This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of US Cellular. The opinions and text are all mine.
ten tips for first time travelers

Summertime is as good of a time as any to hit the road and travel. My husband and I try to make it a point to travel to one new city per year, whether it be in our home state of Florida, or across the United States. We have made some incredible memories and learned a ton about different cultures and regions throughout our nation. Becoming seasoned travelers did not happen overnight, by any means. I can vividly remember one of our first trips together, traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada. It was my 21st birthday and I completely forgot two pairs of shoes and my straightening iron. Oops! Since then, we’ve been to multiple other cities, traveling like pros and utilizing the following tips for first time travelers!

tips for first time travelers

10 Tips For First Time Travelers

  1. Prepare Far In Advance: This is not a test where cramming pays off. Do not wait until the last minute to set up your travel arrangements or pack. If you are traveling out of the country, be sure to give yourself a few months to arrange your passport and international travel documents.
  2. Pack Smart: Pack items that are versatile and can be worn more than once. Have a plan for each item in your luggage. A few days prior to your trip, do a once over and remove anything that you may have added on a whim.
  3. Keep Your Money and Documents Safe: Invest in something to safe keep your money and important documents. Nobody expects to be robbed, but you need to plan accordingly. Make digital copies of all travel documents and credit cards. Keep paper money in a safe place such as a money belt, which straps around your body under your shirt.
  4. Have Someone Keeping an Eye on Home: There is nothing worse than arriving back home and realizing that your dishwasher sprung a leak and your floors are ruined. Employ a friend or relative to keep an eye on the house, including popping inside to check things out. If you will be gone long, consider turning off your water and air conditioner.
  5. Spend a Little More on Lodging: That value hotel might seem like a great idea, but think twice before booking it. Value lodging will have less amenities and may be in a less desirable part of town. Check ratings and reviews and stick with moderately priced accommodations.
  6. Exchange Money Ahead of Time: If you are traveling overseas, head over to your local bank and exchange your money ahead of time. Exchanging at the airport will cost you in fees, plus, you will want money to spend immediately as you depart the plane.
  7. Respect The Locals: No matter where you visit, the locals were there first. Respect the locals and their towns. Educate yourself about their culture ahead of time so that you are not surprised when things are done differently than what you are used to.
  8. Try New Foods: There is nothing better than fresh, local cuisine. As you are traveling, try your best to explore different food options. You will be amazed at what people eat in other regions or countries. You only live once!
  9. Go Off The Beaten Path: Just as my last point ended, you only live once. While scheduling a guided tour is recommended, don’t schedule your entire trip from sunrise to sunset. Try your best to be adventurous and try new things.
  10. Always Have Reliable Means of Communication: You do not want to be without reliable communication when you are far from home, possibly in the middle of nowhere. Be sure to have a cell phone with dependable nationwide coverage in order to stay connected with family and friends back home.

Up until I dragged my husband to New Jersey eleven years ago, he had never left the state of Florida! He is not alone, either. Millions of Americans have never left their home state. U.S. Cellular, Travel Channel and Food Network are empowering those who have not had the opportunity to meaningfully travel to finally visit the places and destinations they’ve always dreamed of seeing. U.S. Cellular is launching “Big Country”, a series that will seek out every day Americans who for one reason or another have never gone far from home and take them on a trip of a lifetime! Throughout the five-part series, host Andrew Zimmern will guide these real U.S. Cellular customers who haven’t gone far from home to see the places and people they’ve only dreamed of seeing.

tips for first time travelers video

U.S. Cellular keeps its customers connected to family and friends as they travel across the country to the various destinations in each episode. U.S. Cellular is also holding an online open casting call for the 5th episode, where you and your readers can nominate another deserving U.S. Cellular customer to star in the season finale of Big Country!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me of behalf of U.S. Cellular. The opinions and text are all mine.

When traveling, how do you use your smartphone to stay connected with loved ones?

U.S. Cellular is looking to cast one more special customer to take on a trip of a lifetime for the season finale of Big Country! Please visit the link to apply for the opportunity to find yourself in the middle of anywhere with national coverage from U.S. Cellular and TV host Andrew Zimmern on the show Big Country.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of US Cellular. The opinions and text are all mine.