So you’ve just arrived in a new city. Everything looks strange and new. You’re tired and overwhelmed with all the unfamiliar sights. Don’t worry; panicking won’t get you anywhere. Just remember that this is a whole new adventure and there are a lot of things in store for you.
What’s next in your agenda?
Relax. Prior to arrival, you may have entertained thoughts of ‘Are we there yet?’, making you all excited and giddy, or maybe anxious and weary. Calm down. Getting frightened won’t make your mind function properly. It won’t make you enjoy the sights that you exerted a lot of effort to see. Take deep breaths and loosen up.
Take a break. Sometimes this is forgotten even by frequent travelers. Rest first to recover the energy the trip took, and to prepare yourself for the days ahead. If it’s too early for you to check in to your hotel, then what you can do is to look for a cafe first, order coffee, plop down in a comfy seat and have serene thoughts. Anything you could do to rejuvenate yourself even just for a while.
Grab a map — look for one, or check maps installed on your smartphone. It’s best to have a map or at least a city layout. Google maps may require Internet connection, but a good old-fashioned map will still work if you don’t have access at the moment. It will be a saner trip if you have a map to teach you where the places are.
Know your hotel route. Be familiar on the routes available for getting to your hotel. It also won’t hurt to check your reservation prior to arrival just to make sure that you indeed have one. See which buildings and sights are close by to maximize your stay. Stroll around the neighborhood to feel more settled in an unfamiliar location.
Check out upcoming events. Talk to the hotel’s concierge service or receptionist, and find out if there are any events coming up – that is, if the reason you went there is not because of an event or occasion. It’s a bad feeling when you realized you missed out on something fun. It’s also best to check events in advance so that you can buy tickets or make reservations in case it’s necessary.
Have cash with you. You’re not sure yet where the closest ATMs are — or if there’s actually one. No matter where you are, even on your hometown, you won’t get too far with an empty wallet. Not only you should have paper bills, you should have coins as well.
Get a transit pass. Buying tickets from time to time is not only time-consuming but also energy-draining. In Hong Kong, you can buy a tourist pass that allows you to have unlimited trips in the train for the whole day. Other countries also have that option that you can utilize. Get a multi-day pass so you can make the most out of your travel.
Being a tourist in a new city doesn’t have to be scary and stressful. Once you get used to the surroundings, traveling would be fun and exciting. All you’ll be concerned about is where to get those postcards to send to people back home.