unexpected tips: the best places for first time travelers

I get it- traveling overseas is a big jump, and it can be scary. Trust me, I’ve been there.

I have to say however, making that jump will be the best decision of your life, despite the airfare being the worst for your wallet! International travel brings out a new side of you and your outlook on the world around us; you’ll wonder why you didn’t start international travel earlier!

Here are my favorite international destinations for first timers!



This country is a wonderful destination, full of utter beauty, friendly locals, and adventurous souls! The food is delicious, and while you still have to be careful with what you eat, if you make a mistake and have that fruit shake or iced water, you’ll most likely be ok 🙂

Best experiences:




Amsterdam is perfect for everyone! There’s something to do for whatever mood you’re in, whether that be insane nightlife or relaxed canal rides. There are some beautiful museums in the area and tons tons TONS of sightseeing (red light district anyone?). It’s easy to get around with English, so a language barrier is rarely (if ever) an issue. Europe’s transportation system is wonderful, so it’s easy to get around the entire continent.

Best experiences:

  • Partying the night away with hostel mates (tip: only bring out as much as you want to spend!)
  • Walking around the red light district and goggling at how different this city is from your hometown
  • Van Gogh Museum, Rijks Museum, and Anne Frank House
  • bicycling around the country
  • canal tours
  • tulips (if in April/May)



Although hella expensive, Scandinavia is a great first time intl travel destination. Plenty of sunshine (in the summer), the friendliest people, and the efficient transportation system makes it a great place. On top of that, it’s a region, so you can let serendipity be your guide and see where it takes you!

Best experiences:

  • Getting ~nakey~ with some Swedes in a Malmö bath house
  • Exploring the fjords in Norway
  • Seeing local student life (and grabbing a beer with ’em!) in Aarhus, Denmark
  • Stockholm. Everything about it.
  • Christiania in Copenhagen – a social experiment town turned drug selling town (very interesting)



Insanely attractive people, prime nature (the outback is beautiful), and world-class beaches make Australia a great stepping stone into international travel. Everyone I’ve met whilst in Oz has been so accommodating and friendly, and the country is so huge that you’ll never run out of things to do and see. Pair this with the Aussies’ beach getaway (Bali)!

Best experiences:

  • Dancing the night away at Sin City, Surfer’s Paradise
  • Taking selfies with kangaroos and holding a koala!
  • Freemantle
  • Dryandra for some good nature
  • Food festivals in Melbourne
  • watching the sunrise from Byron Bay‘s lighthouse – the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!


Have questions about other destinations? Check out if I’ve been and let me know if you’d like a post on it!

Contact me at carionanya@gmail.com


16 thoughts on “unexpected tips: the best places for first time travelers

  1. Fun first tip destination suggestions, especially useful for the twentysomethings just starting out traveling. England is also a great starting point for most Americans, the similarities make travel easier while still exploring a new culture.


  2. This is an awesome post idea! I’m not a first time traveler by any means, but I would be a first time traveler to most of the places you listed here. Amsterdam I totally agree with – everyone speaks English and there’s TONS to do. Thailand, Scandanavia, and Australia are totally on my bucket list!


  3. These are some great tips! Indeed, I think it’s really helpful for first timers to be able to communicate with people in the country they’re visiting, and with the exception of Thailand (… don’t get why they don’t speak more English there, being so touristy) all of these destinations are perfectly comfortable for English speakers. Good tips!


  4. Not a first-time traveler but I haven’t been to any of these places. I can see why they would be good choices though. These are definitely on my bucket list 🙂


  5. These are all great places for a first trip abroad. I particularly love Scandinavia. It’s great because everybody speaks English and it’s so safe and clean Stockholm is probably my favorite place on earth!


  6. Very interesting post. I definitely agree about Scandinavia, I’m a big fan of this part of the world. I am yet to visit Australia which is hiiiigh on my list :). Have you been to South America? I think the continent can be a good add-on to your list :).


  7. I’ve never been to Thailand, but I completely agree that Amsterdam and Scandinavia are great destinations for first time travelers! It’s also reassuring that both feel incredibly safe — also perfect for putting a first-timer’s nerves at ease.


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