I keep saying that you should travel more.
I strongly believe you should.
And I would feel bad if you went on a trip and don't have a plesant journey. I truly would.
If amongst other items on your New Year’s resolution list is devoting more time to travel because of its benefits and finally going on that trip you’ve been meaning to then make sure to browse through the travel tips below before you leave on your journey.
1. Keep it flexible
I understand that if you have a 9 to 5 job and only a handful of holidays a year, being flexible isn't that easy. Start small: go on weekend trips. I'm sure there are places close to where you live which are worth visiting.
As for your vacations, I see 2 options:
Either set your mind to one destination, your dream destinatio, and look out for cheap fares. As soon as you spot tickets that are within your budget, take your vacations for these dates.
Or if you have fixed holidays, be flexible on the destination: use tools like Skyscanner and search for "Everywhere" as destination, instead of a specific city.
2. Less is more
When you’re on a city break or a short holiday the last thing you want is to have to carry a massive suitcase with you. First, you will waste time at the airport. Second, it will slow you down.
If you're leaving for what you consider a long time, make sure that you bring a backpack with you, either as a carry-on or in your luggage: when you go around, only take the backpack.
But if I were you, I'd Pack smart and take only what I need. My goal when packing is always to fit everything within my carry-on luggage.
The lighter your baggage, the more pleasant your journey. Not only to go to the airport, but also when you go exploring your destination.
3. You don’t need a plan
You don’t need to have a breakdown of your holiday for every hour you’ll spend away. Research the main things you want to do and have an idea of the main attractions you want to see. Limit yourself to a maximum of 2 per day.
Here's the problem when we're not used to traveling:
We're scared to get lost.
Don’t be scared to get lost while you’re exploring. That's how you find the places that are not in any guide book.
And because they are not touristic, you'll have a more authentic experience of your destination. Probably at a cheaper price too.
I like to mingle with the locals, they tell me where the good places are. I like this better than to stay with tourists and other foreigners like me.
But if that's not your thing, don't do it: it's your trip, you know (most of) what's best for you.
4. Hotels are a thing of the past
If you’re unable to find a good deal on a hotel booking, fear not! Hotels shouldn't be your go-to, in my opinion.
You wouldn't believe all the possibilities there are when it comes to finding accommodation. It's often what eats most of your budget, but it doesn't have to be this way.
Nowadays when I go traveling it doesn’t cease to amaze me what incredibly modern and ideally located accommodation you can secure yourself through Airbnb or by looking up popular hostels that gather travelers from all over the world.
Again, hotels do offer many non-negligible advantages, the main one being a high level of comfort. I can understand the appeal, especially after a year of hard work.
I'm just asking you to think about this:
5. Rent a car / bike
Renting a car or a bike is an absolute treat and one that is very price sensitive as well. It will allow you to not only save a tone of cash on transport but also customize your trip by traveling to locations that may be harder to reach by public transport.
I like renting a bike or scooter rather than a car because it's easier to park. But if you travel with your family, a car is the way to go.
6. Get travel insurance
It's exactly the sort of thing that you spend money on and hope that you never have to use it.
But if one day you have to, you'll be glad you have invested in a travel insurance. You never know what can happen during your trip, and you wouldn't want your pleasant journey to be ruined because you have to spend a fortune on something that a travel insurance would have covered.
Just make sure to that you do know exactly what travel insurance is about.
7. Take your time
I strongly believe that you will enjoy your trip way more if you take the time to explore the places you go to.
You will build long-lasting memories if you dive deep into some places. More so than if you rush through the 10 things to do in [insert destination].
As cliché as it may sound – it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Take in the depth and detail of your surroundings throughout the whole trip, don’t just fixate on the attractions.
8. Don’t bring too much cash
Avoid carrying too much cash on you as it can only spell disaster. Unless you’re traveling to a place where ATMs are extremely hard to find, only carry enough for three days max at a time.
However, know that in a lot of countries, cash is king: your credit or debit card might be useless. So make sure to always carry some cash with you.
I usually separate the cash I carry. Some of it goes into my wallet, which I keep in my pocket. The rest is hidden somewhere else, usually in my backpack.
This way, if something gets stolen, I always have a backup.
9. Take the bad with the good
Travel is absolutely amazing. That being said, there will be moments of frustration: your flight could go wrong, your accommodation might turn out to look totally different than the pictures, etc.
But try and stay positive. Accept that things might go wrong. If you don't like dealing with the unexpected, be the man or woman with a plan. You planed to spend the day at the beach but it's raining: what else could you do?
Or just go with the flow, improvise. Down the road, I swear these will make for great stories. Bad stuff happened to me. One the spot, it sucked. Now, I laugh about it and make other people laugh about it when I tell the story.
10. Do it!
Most importantly – do it! How can you hope to have a pleasant journey if you don't leave? Go and travel.
Don’t let hesitation get in your way. There will always be something coming up. It's never the perfect time to travel.
You have to see the benefits it will have down the line. If you feel a calling then take life by the horns and embrace the adventurer in you!
Final Words on Your Pleasant Journey
I think that to have a pleasant journey, you need a good preparation which leaves room for the unexpected.
Even if things go wrong, you'll learn from these mistakes and the next trip will be even better!
So go, travel!
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