once we returned home to Australia.

We did so much research before arriving in Japan, reading dozens of blog posts and watching hundreds of videos, but we still weren’t expecting Japan to be as incredible as it was. If you’re looking for your next travel destination, read the top 20 best things about Japan. One of the most beautiful, traditional, modern, unique, safe, friendly and foodie heaven countries in the world!

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

1. The people

These 20 reasons to visit Japan aren’t in any particular order, but we feel as though this one should be mentioned first. Japanese locals are definitely the nicest group of people we’ve ever met. At no point during our month long stay in Japan, did we come across a Japanese local that didn’t go out of their way to help us – whether we asked for it or not.


Everybody that we met was incredibly friendly, helpful and a joy to be around. There was more than one occasion during our four weeks in Japan, where we must have looked totally confused and/or lost. We know this because we had people offer their help, purely out of the goodness of their hearts.

One woman stopped us on a street in Osaka, while we were heading to the train station on our way to Hiroshima, to ask if we needed directions. Another young woman noticed that we were struggling with our luggage in Tokyo Station, and pointed us in the direction of an elevator we didn’t know was there.

If you ever need help while in Japan, don’t be afraid to ask. You’ll be shocked to experience such a widely friendly and genuinely kind group of people.

2. The convenience stores

There’s only one word for Japanese convenience stores: epic.

If we could choose one overall, stand-out thing about our time in Japan, it would absolutely be the convenience stores. That probably sounds like an incredibly weird thing to admit, but we don’t have anything like them in Australia. At least not in Adelaide where we are from! So it was quite a fun novelty during our time in Japan.


Japan convenience stores sell a huge variety of snacks, hot and cold drinks, hot food, alcohol, toiletries, cigarettes, everyday household items and so much more. Plus, everything is incredibly cheap. So if you’re ever in a jam and need an emergency umbrella or a quick bite to eat, visit one of Japan’s millions of convenience stores.

3. Vending machines

We can guarantee one thing to anyone who is visiting Japan for the first time: you will never go thirsty. There are literally vending machines on every single corner. Some even have more than one vending machine. In winter, you’ll find a combination of hot and cold beverages. During summer, there are generally only cold drinks available.

In bigger cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, you’ll find even more vending machines almost everywhere you go. Some even sell unique items that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Here’s a fun game: every time you come across a vending machine, buy something that you haven’t tried before. Most items are around 100 yen, so it’s a super cheap and fun way to experience Japan’s quirky food and beverages!

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

4. It’s a very safe country

Japan is definitely the safest country we have ever visited. We traveled together, but even if I had traveled alone, I would have felt perfectly safe walking down any street by myself at night. Just like everywhere in the world, there are going to be parts of Japan that aren’t entirely safe. But generally speaking, we both felt very comfortable exploring even the overwhelmingly busy streets of Tokyo.


Even the train stations are incredibly safe, which is great news for solo travelers. If you decide to explore Japan alone, we’re happy to confirm that it is one of the safest places in the world to visit. That being said, it’s always best to have common sense and remain alert, especially when traveling alone.

5. Japan’s train system

One of the things we underestimated most about Japan, is their public transport system. Before arriving in Japan, we knew that it is a very punctual and smoothly run country. Everything and everyone is on time, and there is a system in place for absolutely everything. Not to mention the pure convenience of having almost everything you need, at super easy access.


The public transport system in particular though, runs more smoothly than anything else we’ve ever experienced. Given the fact that we were Westerners in an Asian country, we expected to see little to no English. Well, that wasn’t the case at all! The signage in almost every train station is written in both English and Japanese. This is great for travelers, as it means you won’t need to stop and ask for directions as often as you would somewhere else.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

Other than the trains being precisely on time (if you’re 10 seconds late to the station, too bad, you’ve missed the train), trains run as frequently as every two minutes in most major Japanese cities during day-time hours. This came in handy many times, when we were a bit hesitant to catch a particular train incase it took us in the wrong direction. We simply made sure we were in the right place, and hopped on the next one a few minutes later!

6. The Shinkansen Bullet Train

This is one of the coolest experiences we have ever had. If you’re not familiar with the Shinkansen Bullet Train, it’s a super high-speed train that takes Japanese locals and international visitors between cities across the country.


We used the Shinkansen five times during our month long visit to Japan, and never got sick of it. It’s essentially an airplane on the ground, and is an awesome way to travel around Japan. We have an entire seperate post about the Shinkansen Bullet Train and the Japan Rail Pass, which you can check out here.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

7. Heated toilet seats

Funnily enough, this is probably one of the things we miss the most. Being able to sit on a warm toilet seat in the middle of winter, is definitely one of the best things about Japan. Although we only had this experience for one month, it was hard going back to living a life without heated toilet seats when we arrived home to Australia. They’re a game changer, especially during winter. Come on, Australia. Hop on the heated toilet seat bandwagon already!

If for no other reason, please visit Japan to experience their heated toilet seats. You won’t regret it. we promise!

8. Japan’s snacks and Cup of Noodles

Maybe it’s the convenience or the wildly cheap prices, but Japanese snacks are awesome. There is such a huge variety, and half the time, you won’t even know what on Earth you’re eating. But that’s half the fun! Not to mention the Cup of Noodles. You’ll find a huge variety in convenience stores and vending machine across the country, for super low prices.

Towards the end of our trip when we had barely any money left, I ate cup noodles for almost every meal. They were delicious, and I got pretty good at using chopsticks, too.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

9. Combination of modern and beautifully traditional 

You’ll notice that there is a wonderful combination of incredibly modern and beautifully traditional all over Japan. Even in the capital city of Tokyo, you can be shopping for quirky fashion one minute, and strolling through a beautiful garden up to a shrine or temple the next.

You will always be able to find a relaxing place to spend the morning or afternoon. Not to mention the large array of temples and shrines, for that little bit of beautiful Japanese history and to break up the craziness of Japan’s big cities.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon TravelsThe Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

10. There are so many things to see and do in Japan

It would literally take an entire lifetime to experience everything there is to see and do in Japan. We visited for one month, and didn’t even scratch the surface. Not only are there hundreds of incredible cities and prefectures to explore, there are tons of small towns and off-the-beaten-path experiences to be had.


We have a seperate post with our month long itinerary, sharing everything we did during our four weeks in Japan. This should give you a good insight into just how huge Japan really is, and how many incredible things there are to see and do all over the country!

11. Japanese cuisine

I’m not a foodie, in fact I’m quite the opposite. I’m a picky eater and always have been, so I tend to stick to what I know. But Russell had a blast trying all sorts of crazy Japanese cuisine. Whether you love meat, seafood or crazy snacks and desserts – Japan will feel like heaven. Dotonbori in Osaka is one of the best places to go to experience some of Japan’s best food, so be sure to add Osaka to your bucket list.


Other than Japanese cuisine, you’ll find a ton of western options available if you’re like me and stick to the basics. From McDonalds to Subway, KFC and plenty more – there’s a wide variety of options to choose from.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

12. Japan’s love of gaming

Now, although I don’t technically play video games, I do enjoy watching Russell play them. There are certain areas within Japan that are a gaming lovers heaven.

Akihabara in Tokyo is one of the brightest, bustling, exciting and unique places we’ve ever been. There are an endless array of stores to browse until you run out of money or the store itself closes – whichever comes first. So bring along plenty of cash, wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to leave with a suitcase filled with gaming goodies.

13. Cherry Blossom Season (Sakura)

We visited Japan at the beginning of Cherry Blossom season, which begins in April. This is one of the busiest times of the year in Japan, and it’s easy to see why.

For a few weeks at the end of March to middle of April, Cherry Blossom trees (or Sakura) bring beautiful, breathtaking colour to streets and gardens all over Japan. It’s quite an incredible sight, and if you plan your trip perfectly, you might be able to experience the falling petals.


We had unfortunately already returned to Australia when the petals began to fall, but it was still an amazing experience seeing the gradual blossoming of the trees and Sakura petals during our last week or so in Japan.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

14. Japan’s gardens and parks

Japan has an endless amount of beautiful gardens and parks to explore. Some have a small entry cost and some are entirely free to wander around. Our favourite two gardens were Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima, and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo. These are both incredible gardens, and although they cost around 300 yen to enter, we definitely think it’s worth the price.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

15. The shopping in Japan

No matter what your interests are, there is something for everyone in Japan. Tokyo’s Akihabara is the gaming hub of Japan. Takeshita Street in Harajuku is perfect for experiencing Tokyo’s quirky fashion scene. Osaka’s Dotonbori is absolutely insane, and you’ll be bumping shoulders with people no matter which time of day you go (but the shopping is totally worth it).

Japan was one of the best shopping experiences I’ve ever had. There’s something for everyone, and if I didn’t run out of money, I would have definitely needed a second suitcase. Even Russell who isn’t normally one for shopping, had a blast browsing the stores and scoring some fun clothes!

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

16. How easy it is to buy alcohol

We both love alcohol. Not in any negative way. We don’t drink it all day, every day. But we do appreciate a good glass of wine or Scotch. Not only is alcohol in Japan incredibly cheap, it’s also legal to consume on the streets. You can bet your bottom dollar we took full advantage of this.

We live in Australia, where takeaway alcohol can only be purchased from a bottle shop, so it was pretty fun buying Vodka from a convenience store and strolling around the streets of Tokyo drinking it. Honestly, that’s probably the second reason we miss Japan so much!

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

17. Japan’s convenience and punctuality 

If you thought the fact that there’s a vending machine on every corner is convenient, wait until you experience things like using an elevator. Other than the trains running precisely on time and being able to drink alcohol while exploring the streets of Japan, there is even a system in place for using an elevator.


In all cities except Osaka, it’s customary for people to stand on the left side of the elevator, leaving the right side free for people who want to walk up or down. This was so strange to us, but it was incredibly helpful and convenient. I even find myself getting annoyed at people in Australia who don’t do this.

18. Hiroshima

We eel the need to mention Hiroshima separately, because we adored it that much. For a city with such a devastating history, it’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful places we’ve ever visited.


From the beautiful Hiroshima Peace Park and Memorial to the incredible Shukkeien Garden, there are plenty of things to see and do. We spent two full days in Hiroshima, and to this day, we still wish we stayed longer. The people are some of the kindest we’ve ever met, the streets are 100% clear of any rubbish and it’s definitely one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been.

If you get the chance, please visit Hiroshima and see for yourself, just how wonderful the city truly is.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

19. Japan’s countryside

We spent a couple of days in Nagano, which is a town in the Northern Japan Alps. We visited at the end of the snow season, which is the main reason we decided to detour north on our way to Tokyo, and we’re so glad we did! Japan’s countryside is absolutely stunning, and although we can only share our experience about a snow covered countryside, we’re almost positive it’s just as beautiful during the rest of the year.

The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

20. The options are endless

There are so many things to see and do in Japan. Whatever your interests are, whether you would prefer to spend the entire time shopping, or visiting as many shrines and temples as you can, the sky is the limit. Since it’s impossible to cross off everything from your Japan bucket list, that gives you the perfect excuse to go back again and again!


We hope you found this post on the best things about Japan helpful. There is so much to love about Japan. It’s an amazing country with incredible people and a ton of things to see and do.

Have you visited Japan before? Tell us in the comments below what you think are the best reasons to visit Japan! We would love to hear your thoughts. 

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The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels The Top 20 Best Things About Japan | Rhiannon Travels

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

A Packing List for First Time Female Travelers

A Packing List for First Time Female Travelers

If you’re about to head off on your first international adventure, you probably don’t quite know what to pack. I used to be a serious over-packer, but over time I’ve learned just how important it is to pack light. Traveling internationally for the first time can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Don’t let the fact that you already have three pairs of jeans and five sweatshirts thrown into your suitcase stress you out. I’ve got your back! In this packing list, I’m going to give you all the advice I have about the things you absolutely must take with you, what you can afford to leave behind, and what’s easy to pick up along the way.

A Packing List for First Time International Female Travelers | Rhiannon Travels

If you’re a female who is about to travel internationally for the first time, get comfortable. I’m about to share everything I’ve learned thus far, in regards to not taking my entire life’s possessions with me, for a two week trip. I don’t need those four pairs of leggings, and neither do you.

Related: Planning Your First International Trip: A Useful 10 Step Guide

A Packing List for First Time International Female Travelers

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Packing List for Summer Seasons and Hot Climates

Your packing list will depend on what weather and climate you’re heading into. Packing for a summer holiday will obviously mean you’ll be taking up far less space in your luggage, and will leave you with more room for shopping! Here are our suggestions for essentials items to pack when traveling to hot climates and warm destinations.

A Packing List for First Time International Female Travelers | Rhiannon Travels

Clothing & Underwear

T-Shirts and Tank Tops (two of each) – Packing two different t-shirts and two tank tops will give you a bit of variety, and is a great space saver. Choose simple, versatile shirts for optimal convenience.

Shorts (three pairs) – Pack one pair of comfortable shorts to wear around the hotel or on a quick walk down the street, and two nicer pairs of denim or patterned shorts for every day wear. Just like with most of my suggestions in this post, the more versatile the shorts you pack, the better!


Comfortable and Good Quality Leggings (one pair) – I swear by Lorna Jane leggings. They may be a bit more expensive than most leggings, but I promise the cost is well worth it. I have six different pairs, in all sorts of shapes and lengths, and I love them all.

Dress or Playsuit (two) – I’ve recently started to delve into the world of summer dresses, and I must say, it’s pretty exciting. Shorts were my go-to summer outfit, and despite how uncomfortable some were, I refused to switch things up. Well, I’ve come to realise just how great dresses and playsuits are, especially when it comes to traveling. They’re super thin, light-weight and easy to pack and can be versatile enough to go from day to night.

Light Jacket or Sweater (one) – Although you may be traveling during summer, evenings and nights can still get a bit cold in certain parts of the world. Pack a light jacket or sweater, just incase!


Underwear – Depending on the type of accomodation you choose, you may have the convenience of a washing machine. If you do have access to a washing machine, you won’t need to pack as many pairs of underwear. Even if your accomodation doesn’t have laundry facilities, there will almost always be a public laundromat that you can use.

Bra or Sports Bra (two) – I like to pack one proper bra and one sports bra whenever I travel. That way, I have the two options of either wearing a full support bra, or a comfortable sports bra.

Socks (three pairs) – Pack your socks depending on how often you’ll be hiking or spending time wearing sneakers. When we travel in summer, I don’t generally pack too many pairs of socks.


Bathing Suit or Bikini (two) – If you’re traveling to a warm and summery location, pack a couple of bathing suits and bikinis. They’re small and won’t take up too much space in your luggage, so you can afford to pack some variety!

Pyjamas or Lazing Around Clothes (one) – I generally walk around the house in an oversized basketball jersey during summer, whether I’m on holiday or at home. They’re comfortable, cool in the warm weather and nice to sleep in! Pack one pair of pyjamas or lazing around clothes, for some added comfort during your down time.

Footwear

Sneakers or Walking Shoes (one) – Whether or not you plan to do lots of hiking and hour long explorations through the jungle, it’s still a good idea to pack a comfortable pair of sneakers.

Everyday Sandals (one) – I like wearing sandals while out exploring, except times where a lot of walking is on the cards, like a theme park day. Pack a comfortable and good quality pair of sandals that will go with every outfit.


Thongs or Flip Flops (two) – Here in Australia we call them thongs, but to everyone else in the world, you would probably know them as flip flops. These are great for almost any occasion, and an absolute must if you’re visiting a beachside location. I always pack two pairs of thongs, just incase.

Fancier Sandals or Heels (one) – If you’re planning a night or two out on the town, or even just out for a fancy dinner, don’t forget to pack a cute pair of heels. I personally don’t wear heels, because I’m far too uncoordinated and tall, so I just pack an extra pair of sandals instead!

Miscellaneous & Accessories

Plastic Bags and Sandwich Bags – Plastic bags are great for storing dirty shoes, clothes and underwear in your luggage. I always pack a few plastic bags, as well as some sandwich bags to store small bits and bobs. Sandwich bags are great for keeping chargers separated and toiletries organised.

Packing Cubes – These are a traveler’s best friend. Although they are mostly used by backpackers who travel with only the bag on their backs, I use them whenever I travel and I almost always have checked luggage. Packing cubes are great for keeping my suitcase organised, and makes it super easy to find exactly what I’m looking for.


Sun Protection – If you’re traveling to a hot location, a floppy hat or protective cap is a must. Don’t forget to pack a good quality pair of sunglasses too.

Packing List for Winter Seasons and Cold Climates

Your packing list for winter will include much heavier, bulkier and ultimately larger items. This will make it harder to remain under the weight limit for most airlines, so always make sure you’re just packing the essentials. Here are some of the things we suggest packing, if you’re traveling to a colder location.

A Packing List for First Time International Female Travelers | Rhiannon Travels

Clothing & Underwear

Long Sleeved Shirts (two) – Long sleeved shirts are great to pack when traveling to colder destinations. They are awesome for layering, can be super versatile and will keep you a lot warmer on a brisk and cold night.

Sweatshirt or Hoodie (two) – I have a hoodie obsession. No matter how many I currently have sitting unworn in my cupboard back home, I always buy more while traveling. I don’t know what it is, but it’s becoming a problem. Don’t be like me. Pack one or two comfortable, warm and versatile hoodies for the duration of your trip and try not to buy ten more while you’re there!


Full Length Leggings (two) – Lorna Jane’s full length leggings are probably my favourite clothing item of all time. I pretty much live in them during winter, and wear them every day while traveling. I generally wear one pair on the plane and pack the other in my suitcase.

Comfortable Jeans (one to two) – I’m personally not a fan of jeans, so I don’t normally pack any when I travel. But if you have a favourite pair or two that you love, bring them along! The more comfy and versatile the better.

Thermal Shirts (three) – Thermal shirts are great if you’re heading to much colder destinations, particular those in the snow. They will keep you much warmer than a regular long sleeve shirt, and are also great for layering.


Warm Coat or Jacket (one) – Even if you have to wear it on the plane, always pack a warm coat or jacket when traveling to cold locations. You may not wear it everyday or need it at all, but it’s always a good idea to pack one just incase.

Underwear (ten) – Depending on the type of accomodation you choose, you may have the convenience of a washing machine. If you do have access to a washing machine, you won’t need to pack as many pairs of underwear. Even if your accomodation doesn’t have laundry facilities, there will almost always be a public laundromat that you can use.

Bras (two) – I generally pack one proper bra and one sports bra when I travel. That way, I can either wear a full support bra, or a comfortable sports bra.
hug

Socks (five) – If you’re traveling to a colder location, you’ll more than likely need more pairs of socks, as you’ll be wearing enclosed shoes more often.

Pyjamas or Lazing Around Clothes (two) – I don’t normally walk around the house in an oversized basketball jersey during winter, that would be silly. Instead, I tend to wear oversized hoodies instead. Whatever your cold weather comfortable clothes are, pack a couple sets of them!

Footwear

Sneakers or Walking Shoes (one) – Whether or not you plan to do lots of hiking and hour long explorations through the jungle, it’s still a good idea to pack a comfortable pair of sneakers. These type of shoes also come in handy during cold weather, and you’ll more than likely be glad you packed them.

Comfortable Enclosed Shoes (one) – If you decide you don’t want to browse New York City wearing bright pink sneakers, perhaps opt for some more every day type shoes instead. Vans and Converse are great options, and come in a huge range of styles and colours.


Nice Boots (one) – When you’re not out exploring during the day and hiking up mountains, you’ll probably be going out to dinner and enjoying the night life. Pack a nice pair of boots to wear out at night – just make sure they’re still versatile!

Thongs or Flip Flops (one) – You probably won’t need thongs or flip flops for anywhere other than your hotel or accomodation, but it’s still a good idea to pack some just incase.

Sandals (one) – Even if you choose to travel to a colder destination, there may be a nice and sunny day or two throughout your stay. Be prepared and pack some cute sandals. They’re small and don’t take up too much space in a suitcase.

Miscellaneous & Accessories

Winter Accessories – If you’re traveling during winter, you’ll probably need a scarf, pair of gloves and a beanie. Even more so if you’re spending some time in a snowy location! Don’t forget to pack your favourite winter accessories.

Packing Cubes – You probably won’t fit as much in them, but packing cubes are still a must.


Plastic Bags and Sandwich Bags – Just like when packing for summer trips, plastic bags are great for storing dirty shoes, clothes and underwear in your luggage. I always pack a few plastic bags, as well as some sandwich bags to store small bits and bobs. Sandwich bags are great for keeping chargers separated and toiletries organised.

Packing List – Toiletries

Generally speaking, you can find most toiletries quite easily in most places around the world. Items such as shampoo, conditioner, hair dryers and soap are also fairly commonly provided by hotel rooms.

Toiletry Bag – I recommend buying a hanging toiletry bag that has clear, zipped compartments. This will make finding what you need much easier, and will also save space in your luggage and accomodation.

Moisturiser – I get dry skin all year round, even more so during the colder months of the year. Packing a good quality moisturiser is always an essential, and I don’t leave the country without one that I know works for me.

Travel Sized Bottles – Most hotels generally provide complimentary shampoo and conditioner, though, so double check with your accomodation before arriving. If they do not provide shampoo and conditioner, squeeze some from your full sized bottles at home into travel sized bottles!


Medication – Any essentials such as birth control, vitamins and pain killers for headaches, stomach aches and colds and flu. 

Toothbrush and Toothpaste I personally suggest packing your toothbrush and toothpaste in your carry on bag. That way you will be able to freshen up during your flight or when arriving at your destination. 

Sunscreen – You’ll generally be able to find sunscreen pretty easily in most parts of the world, but if you have sensitive skin or use a specific brand of sunscreen, remember to pack your own.

Deodorant Aerosol cans are not allowed in carry on luggage, so I suggest packing a roll-on instead. That way you can pack one deodorant in your carry on backpack and one in your checked luggage, without taking up too much space or causing issues when going through security. 


Makeup – I wear make up on most days while traveling, for no other reason than the fact that I enjoy it! Of course, I don’t go overboard, and only pack what I feel are essentials. Generally when it come to make up, I pack: mascara, concealer, loose powder, eye lash curler, bronzer and make up remover wipes. 

Personal Hygiene – Tampons can be hard to find in some countries, so it’s always best to bring your own just incase. Pads are generally much easier to find, so keep this in mind when packing for that time of the month. 

Hair Straightener – I always pack my hair straightener, regardless of where I’m traveling. I’m sure there are backpackers cringing right now, but I like my hair to be straight. Okay? Travel sized hair straighteners are a good alternative if you’d prefer to not pack a full sized one. 


Depending on where you’re traveling (especially in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand), it’s best to bring any medications in their original packaging, and take your prescription with you. Pain killers are pretty easy to find in most countries, so to avoid drama at the airport, consider purchasing these when you arrive.

Packing List – Carry On

Good Quality Backpack – If you are traveling with both checked luggage (that goes underneath the plane) and a carry on bag, be sure to purchase a good quality backpack. I guarantee it will not only be the perfect way to store all of your in-flight essentials, it will always come in handy while you’re out exploring each day.

Travel Wallet – These are great for keeping your passport, credit card, debit card, cash, boarding pass and all sorts of tickets in the same place. I have a travel wallet with a zip, so it’s essentially just a purse that has been specifically designed for travelers!


Passport – The most important possession you will have with you while traveling. Pack your passport first, then triple check that you’ve got it before heading to the airport. You won’t be able to leave the country without your passport.

Passport Holder – What better way to keep your passport safe, than in a cute passport holder? Some come with other card slots for storing a credit or debit card, and some just come with a pretty design on the front. Whichever you choose, you will rest easy knowing your most important possession is safe and sound.


Neck Pillow – These are available at the airport if you decide to purchase one at the last minute. We highly recommend memory foam neck pillows, not only for use on the plane, but also in hotel rooms and on longer duration public transport trips.

Travel Documents – Most travel documents are sent electronically these days. But it’s always a good idea to have a hard copy of all flight, hotel and ticket information, just incase. You can keep them in that travel wallet you just spontaneously purchased! 

Phone and Charger – Because, well, duh.

Laptop or Tablet and Charger – Whether you decide to take your full size laptop or just a tablet, make sure they are easy to take out of your carry on luggage when going through security. 


Headphones – Noise cancelling headphones are a must, especially on long haul international flights. I have a pair of over the ear, noise cancelling headphones and they’re great for blocking out sounds while on full flights.

Camera and Charger – Whether you’re a professional photographer or not, you will want to pack your camera. Don’t forget the charger and a protective case or camera bag to store it all in.


Spare Memory Cards – It’s always a good idea to bring a second or third memory card. Then you won’t need to worry about taking too many photos, and can snap away until your heart is content. 

Small Toiletry Bag – Pack a small, see-through toiletry bag for essentials like lip balm, tissues, deodorant, pain killers, birth control (if you use it), toothbrush, toothpaste and moisturiser. Remember all liquids must be in a travel size bottle.

Sanitising Wipes – These are perfect for freshening up during a long flight or wiping down your tray table and seat before sitting down or eating. Keep a small travel sized pack of sanitising wipes in your carry on backpack, and you won’t have to worry about cleanliness on flights ever again!


A Kindle or Book – Kindles are becoming more and more popular these days. They are great for travel, as it means you don’t need to lug around a thick, heavy book and can instead store hundreds of e-books on your very own Kindle!

Spare Outfit and Underwear – Touch wood this doesn’t happen to you, but lost luggage happens quite frequently. Although losing your luggage is a very annoying and upsetting situation, if you’re prepared, it won’t be as bad. Pack a spare outfit and underwear in your carry on bag, just incase. That way, if your luggage does get lost, you will still be able to freshen up in a nice clean outfit.

A Travel Adapter – Different countries use different plugs and adapters. We recommend purchasing a multi-country travel adapter, so you don’t need to purchase individual ones for each country you visit. Most even come with USB ports, for ultimate convenience!

Thongs or Flip Flops – If I’m not already wearing a pair of thongs on the plane, I like to keep some in my carry on bag just incase. They’re great for trips to the bathroom and to wear on a long airport layover.


A Warm and Comfortable Jacket – Planes can get very cold, especially on international flights. The further you travel, the higher you will fly; and the higher you fly, the colder the plane will be! I like to pack a warm jacket, regardless of the destination I’m traveling to.

Empty Water Bottle – Open and full beverages aren’t allowed through security, so bring along an empty water bottle to fill up while you wait. Then you’ll have plenty of fresh water to get you through your flight.

Snacks – I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but plane food sucks. Solve this issue by bringing your own delicious snacks. If you forget to pack some before arriving at the airport, there are a ton of stores that sell snacks before and after security, you’ll just have to pay a little extra.


Portable Wifi Device or Local Sim Card – A portable wifi device is the best way to ensure you will have internet almost anywhere you travel. For an alternative to portable wifi, consider purchasing a local sim card at the airport. You can find them in most terminals upon landing, and you’ll not only have data, but also credit to make phone calls and send text messages.


So there you have it, the ultimate packing list for females traveling internationally for the first time. Whether you’re visiting a hot or cold destination, I hope you learnt some new ways to pack efficiently and save space while doing so! Your packing list will vary depending on where you’re traveling, how long you’re staying, your accomodation and personal clothing choices. But generally speaking, these are the main essentials you should add to your own packing list!


Are you about to embark on your first international holiday? Have you written your packing list yet? Tell me in the comments below!

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A Packing List for International Female Travelers: A First Timer's Guide A Packing List for International Female Travelers: A First Timer's Guide

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Mooloolaba Accomodation QLD Australia – Ocean Vista on Alex

Mooloolaba Accomodation QLD Australia – Ocean Vista on Alex

Are you looking for the perfect Mooloolaba accomodation? It can be hard deciding where to stay on the Sunshine Coast because there are so many incredible beachfront apartments and hotels to choose from. We spent four days in Mooloolaba on our trip to Queensland back in October 2017, and decided to stay at Ocean Vista on Alex Apartments!

While researching accomodation on the Sunshine Coast, we were happy to splurge a little if it meant we’d get a bit of luxury and romance, because we’d be there for our two year anniversary. Ocean Vista on Alex isn’t luxurious per say, but it is extremely impressive for the price we paid and the location.

Mooloolaba Accomodation QLD Australia – Ocean Vista on Alex

Ocean Vista on Alex is a self-contained apartment, which means (almost) every room is stocked with pretty much everything you’ll need to cook your own meals. Each apartment also has a laundry with a washing machine and dryer. Self-contained apartments are great for families and groups of friends, because you have everything you need conveniently located in your room!

Mooloolaba Accomodation. QLD Australia - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels

2 bedroom self-contained apartment with rooftop spa

As we mentioned earlier, we specifically planned our stay on the Sunshine Coast to fall on our two year anniversary. We wanted Mooloolaba accomodation that was relaxing, comfortable, clean and within walking distance to everything we needed. Plus, if there was a little romance on the side, even better! We booked the 2 Bedroom Apartment with Rooftop Spa. As soon as we walked through the door, we were immediately impressed.


Note: we’re fully aware that this type of accomodation isn’t for everyone. Not every visitor to Australia can afford to splurge on accomodation and might prefer to spend their money on other things. But we like to be comfortable. We love waking up to amazing views and being within walking distance to all of the essentials – and we got all of this plus more at Ocean Vista on Alex!

Mooloolaba Accomodation. QLD Australia - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels Mooloolaba Accomodation. QLD Australia - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels

When we arrived, the hotel manager was heading up the stairs to reception while carrying a carton of beer. If that’s not Australia for ya, I don’t know what is. We were a little too early and unable to check in as our room was still being cleaned. So we headed down to the beach! In under five minutes we were barefoot and walking along the beautiful Mooloolaba Beach.


We headed back an hour or so later and were shown to our room by the hotel manager. He was kind enough to also show us our private rooftop spa (don’t worry, we’ll get to that soon) as well as a brief overview of the things we needed to know about our room.

Included in the 2 Bedroom Apartment with Rooftop Spa

The first thing both of us thought when walking into the room was wow. Paying extra for a little bit of luxury sometimes is definitely worth it. We had a full size kitchen stocked with utensils, pots and pans, plates, mugs, glasses, dishwashing liquid, tea towel, kettle, toaster, microwave, fridge, oven, stove, coffee, tea and more.

Mooloolaba Accomodation. QLD Australia - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels Mooloolaba Accomodation. QLD Australia - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels Mooloolaba Accomodation - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels

One thing about Ocean Vista on Alex that appealed to us, was the private spa that’s included in all rooftop apartments. Our room was located on the top level (level three) so all we had to do was walk up two short flights of stairs and we were at our very own rooftop with an incredible spa, deck chairs, dining table, sink and barbecue.


Like we mentioned earlier, we stayed at Ocean Vista on Alex for four nights. We spent at least an hour each night, enjoying the incredible views from our very own warm, relaxing rooftop spa. It was absolutely worth the bit of extra money, especially for a special occasion!

Note: Hotel management requests that guests vacate the spa area by 10pm each night. Be sure to take all your belongings with you when you leave, and turn off the spa and any lights you’ve had on.

Mooloolaba Accomodation. QLD Australia - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels Mooloolaba Accomodation. QLD Australia - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels Mooloolaba Accomodation. QLD Australia - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels

Our room had two bedrooms, which we obviously didn’t need as it was just the two of us. But if you’re traveling with a group of friends or your family, the second bedroom is perfect!

The main lounge room had a ceiling fan plus reverse cycle air-conditioning, which comes in handy during the hot Australian summer. The main bedroom also had a ceiling fan, lamps on both sides of the king size bed, a large sliding built in wardrobe with mirror doors and a second storage cupboard.

Mooloolaba Accomodation - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels Mooloolaba Accomodation - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels

The main bathroom had a large shower and spa, wall length bench with a sink and naturally, a toilet. The second bathroom (joint laundry and bathroom) had a shower and a bench top with basin. Using the second bathroom will incur an extra fee for cleaning.


The room also had complimentary small tubes of shampoo and conditioner, plus small packets of bar soap. I decided to purchase my own bottles of shampoo and conditioner from Coles Supermarket, though.

Mooloolaba Accomodation - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels

There’s also a pool that’s available for use by all guests. We only used it once, but it was the perfect temperature for a comfortable mid-afternoon dip!

Mooloolaba Accomodation. QLD Australia - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon TravelsMooloolaba Accomodation. QLD Australia - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon TravelsMooloolaba Accomodation. QLD Australia - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels

Note: Each room is allocated one carpark, which in located in the garage underneath the building. There’s a driveway to the left of the reception, and a gate that requires a key to open. You’ll receive your room key and garage remote control when checking in. The parking cost is included in the price of your room!

Cost of Ocean Vista on Alex

We paid a total of $790 for the four nights at Ocean Vista on Alex. Although this might seem like a lot of money, as mentioned earlier, we like to be comfortable. Our apartment was definitely worth the cost, and we would stay again in a heartbeat! The view from both our balcony and rooftop spa was absolutely incredible.

Convenient location to beach & shops

Ocean Vista on Alex is located almost directly across the road from Mooloolaba Beach, which explains the cost. Not only are you less than a five minute walk from the beach, you’re also under ten minutes away from the heart of Mooloolaba. You’ll find Coles Supermarket, BWS bottle shop plus a ton of restaurants, cafes, clothing and souvenir stores and much more.

Mooloolaba Accomodation. QLD Australia - Ocean Vista on Alex | Rhiannon Travels

We walked to Coles Supermarket and BWS multiple times to pick up groceries and alcohol. It was great having our very own self-contained kitchen, because it meant I could still make myself some toast and a coffee each morning, like I do back home in Adelaide! This gave our stay a very homely feel, with a touch of luxury.


If you turn left out onto the Esplanade and drive for around five minutes, you’ll come across Maroochydore. Here you’ll find a large shopping mall with a huge amount of stores including Kmart, various supermarkets, restaurants and cafes. There are also a selection of dessert bars, so if you have a sweet tooth, we definitely suggest paying a visit to Maroochydore.

You can catch public transport from Mooloolaba Beach to Maroochydore, otherwise it’s a very scenic 45 minute walk from Ocean Vista on Alex to Sunshine Plaza Shopping Centre.

Distance from Ocean Vista on Alex to popular attractions

Mooloolaba Beach is super close to a lot of Queensland’s most popular attractions. We hired a car on the day we arrived in Queensland, which we booked a few weeks earlier. This is definitely the best way to experience everything that Queensland has to offer, especially if you’re planning to head down to Surfers Paradise from the Sunshine Coast.


Here are the average travel times it takes to drive from Ocean Vista on Alex to some of Queensland’s most popular attractions:
Australia Zoo – 30 minute drive
Noosa Beach – 40 minute drive
Brisbane City – 80 minute drive
Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast – 2 hour drive

Our final thoughts on Ocean Vista on Alex

We both absolutely loved our stay at Ocean Vista on Alex. It’s the perfect Mooloolaba accomodation, and had a very relaxing and laid back atmosphere. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and the location was incredible.

It’s important to note that because it is a beachside apartment building, there was some general rust and wear and tear that comes from being located near the ocean. This is a given for any accomodation, regardless of where you are in the world. Please don’t let something as small as some torn outdoor seats or a small amount of wear and tear, stop you from enjoying your visit.


We can only comment on the room that we stayed in, but we feel confident in saying that all other rooms at Ocean Vista would be clean, tidy and taken care of for guests to enjoy a comfortable and relaxing stay.

For more information about Ocean Vista on Alex, and to view or book one of their rooms, click here.


Have you visited Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast before? Tell us about your trip in the comments below! 

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

Back in June 2015, I left Australia for my very first solo travel adventure. I had spent a long time trying to find a reliable and decently priced company to travel with, and finally came across Contiki. Given that it was my first time traveling overseas by myself, I wanted everything to be taken care of for me, leaving me with absolutely nothing to worry or stress about. If you would prefer to have everything planned for you, choosing a Contiki tour is definitely the way to go.

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

I’m gonna throw this out there straight away: Contiki tours aren’t for everybody. You need to have an open mind to fully enjoy everything that Contiki has to offer. But if you’re up for a good time, want to explore a new city or country with a bunch of strangers, keep reading! I’m about to share everything you should be aware of before embarking on a Contiki tour.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour

Once you first open the Contiki website, you’ll see a tab on the left hand side that says trips. By clicking this link, you can between all of the Contiki tours using a few different filters. If you already know which part of the world you would like to visit, you can select that region to make life even easier!

Some quick facts about Contiki

Here are some quick facts about Contiki, just to give you a bit of an idea as to what they’re all about, and whether Contiki is going to be the perfect tour company for you!

Contiki tours are for ages 18 to 35 only

Contiki tours are made for the younger generation, and only people aged between 18 and 35 will be allowed. Contiki tours have a very heavy party scene vibe about them, which is perfect for the age bracket.

Contiki travels to six continents 

Almost anywhere you wish to travel, Contiki can take you there. Contiki tours stretch across the world; and choosing to travel with Contiki means you’ll have a choice between: Australia, Europe, United States, Asia, Canada and New Zealand.

Over 300 different trips available across the world

Choosing the region you want to travel is only the first difficult decision you’ll have to make. Once you’ve picked where you want to go, you now need to choose a tour! There are over 300 different trips to choose from, traveling to countries all over the world. Good luck narrowing down your huge bucket list!

The regions that Contiki travels to

Contiki tours cover most of the popular continents around the world. Going from one tour to the next, will allow you to visit lots of incredible places around the world, and have a totally different experience every time. Below are the countries and continents that Contiki travels to.

Europe

Europe is one of the most popular Contiki destinations. Most travelers choose to do a Contiki tour across Europe, because you’re able to visit so many countries in a short amount of time. You’ll stay in a wide range of accomodation from hotels and hostels to boats and tents.


Most Contiki tours throughout Europe are bus tours. That means you’ll be traveling across the country by road as opposed to flying in and out of cities each day. Bus tours aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they’re a great way to see as much as possible!

Australia

Australia is another awesome country for road trips. This means, a lot of the tours across my wonderful country, are on the Contiki bus!

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

You’ll visit almost every inch of Australia, including Sydney, Queensland and even the Northern Territory. Experience Uluru or climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Contiki ensures the sky is the limit on your adventure to Australia!

United States of America & Canada

The Contiki tour that I did was in the United States. I did the Best of USA tour, and it was so much fun! I lived my dream of visiting New York City, finally made it to San Francisco, and partied in Las Vegas. Tours throughout the USA and Canada provide pretty comfortable accomodation.


The United States and Canada are also very bus tour heavy. You’ll find that most of the tours are on-road ones, meaning you’ll be traveling from state to state on a huge bus, pimped out with Contiki in huge letters on each side.

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

The catamaran cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, that Contiki organised for us. The Best of USA tour takes you to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York City!

New Zealand

Explore the beautiful New Zealand on-road, on Contiki’s awesome pimped out bus. With four different ways to travel (see below), accomodation in comfortable hotels plus fancy, Special Stays, you’re sure to have the time of your life.

Asia

Staying in comfortable accomodation, explore Asia from one end to the other. From Japan to China, Thailand and Cambodia – you’ll see it all. Traveling across Asia with Contiki means a combination of on-road and flights between cities.

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

The Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan. I didn’t visit Japan on a Contiki tour, but I highly recommend doing so! Japan is an incredible country.

Latin America

Visit beautiful countries like Brazil, Peru and Belize on Contki’s Latin America tours. You’ll stay in unique and comfortable accomodation, with flights between cities to save on time.

Enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu in Peru or being at the base of Christ the Redeemer in Rio. There’s tons of incredible things to see and do in Latin America, and Contiki does all of the planning and organising for you. All you have to do is have fun!


Clicking on one of the above regions will bring you to a new page, listing all of the seperate tours within that country or continent. If you’re unsure which region you’d like to visit but have a particular travel style, there’s a filter for this as well!

The types of travel that Contiki offers

Contiki offers a wide range of different tours, that will suit almost any type of traveler. Whether you want to party hard for two weeks in a row or take it slow and travel at your own pace. There are so many choices, you won’t know where to begin your search! Here are the eight different types of tours that are available with Contiki.

Independent Insider

The Independent Insider trips are perfect for anyone who wants to stay in control of what they do and where they go. These tours offer a lot more freedom than others, so they’re perfect for someone who doesn’t want to travel with a strict itinerary.

Camping

The Camping tours are only available in Europe, but they are perfect for someone who enjoys nature. With the opportunity to visit multiple countries over a short period of time, it’s the perfect way to fully experience everything Europe has to offer.

Discoverer

This type of travel is perfect for someone who enjoys lots of adventure and ticking off lots from your bucket list. If you’re hoping to see and do as much as possible while on Contiki, the Discoverer tours are perfect! The Discoverer tours are available in all countries and continents that Contiki travels to.

High Energy

The High Energy Contiki tours are perfect for anyone who loves to party. You’ll visit all the major sites in a short amount of time, then party the night away – most of the time in a brand new city! The High Energy tours are available in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and Latin America.

In-Depth Explorer

In-Depth Explorer tours are for travelers who enjoy history and really getting to know a city. You’ll have your own time to explore beyond where Contiki takes you. If you’re hoping to see more than the most popular tourist attractions, the In-Depth Explorer tours are for you. The In-Depth Explorer tours are available in all countries and continents that Contiki travels to.

Short Trips & Festivals

Perfect for people who love to have fun and party the night away. The Short Trips and Festivals tours are available in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America. Bring in the New Year in a totally different country while you dance the night away!

Winter & Ski

Dreaming of a white Christmas in New York City? How about skiing or snowboarding down a mountain in Europe? If so, the Winter and Ski tours are perfect. These tours are available in Europe, the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

Seeing snow for the first time, in Nagano, Japan. *This wasn’t during a Contiki tour

Sailing, Cruise & Beach

If you’re someone who dreams of laying on the sand in the Whitsundays or enjoying Santorini’s breathtaking views, these tours are calling your name. The Sailing, Cruise & Beach tours are available in Europe, Asia and Australia.


This is a cool way to narrow down your options, especially for people who would prefer a winter trip over a summer trip, or an adventurous trip over an easy-going one. Choose the style of travel that suits you, and you’ll have a list of suitable tours right in front of your eyes!


You can also filter your search by length of trip, departure date and the budget you’ve given yourself. For instance, if you’re only willing to spend up to $3,000 and want to travel for two weeks, select both of these options in the right hand column, and all of the available tours with those specifics will be listed for you!

Review the tour you’ve chosen

Once you’ve picked the tour that’s right for you,  a new page will open with all the information you need to lock in your selection. At the top of the page you will find:

  • The name of the tour you’ve chosen
  • The countries you will be visiting
  • Some tours will take you to more than one country, such as any North America based tours!)
  • Duration of the tour
  • Cost of the tour
  • Amount of money you save through Contiki

When you scroll down, you’ll come to the itinerary section and all of the awesome things included in your Contiki Tour cost! The itinerary tells you how many days you spend in each city, what you’ll be doing as part of the tour group, and the inclusions and ‘me time’ that are offered.


Note: You get a certain amount of ‘Me Time’ each day. This means, most of the time you’re traveling, you’ll be given either half a day or a full day to go off and explore on your own. Everyone has a list of things they want to see while traveling, and those things may not be included on the itinerary that Contiki has created for you.

This is where your Me Time comes in! On those free days, head off on your own (or with your new friends) and visit those places that are on your bucket list! Contiki has a huge range of suggestions too, if you’re unsure of where to start.

If you keep scrolling down the page, you’ll come to the ‘What’s Included’ section. This tells you how many nights accomodation you’re paying for, information about your Tour Manager and Driver, how many meals are included, the cool extras that you can experience at a discounted price, Me Time suggestions and transport information.

Once you’re ready to book

Next comes the exciting part. Once you’ve chosen your dream tour, it’s time to book. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see a button that says ‘Book Trip’. Clicking this button will open a pop-up page with a calendar. Here, you’ll be given the available dates that your tour will be running. Choose an appropriate time of year, and follow the prompts! You’ll be jetting off on the trip of a lifetime before you know it!

Things you should know & tips for your first Contiki Tour

Now that you’ve booked your trip, I’m sure you’re wondering what to expect when you arrive at your first destination. Right? Duh, of course you are! I know I was.

Contiki is well known for its party scene, people getting drunk and passing out on Hollywood Boulevard (okay, maybe that was just me), and crazy antics that no one ever remembers the next day. Sure, that’s all true. But there are so many other cool experiences you’ll have if you choose to book a Contik tour.


I didn’t know what to expect when I stepped foot into my hotel in Downtown Los Angeles at the beginning of June 2015. I had done quite a bit of research prior to my trip, and I had joined a Facebook group started for my specific Tour group, but I was still somewhat in the dark about what Contiki was really all about. So here are some things you should know, to prepare you for your first Contiki Tour!

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

I lived my dream of visiting New York City on the Best of USA Contiki tour. I’ll always remember the moment I stepped out into Times Square for the very first time!

People do drink – a lot

The rumours are true, there’s a lot of alcohol involved in the world of Contiki. But that’s okay. Whether you drink alcohol or not, you can still have an epic time. Your tour group will consist of a wide range of people. There will be some who enjoy a cocktail each day with breakfast, and some who decide not to drink at all.


Once you’re settled in and start mingling with the people in your group, you’ll find the people who you click with the most and have more in common with. Stick to what your gut is telling you. Don’t fall into the trap of ‘trying to fit in’. It isn’t high school. You’re with a group of adults who are there to have an amazing and memorable time – just like you!

There will be differences of opinion

Being thrown into a group of people from all over the world and different ages and personalities, there’s bound to be clashing amongst one another. But if you’re mature about it and don’t let it ruin your trip, you’ll be fine. You may be in a group environment, meeting new people and making new friends, but it’s still YOUR trip. So don’t let anybody pressure you into doing something you’re not keen on. Do your own thing, and you can always catch up with your new friends later!

Your group will probably be mostly younger people

The first thing I noticed when my group started to roll in on the night before our Contiki tour officially started, was that we were all on the younger end of the scale. Considering the age bracket for Contiki is eighteen to thirty five, the small amount of older group members was surprising.

Something else that surprised me, was the fact that most of the members in my group were Australian! I was expecting to walk in and be greeted by people from all over the world. That wasn’t the case in my particular Contiki group unfortunately!

Make the most of your me time

One of the things I didn’t like about Contiki, was the lack of Me Time. Sure, on the longer trips you get quite a few days to explore and do your own thing. But most of the time, there’s a set time you need to be back to attend group events and things you’ve already paid for. If there’s something that you’re dying to see, make it a priority on one of these Me Time days.


Head out first thing in the morning (sleep is for the weak!) and cross it off your list first. You can then plan the rest of your free time accordingly. Spending as much time heading out exploring the city and crossing off those bucket list items, will ensure you make the most of all your time on Contiki!

Take plenty of spending money

The inclusions and even the ‘extras’ that are listed on the Contiki website or in one of their booklets, aren’t the be all and end all of your trip. Those booklets and the website aren’t updated regularly, so there’s bound to be some opportunities that present themselves, that you wouldn’t have planned on.


For example, while we were in New York City during the Best of USA Contiki tour, our lovely tour manager Steph, gave us the opportunity to go to a Yankees game! This wasn’t something that I had anticipated happening, but lucky I had enough spending money with me to be able to go. Don’t be caught short if something cool comes up. You’ll definitely regret it later! It’s always a good idea to have more money than you think you’ll need. Remember, you can always convert it back when you get home!

Related: Click here to read about my 5 days in New York City

How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

Pack light

The Best of USA tour isn’t like other Contiki tours. Most are road trip style. You know, where you’re stuck on a bus most of the day or night, on your way to the next destination. This is cool if you like a good road trip, especially in a place you’ve never been. But I personally loved the fact that being an air travel tour, we had more time up our sleeves in each city, as our travel time was significantly shortened.


Whether you’re doing a bus or plane tour, it’s always a good idea to pack as light as possible. Not only will is cause less back aches and sore arms from carrying all your luggage, but you’ll also have lots of room to shop!

Tipping is sometimes included in the cost

If you’re new to the concept of tipping, don’t worry, sometimes a percentage of this is covered in the cost you pay upfront for your Contiki Tour. However, you will still need to tip for your own personal meals and any services that you receive when you are not with your group. So make sure you’ve got plenty of small bills on you to cover the cost of individual tipping. In a lot of countries, tipping is essential.

Some of your meals are included

Meals also tend to be included in the overall cost of your Tour. Most of the time, breakfast is one of those included meals. This gives you the chance to fuel up for a busy day of exploring, shopping and drinking! Dinner is also another frequently included meal. Usually, you’ll eat dinner out at a fancy restaurant with your group and tour manager! Most of the time, however, you’re on your own when it comes to lunch.

Always, always make sure you’re on time

This is super important! On the first night of the Best of USA tour, Steph (our tour manager) told us how important it was to be on time. Generally, you spend each day in a new city with your tour manager and tour group. Your tour tanager will give you a specific time to be up, ready and waiting in the lobby to leave for the day’s activities.


If you’re late, the group will leave without you. You’ll then need to find your own way to the first activity for the day (or the airport if it’s a travel day!). This can be especially difficult if you’re in a city you’re unfamiliar with – so always make sure you set plenty of alarms the night before!


I remember on my Best of USA tour, one of the guys in my group was late back to the bus after the couple of hours of free time exploring Hollywood. Our tour manager gave us a specific time to be back on the bus, and after waiting ten minutes with no sign of him, the bus left. He had to make his way from Hollywood to Santa Monica Beach on his own. Always make sure you set alarms for everything, to avoid being caught in this situation!

Related: Read about my experience on the Best of USA Contiki Tour, here

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Everyone has a different experience on their Contiki trip. Whether you’re a heavy partier or prefer to spend your free time exploring museums, the point of Contiki is to give you the freedom of choice. I would recommend Contiki for someone who is relatively new to travel. It’s also a great way to meet people if you’re a solo traveller.


Have you done a Contiki tour before? Which one did you do? Tell me what you thought in the comments below! 

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How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels How to Choose the Perfect Contiki Tour | Rhiannon Travels

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I will always only share my 100% honest opinion, and will never endorse a product or company that I would not personally use.

Originally published in February 2017. Updated January 2018
36 Tips for First Time Travelers

36 Tips for First Time Travelers

Traveling for the first time can be a daunting experience. There is so much that needs to be planned and organise, and so many options when it comes to flights and accomodation. Even the most experienced travelers have some doubts and worries when it gets closer to that anticipated departure day. Luckily for you, there are a ton of resources and tips for first time travelers, to help you along the way.

36 Tips for First Time Travelers | Rhiannon Travels

Keep reading for tips when it comes to every aspect of international travel. We’ve compiled this list of tips for first time travelers, to help your first international adventure be as smooth sailing and stress free as possible. From booking and planning, to what to pack and the things you need to do on departure day.

Tips for First Time Travelers: The Ultimate Guide

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Booking & planning your trip

The booking and planning stages of your first international trip can be the most stressful. There’s a lot to research, book and organise, and that’s before you even step foot on your first plane. Here are some important things to remember and tips for first time travelers, when it comes to booking and planning for your trip:

Shop Around when Booking Accomodation and Flights – Accomodation rates and flights tend to be cheaper at the beginning of the week, so check on a Tuesday or Wednesday first, to be sure you’re getting the best deal. Shopping around is the best way to be sure you’re getting a good rate, and aren’t being unnecessarily charged extra.

Read Accomodation Reviews – Regardless of the type of accomodation you choose, it’s important to read reviews left by fellow travelers. This is the best way to get an idea about what you’re in for, and if there are any issues to be aware of. Stay away from hotels, hostels or any other type of accomodation that mention bed bugs. This is a common occurrence in cheap hostels, so have a good read of the reviews across multiple websites before booking.


Don’t Forget Insurance – Purchasing travel insurance should be at the very top of your list of things to do, whether you’re a first time traveler or experienced. No matter where you’re heading in the world, travel insurance is an absolute must – especially if you are traveling internationally. We recommend purchasing full comprehensive travel insurance, and double check the travel dates you are inputting when purchasing.

Transport from Airport to Hotel (and vice versa) – If you’re traveling to a particular country for the first time, you’ll more than likely need to do some research as to the best transport option from the airport to your hotel. This can be done easily with a quick Google search. Find out whether there are any bus or train services available. Countries such as Japan and China have impeccable train and Subway services, which are generally the best option when it comes to transport.

Make sure your Passport is Valid and has at least six month remaining – Ensuring your passport is valid and has enough time left on it before expiry, is another important step when booking your international trip. Most countries require you to have a certain amount of time left on your passport before allowing you entry, so double and triple check this when you decide on your location.


Check whether you need Vaccinations – If you’re traveling to some countries around the world (Southeast Asia and Africa are good examples) you may need vaccinations. Book an appointment with your doctor to make sure, before leaving for your trip. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Look into Currency Conversion and Travel Money Cards – There are a lot of options when it comes to taking money overseas. From cash to a travel money card, your everyday credit card or debit card. Depending on the country, I either use my own debit card or a travel money card. It’s a good idea to take some cash, too, even if you plan to withdraw some once you arrive. Having a little bit of cash for your first couple of hours in an unfamiliar country, is always a good idea for things like public transport, catching a Taxi or Uber and even just for some snacks upon arriving.


Local Sim Card or Portable Wifi Device – If you plan to use the internet quite frequently while traveling, I recommend purchasing a portable wifi device. We purchased one for our month long trip to Japan, but there are a ton of options available for purchase online. The device that is best will vary depending on the country you’re visiting, so do some research beforehand to be sure.

Packing for your trip

There are a few things that you can do when it comes to packing for your trip, to make the whole experience a lot less overwhelming. Here are some of my favourite tips for first time travelers, when it comes to that dreaded packing:

Try to Pack Light – I’m not very good at this, but packing light is the best way to go, regardless of where you’re traveling. Whether you’re bringing along a suitcase or you’re traveling with just one backpack, you don’t want to be stuck with a million kilos worth of unnecessary items. Check out our packing list for first time female travelers heading overseas, for some ideas! Remember that you can (almost) always purchase anything you’ve forgotten when you arrive at your destination!

Related: A Packing List for First Time International Female Travelers

Most Hotels provide complimentary Shampoo and Conditioner – If you can’t find it listed anywhere on the hotel’s website, give them a call to double check. Most hotels do provide free shampoo and conditioner these days, which means you won’t need to pack any!


Pack your Important Items and a Spare Outfit in your Carry On Bag – Unfortunately, checked luggage goes missing quite frequently. If this happens to you (touch wood that it doesn’t), it’s best to be prepared. I like to pack the following items in my carry on: an extra pair of underwear, a spare outfit, toothpaste and a toothbrush, deodorant, laptop, camera, phone and chargers, medication and pain killers. That way, if my checked luggage does go missing, at least I have the most important items with me. Everything else can be replaced.

Check the Season and Weather before Packing – If you’re visiting the United States during their summer, you’re not going to need a big fluffy jacket. If you’re visiting England during their winter, it will more than likely be snowing, so you’ll definitely need a jacket. Google will be your best friend when it comes to determining what the climate is in the country you’re heading.


Choose the right type of Luggage for your Destination – I’m a suitcase girl. Always have been, and probably always will be. But there are some people who swear by carrying their belongings on their back. This is a great option if you’re heading to countries with a lot of cobblestone streets, or you’re setting off on a backpacking trip around the world. Again, research is great for determining which luggage is best. There are pros and cons to all types, and it’s definitely a personal choice.

Pack an Adapter – Different countries around the world use different plugs and adapters. I recommend purchasing a worldwide adapter that can be used anywhere, which generally include a couple of USB ports for ultimate convenience.


Make Photocopies of your Important Documents – It’s a good idea to have a photocopy of all important documents (flight information, accomodation bookings, any tickets you’ve booked, travel insurance etc). Keep these seperate from your originals, just incase you misplace them. I use a travel wallet to store my passport, tickets and cash, and keep photocopies in my suitcase.

Departure Day

The day has finally come. You’re about to set off on your first international adventure, but there are still a few things left to do to make the whole experience as smooth sailing as possible. Here are some tips for first time travelers, and your departure day checklist:

Check in Online (if your airline allows this) – Depending on the airline you have chosen to fly with, you may be able to check in online. Double check around 24 hours before your flight leaves, to see whether you qualify for early online check in. If you’ve got a domestic layover, your chances of being able to do this are much better.

Always arrive at the Airport Early – It’s best to arrive at the airport at least two hours early, and even longer for international flights. This will give you enough time to check in, go through security and customs, purchase some snacks and use the toilet once or twice before boarding your flight. There’s nothing worse than being late, having to rush through security, run to your gate then be stuck on a plane for six hours. Always be prepared!


Bring an empty drink bottle – The water served on planes is pretty gross, and we suggest avoiding it at all cost. Bring along an empty drink bottle that you can fill up once through security. Most airports will have a ton of water fountains on the other side of security, where you can fill up for the plane trip.

Don’t Forget Headphones – Even if you don’t plan on listening to music on your flight, it’s always a good idea packing a pair of good quality noise cancelling headphones. You could be seated next to a screaming baby or have a loud group of teenagers nearby. If this is the case, you will be thankful you packed some headphones.

Set Multiple Alarms for an Early Departure – If you have an early flight, no matter how excited you are, you’ll more than likely sleep in if you don’t set an alarm. I like to set at least two alarms on a regular work day. So if an international flight is in question, you can bet I’m setting many more. It’s better to arrive early, than arrive late. Duh.


Attach Distinctive Features to your Luggage – If you’re checking your luggage (meaning it will go underneath the plane instead of in the overhead bins), it’s a good idea to attach a little distinguishing feature, to make it easier to spot on the conveyor belt. Something simple like a ribbon, a patch or some stickers work great. Attaching something distinctive to your luggage could also come in handy if it goes missing. Trying to explain my hot pink suitcase with the bright yellow ribbons is a lot easier than my black suitcase that look’s like everyone else’s. Be creative!

Pack a Travel Pillow – Even if you don’t use them for their intended purpose, having a travel pillow close by will prove to be a great idea. Trust me!

Be Kind to Airport Staff – Although I can’t say this from personal experience, I would imagine working in an airport is a stressful job. You’re faced with all sorts of potentially dangerous situations every day, and the last thing these people need is having to deal with difficult travelers. Be kind, smile and say hello to staff when purchasing your plane snacks. Don’t kick up a fuss if you’re asked for a random security check. Remember, these people are just doing their jobs and trying to ensure your safety.


That also goes for Flight Attendants – Don’t be that person who complains because your flight has run out of your favourite beverage. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t have a cup of coffee. Listen to the flight attendants. If the seatbelt sign is on, do not get up. Keep your seatbelt on and be patient. Turn your phone to airplane mode when told to do so. Put your seat up for meals, take-off and landing. Basically, don’t be a d***.

Take a Jumper or Hoodie on the Plane – Even if you’re heading to the desert, you’ll be thankful you have a jacket on the plane. They get cold, and the higher up you fly, the colder they get. I always take a hoodie on the plane with me, and to this day, I’ve always been glad I did.

Arriving at your destination

So you’ve survived your first international flight, and are ready to get out and explore your destination – finally! Here are some tips for first time travelers, to get you through your first couple of days in a new country:

Customs is a fact of life. Be patient – If you’re traveling internationally, customs is a fact of life. Don’t complain because you’ve just landed from an eight hour flight, and still have to make your way through customs. It’s part of the traveling experience. Don’t kick up a fuss, because you’ll just make yourself look suspicious. Stand quietly, wait for your turn and you’ll be out exploring in no time!

Remember, not every Country speaks English – If you’re a westerner traveling to an Asian country, for example, culture shock is a very real thing. Communicating with people and finding your way around may be difficult at first. Don’t expect people to speak English, if you aren’t in an English speaking country. You’re the visitor, so it’s up to you to learn some key words and phrases, to make your adventure easier!


Don’t look too much like a Tourist – This is mainly for safety purposes. If you’re walking around with a giant map in your face, pointing in different directions and looking as though you’ve just landed on Mars, you’ll stand out. There are bad people everywhere in the world, and they are more likely to target people who are vulnerable. So do yourself a favour, and act like you know what you’re doing! By all means check your map and find your bearings, but do it discreetly and away from large groups of people.

Keep your Passport safe at all times – Your passport is the number one most important possession you will have while traveling. Always make sure you know exactly where it is, and if you are required to take it with you while exploring each day, keep it in a very safe place.

On that note, keep your Belongings safe at all times – These days, it’s easy to find secure, lockable backpacks for traveling. Whether or not you choose a backpack that has a security feature, have some common sense and keep your bag with you at all times. Don’t leave your phone and wallet on the bathroom bench while drying your hands. Don’t put your bag down to take a photo. Stay alert and make sure you know where your personal belongings are at all times.


Keep your Family Updated – Especially if you’re traveling solo, your parents and family members are going to be worried about you. Take some time everyday to update them and let them know you’re safe. Agree on a (rough) time each day, when you will send through a quick I’m safe, having fun and will talk to you later! message. You’ll be surprised at how much they appreciate this gesture, as small as it may seem to you and me.

If you’re staying in a Hostel, be Courteous – I’ve never stayed in a hostel, but it’s a general rule that being courteous is the way to go. Don’t roll in at 3am being super loud and pissing off your dorm mates. Have some respect, and remember that you’re sharing a space with people you don’t necessarily know.

Turn off Data Roaming – Be sure to turn off data roaming on your phone once you land at your destination, or even once you are on the plane. Otherwise your home mobile carrier will be thrilled, as they can now charge you a million dollars per second while you scroll through your Facebook newsfeed. Okay, that’s a bit dramatic but I’m sure you get my point. Don’t be left with a thousand dollar phone bill when you arrive home!


Try New Things – You’ve finally made it! You’ve landed at your dream holiday location, and you’re ready to head out and explore. A good rule of thumb is to say yes to anything – unless it’s illegal or puts you or someone else in danger. If your travel buddy wants to head out one night and experience the nightlife, why not tag along? Even if partying isn’t usually your thing. You’re almost guaranteed to have an amazing time, and leave with some kick-ass memories, so go for it!

Keep an Open Mind – Things are going to be different, regardless of where you’re traveling to. This is especially true if you’re a westerner heading to a non-western country, so be prepared. Don’t shy away from something that seems strange, and don’t judge or criticise what you don’t understand. Talk to the locals and embrace their food and culture. Remember that there’s a lot more to see around the world, than what you read about online. So if you’re keen to have what us travelers call an off the beaten path experience, immerse yourself in the local way of life! You’ll be surprised at what you can discover.


I hope these tips for first time travelers has helped you to prepare for your first international adventure! It’s been a long time since I hopped on a plane for the first very time. However I do still remember how nerve-wracking and exciting it can be. It’s easy to forget the most important steps in the planning process, so hopefully these tips for first time travelers, makes your experience a lot less stressful.


Do you agree with this list of tips for first time travelers? Are you a first time traveler yourself? Are you currently booking your very first domestic or international trip? If you’re an experienced traveler, have I missed anything important? Tell me in the comments below!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!