Last updated on July 30th, 2017; Published on October 9th, 2016
The first day of any trip is very critical and can sometimes make or break your entire vacation. I find that a lot of people like to get to their hotels, settle in and just relax as soon as they arrive a new destination.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this especially if you had a really tedious journey. But let’s say you’ve got a limited number of days to spend in a new city, you might simply want to get right to exploring all you can. Here are some tips to help you maximize your holiday right from day one.
Sort out your finances
If you’re anything like the old me, you’d think cashless is always better, but you might be wrong. With card restrictions and limitations, especially within Nigeria, there’s the possibility of things not going as planned with regards to payments.
Day one would be a good time to find out if your cards work. You should also try to get your money changed to the local currency (if you didn’t do this at the airport). If you need to make a few calls to your bank, you probably want to do that on day one. Just do everything to make sure you’re not stranded.
Get a Local Sim Card
I am always lazy to do this, especially for shorter trips and with the advent of tech, you can make calls once you have an active internet connection. But getting a local sim can be cost effective than the roaming option. It also allows you stay connected at all times, rather than having to search for an area with internet connectivity.
Scout the area
Some would argue about setting off immediately but I’m an advocate of no time being wasted. If I take a direct night flight to a place and arrive as early as 6 or 7am, best believe I am going to go out the same day.
You really don’t have to do so much though, the idea is to get an overview of the new city you’re visiting. A walking tour is always a good idea on the first day. In most major cities, they are free and last only a few hours.
It also makes sense to ask for suggestions on what to do, places to see, where to eat, etc from the reception of where you’re lodged at.
Sort out your electronics
If you didn’t travel with a universal adapter, your first day would be a good time to shop for one. No one likes to a dead battery.
Sort out emergency contact details
It’s good practice to have emergency contact details of a new destination handy. In addition to having numbers of friends and family back home, you should typically have police numbers/hotlines, numbers in case of a medical emergency, your hotel or hostel’s reception number and a ‘friend’ you could call if you’re in a fix.
What are some of the first things you do when you arrive a new location?