If you are traveling for the first time and are nervous about the experience – that’s okay! It’s going to be your first time in an unknown area away from the support system you have built. Have no fear – the list below outlines some of the most important things to keep in mind for your first trip.

Pack light

You’re going to want to overpack, but resist the urge. You want to pack light for a few reasons. The first is that you don’t want to run the risk of having your luggage overweight if you are getting on a plane. The second reason you will want to pack light is for souvenirs! If you are at capacity, there will be no room to bring home any neat things you find along the way. Finally, you won’t need it all. If you overpack you are bound to not wear articles of clothing and lugging around all that extra stuff will wear you out.

Send yourself copies of pertinent documents

No matter whether you are traveling abroad or within your country, electronically send yourself copies of your passport, visa, ID, and debit/credit cards. They will be a lifesaver in the event that your luggage is lost or your wallet is stolen.

Get to the airport early

This may go without saying, but you want to get to the airport ahead of time. The lines at security can be unpredictable. You don’t want to end up sprinting to the gate or missing your flight. The less stress at the beginning of your trip – the better!

Make friends

This goes especially for those traveling alone. Try to make friends with locals and other tourists! It will make your trip more enjoyable and the locals may even share a few secrets off the beaten path. You may even make lasting friendships and new travel buddies on your trip.

Break out of your comfort zone

Traveling is all about gaining experiences and perspective. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone to try new things. Be open to new food, unexpected adventure, and the different cultures you will run into. Keeping an open mind will enhance your trip and possibly leave you with a new favorite dish!

Have fun!

Most importantly, remember to have fun. Traveling is meant to be an escape from what you are used to. Get out there and immerse yourself in the culture, see the sights, and be a tourist. The more you can soak up the better. Plus, you’ll want to come home with stories for all your friends and family.