Best Travel Tips for First Time Travelers

Traveling opens up your mind to the outer world. The more one travels, more experience one gains and wiser he becomes. However, all this is applicable when one has already traveled quite a bit. Traveling for the first time is definitely a jittery experience for the traveler. There are innumerable things that need to be considered for undertaking a trip and making it successful.

Mentioned below find some extremely useful travel tips for first time travelers so that the trip remains memorable and hassle-free:

Packing

• Keeping travel documents in place – Ensure that you have your passport in place with more than 6 months of validity in place. Arrange for a suitable visa or permit if needed. Book discount business class flights for traveling comfortably and saving money at the same time.

• Pack less – Clothes, shoes, cosmetics should be packed as less as possible. Baggage allowance is restricted. Why pay more money for carrying things you would probably not need? However, make sure to carry good amounts of undergarments as you might not always get a chance of washing them always. Carry band-aids, Imodium and Aspirin.

• Chargers and memory cards – Your electronic devices like mobile, iPad, the tab and even the camera will need charging. Bring respective chargers. Also carry extra memory cards for the camera as you might need it.

• Currency – If you are traveling in your own country, there is no need for currency change. But in case of an international trip, keep some exchanged currency handy.

During travel and transit

• Reach airport early – Airports might not be the best places to hangout, but it is good to be early than being late. Don’t panic during security checks – you are not carrying a bomb with you. Try and have a good meal before the flight as airport prices are exorbitant.

• Relax on the flight – With discount business class seat, relax on the flight. Get an earplug or an eye mask if you want to catch up on some sleep. To remain entertained bring an iPod, a novel, a pack of cards or anything that interests you.

• Setting time as per destination time zone – If the distance is a long one, chances of jet lag are high. Setting time as per destination time zone will help you in getting sleep at the right time so that you feel less jet lagged.

• Cooperate with border officials – This is important. Answer all asked questions truthfully. But do not go overboard with volunteering. Less is more in this regard.

On reaching the destination

• Be polite and courteous – On reaching the new destination, it is always good to be polite and courteous to people you meet. If language is a barrier, ask in signs. Most of the people will help you.

• Avail local transportation while traveling – Hiring a car will not give you the real sense of the place. To get the actual flavor, avail local transportation. With this, you can save money as well as experience the place from close quarters. You can also interact with the commoners via the journey.

• Keep money and valuables in a safe place – At the first place, it is recommended not to carry any kinds of valuables on the trip. However, you will carry some cash for sure. Keep it hidden in some safe place or even better carry it with you. Just don’t keep on checking that to draw public attention.

• Enjoy local foods, drinks and culture – Now that you are on a vacation, you will not get everything like home. Try various kinds of local foods and drinks. Try food stalls that sell authentic and fresh local food. Such foods are fresh and cheaper when compared to foods in big restaurants.

These are some very basic tips for first time travelers. Once you gain the confidence after first time traveling, things will become simpler for you in future!

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Frugal Travel Tips For Seville, Spain

Seville is one of the prettiest towns in all of Spain, filled with plazas and history. One of the highlights of Seville, Alcazar, an ancient Islamic palace, is well worth the pricey entrance fee. To offset that expense, there are a number of free sights to see, including the other must, the Seville Cathedral with its free entrance on Sundays.

Seville Cathedral With Giralda Tower On Sunday

Normally the Seville Cathedral with Giralda Tower charges a high entrance fee. When I went, I paid the fee and did not begrudge the expense. One of the few cathedrals with the private rooms open to the public, and a tower that overlooks almost all of old Seville (the ramp in the tower, instead of stairs, allowed ancestors to ride a horse up instead of walking), it is one of the top Seville attractions.

However, if you plan your trip right, and are in Seville on a Sunday, the entrance fee is waived. Yes, its free.

Plaza de Espana

Any true Star Wars fan will recognize Plaza de Espana as George Lucas’ inspiration for the Palace of Naboo. Any other traveler will simply appreciate it as an example of beautiful architecture. Tile work covers every inch, including the multiple bridges. Along the base of the buildings, there’s a contribution from each province, illustrating in tile a significant historic event.

Entrance to the plaza is free.

Torre del Oro on Tuesdays

The Torre del Oro or Golden Tower was exactly that, a 13th century tower covered in golden tiles. Now it hosts a maritime museum. Normally there is an admission fee but on Tuesdays, this fee is waived.

El Alamillo Bridge

For those looking for more modern architecture, El Alamillo provides a perfect example. A huge bridge connecting the island of La Cartuja to the old town of Seville, El Alamillo is primarily a bridge for vehicles. However, down the center is a raised pedestrian walkway.

There are many pedestrian walkways in Seville, perfect for people watching and crowded with artists and street performers.

Real Fabrica de Tabacos

This former tobacco factory was built over 500 years ago and was made famous by Bizet’s opera Carmen. Once it had a moat and a jail. Now a university building, it is open and free for all travelers. Inside, frugal visitors can find cheap university budget food and beverages.

It is impossible to say that you’ve seen Spain without seeing Seville. A beautiful, walkable city, Seville is also a frugal traveler’s paradise.

Frugal Travel Tips For Rome, Italy

The entire city of Rome is like a free open air museum with historic buildings, sites, piazzas, every where the frugal traveler looks. There are some sights well worth the entrance fee such as the Sistine Chapel (in the Vatican City, a walled enclave within the city of Rome) but many of the not-to-be-missed sights are absolutely free.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain is a Baroque masterpiece carved out of marble. Available to all, legend says that if visitors throw a coin over their shoulders, they will be sure to return to Rome.

St. Peter’s Basilica

Touted as perhaps the largest church in Christianity, travelers can’t say they’ve seen the religious sites of the world without paying St. Peter’s Basilica a visit. Most Papal ceremonies occur at St. Peter’s. And the frugal traveler will be pleased to note that there is no entrance fee. Highlights are the awe inspiring dome and Michelangelo’s Pietà.

Note: St. Peter’s has a strict dress code (when we attended, not even shorts were allowed) so dress modestly.

Pantheon

The Pantheon is a magnificent building complete with giant bronzed doors, a columned entrance, and a huge dome. It contains the tombs of Raphael and of a few Italian Kings. The Pantheon was built as a Roman Temple and later consecrated as a Catholic Church.

Admission is free.

Spanish Steps

I think there is nothing more pleasing than sitting on the stairs of the Spanish steps, and people watching. Years ago, I would have said eating gelato also but authorities have banned that much loved practice.

Linking two piazzas, the Piazza di Spagna at the base, and the Piazza Trinità dei Monti at the top, the 138 steps are known as one of the longest and widest staircases in all of Europe.

Colosseum

There is an entrance fee for the Colosseum but a tour around the outside of the ancient Roman amphitheatre is free (plus keen eyed frugal travelers can peak inside). It is truly like a scene out of the gladiator movies. I could almost hear the crowds roar.

Rome is a city so full of history that the free sights alone will take days to see (don’t do as I did the first trip and try to see Rome in a day). The historic buildings are so close together that the best way to see the city is on foot.

Photography Tips While Traveling

Whether you’re embarking on a family vacation or your family reunion, it’s going to be a special time. When we think of trips we’ve taken, we tend to remember them best with photographs. Here’s some ideas to enhance your vacation as well as your memories of them.

Location Preparation

1) Since you know where you’re going (that’s a minimum requirement), doesn’t it make sense to check out the location before you get there? Create a list of attractions, accommodations, special points of interest, amusement areas, shopping, etc. A good source to help you do this is: the Places and Travel section of msn.com ( [http://groups.msn.com/Browse?CatId=179])

2) Figure out the photo opportunities for each appropriate venue. Anyone can take a “that’s nice” picture of the kids at an amusement park. Wouldn’t you rather capture a “WOW” photo that could be hung over the mantle?

3) Depending on the location you’re traveling to, you can see what books are written about them that highlight the best photo opportunities for the entire area

4) If you’re cyber-savvy, start at http://www.google.com and search using different combinations of: your destination, best photography locations, for images of the location, scenic spots, etc. The options are endless.

5) If you’re off to a non-big city area, scout out the national parks in the area. The great thing about national parks is that the scenery is usually so breathtaking, that a so-so shot looks

outstanding, just because of the subject. Once in http://www.nps.gov, do a search on photos and you will be presented with terrific shots of all the parks

Photography Preparation

OK, you’re either traveling through or you’re at a wonderful location full of photo opportunities. You began this leg of your trip at the crack of dawn and as you’re pulling into the most scenic overlook for 400 miles, the sun is just starting to crack the horizon.

You instinctively pull the car over, grab your camera and your tripod, and look for the best spot to set up. Just one tiny little problem… YOU FORGOT YOUR TRIPOD! Rather than smack yourself on the forehead then, why not plan these things now, before you leave?

Your list should include AT LEAST the following consideration…

1) Do I need to repeat – BRING YOUR TRIPOD? It doesn’t take up much room, and as explained at http://www.best-family-photography-tips.com/tripod-photography.html, tripods allow you to capture entirely new categories of photographs that won’t be possible without one

2) Memory. Of course, bring all the memory you have, but also pack your portable storage device (explained at http://www.best-family-photography-tips.com/digital-photography-tutorial.html)

3) If your camera has a hot shoe, bring your external flash, and any additional equipment that can be used to help with bounce flash

4) Remember your external shutter release cable for those long exposures. How else are you going to get that “angel-hair” look of the waterfalls?

5) Don’t forget the basics like: batteries, battery charger, camera bag, and additional lenses and filters (if applicable on your camera)

6) And just in case you need it, bring the manuals for your equipment.

Finally, don’t get so wrapped up in taking perfect shots that you don’t enjoy the trip. Remember to use the tripod so that you’ll be in at least some of the photos.

Article courtesy of Best Family Photography Tips.com, where you can see some sample pictures including more photography tips.

Copyright 2005 Robert Bezman. All rights reserved.