Candace R. Salim

Hello, first time traveler! Welcome to a brave new world. You may have been reluctant to travel because you’re afraid of airplanes, afraid to travel alone, or just felt that it wasn’t in your budget. I’m so glad to know that you’ve overcome those hurdles and made a way to see more of this beautiful planet we call home! Here are my top five tips for a new traveler (if you’re flying instead of driving):

1). Pack light – believe it or not, taking a carry on (or two) is usually the easiest way to navigate in/out of busy airports and to ensure that lost luggage is not part of your first experience!

2). Apply for a passport – even if you’re not traveling overseas, a passport is the most globally recognized piece of identification so if you lose your license (hey, it happens) this is always a sure-fire backup.

3). Register for TSA Pre-check or ClearMe (if available in your area) – I travel for work pretty frequently and the last thing that I have time for is long security lines! Go online and look into some of the programs that will help expedite your process. The quicker you get in, the sooner you can stop by the bar to have a drink before your flight!

4). Register for airline rewards programs – believe it or not, loyalty pays in the world of airfare so from the very first time you fly, make those points count! I’ve cashed in so many points for free trips, seat upgrades, in-flight WiFi, etc over the years.

5). Find a friend who lives (or has friends/family) where you’re headed – while you can look online for the “touristy” places to visit, seeing a new city from a resident’s point of view always gives a different perspective!