5 Tips for Arriving in a New City | Travel
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5 Tips for Arriving in a New City

In a broad sense, travel can be a very exciting and memorable experience. This is especially true if you are traveling to a place that you’ve never been to before. There’s always a bit of uncertainty about your new surroundings and you may also feel overwhelmed being dropped into a new culture. But before you have a full blown panic attack outside the airport, there are some things you can do ahead of time that can make your first hours in a new city a little easier to deal with.

Bring Cash for a Few Days

It’s a good idea to have enough local currency with you to last for a couple days. This is especially if you don’t know where the nearest ATM or bank is. Don’t rely on just traveler’s checks because some hotels or businesses may not be willing to cash them. You’ll also want to bring some small and large denominations with you to increase your purchasing power. Public transportation operators or small convenience stores might not have the ability to give you proper change if you only bring large bills with you.

Don’t Show Up in the Middle of the Night

If at all possible, arrange to arrive in your new city during the day or early evening. This should still give you access to transportation, lodging, and dining options. Similar to your own hometown, not much is going on at 3am. It’s also much safer for you to arrive during the day when other people are around and willing to help you if you’re lost. You may want to arrange alternate check in times with your hotel or other accommodations if you plan to arrive at an off hour.

Have a Plan

Before you set foot in your new city, make sure you know how to get to your hotel or other meeting point. Whether you plan to use public transportation, get a taxi, or use a private shuttle service, you should familiarize yourself with how you plan to get there. You might also want to think about some of the first things you’ll need or want to do after coming to a new place. Get yourself organized beforehand if you know you’ll need to visit the consulate first thing in the morning or if there’s a particular tourist attraction or restaurant that you’re excited to visit. Having a general plan and sticking to it will help you maximize your time in a new city.

Bring a Map With You

Having a hard copy map with you can prove to be the best resource for a traveler in a new city. Especially when visiting a place with a different alphabet, try to find a bilingual map. Many maps available are targeted towards tourists and highlight things such as historical sites, tourist information kiosks, markets, and entertainment venues. In this age of technology, you might be able to use your smartphone or other device to retrieve an interactive map of the new city you’re in, pending a reliable internet connection of course. Either way, you should give yourself a leg up by being able to navigate around a new area with a map and a little sense of direction.

Make Reservations

One of the best ways you can prepare yourself for a new city is by making lodging and activity reservations ahead of time. For one very good reason, this can almost always get you the proper accommodations at a reasonable price. Also, by having reservations you will arrive in a new city with an address of your hotel to better help you navigate. Reservations can also save you the hassle of running around trying to find available accommodations on your first night. And it gives you peace of mind knowing that if all else fails at least you have a bed waiting for you at the end of the day.
Find the Tourist Inforation Center
Even if you prefer to blend in with the locals during your travels, you might find it help to swing by the tourist information center for a basic overview. This should help you with an understanding of the fundamentals before you really start exploring the city.

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