Saturday, July 20

10 Steps to Take to Make Your Travel Experience Better

How can you level up your travel experience? You don’t need to upgrade to first class, gain access to the best airport lounges, or stay in the best hotels. Instead, the travelers who have the most memorable experiences follow these steps.

1. Make Lists And Plans

When you travel, you have so many things to think about. Many of these things aren’t part of your routine. That makes it so much easier to forget things. So, don’t rely on memory alone. Make lists, add items to your calendar, and set reminders.

Start before you leave. Make two packing lists. The first will be for the luggage that you plan to check through. The second should be the items you want to bring in your carry-on. Use it as a checklist. Yes, you should even include things you can’t imagine ever forgetting.

Next, know where you’re going and what you want to see and do. Make a note of any events that you don’t want to miss. There are few worse feelings than realizing you spaced out and forgot about a once-in-a-lifetime event.

2. Wake up Early

This tip is particularly useful if you are traveling somewhere in season. You can bet on the most popular attractions drawing big crowds beginning in the mid to late morning. So, get up early to beat the crowds. 

3. Eat Local

Food is truly at the heart of every culture. If you want to connect with a place and the people who live there, eat local. Make a dedicated effort to seek out local restaurants wherever you are. Learn what the traditional dishes are, and try them. Buy food from street carts. When you dine out, talk to the locals.

There are a couple of reasons to do this. First, you’ll have amazing food experiences. You’ll also contribute to the local economy.

4. Keep a Travel Journal

Don’t just take pictures of your travels. Spend a bit of time each day recording your memories and emotions. This reflection will add important context and meaning to your experiences. You’ll appreciate having this documentation later when your memory of events may not be as clear as it once was.

5. Pack a Few Small Luxuries

When you travel, the things you experience are new, interesting, and exciting. They are also unfamiliar, and that can be disconcerting. Don’t hesitate to bring along a few, small comfort or luxury items. You’ll appreciate having them on your trip. For example, you might appreciate coming home to a lush blanket and comfortable slippers at the end of each long day.

6. Do Something Different

Get out of your comfort zone. Travel in ways that you haven’t before. There’s nothing wrong with going on cruises or staying at all-inclusive resorts. But, if that’s all you do, you’re going to have the same travel experiences over and over again. Shake things up!

  • Splurge on a luxury hotel instead of your usual budget-friendly one
  • Rent a cabin instead of a motel room
  • Take a train instead of driving
  • Rent a motor scooter instead of using Uber

7. Be Spontaneous

It’s so important to have clear travel plans. That’s how you don’t miss anything important. That said, sometimes the best thing you can do is ditch those plans entirely. Don’t be so attached to your plans that you miss opportunities to do amazing things. 

So, don’t be afraid to take that detour down a side street to check out a cool shop. Go hiking down that cool trail you find. Pull over and check out that wacky roadside attraction.

One spontaneous thing you can do is seek out a travel friendship or relationship. Get started with a local dating app or just reach out to people you meet.

8. Learn About The Local Culture

Too many people travel to see and do things without gathering an important contextual understanding of the local culture. Take time to get to know the traditions, values, and history of the places and people you are going to see. Learn how current world events have had an impact on the places you travel to. 

The more you know, the less likely you are to say or do things that are offensive or insensitive. You’ll also find it easier to make connections and start conversations that way.

9. Try to Learn The Language

Is it realistic to think you can become fluent in a language in just a couple of months? Probably not, but you can pick up some key words and phrases. Your travels will be much improved if you can:

  • Say hello, goodbye, please, and thank you
  • Ask for directions
  • Order food or something to drink
  • Indicate that you are having an emergency

10. Read The Room

You may run into unfamiliar situations during your travels. That’s okay! You don’t have to come across as a clueless or insensitive traveler. Instead, deploy a bit of situational awareness. Take cues from people around you on how to behave and navigate unfamiliar situations.

Enjoy More Meaningful Travel

You don’t have to spend more money to have better travel experiences. You simply have to make a few adjustments and dedicate more time to planning. Integrate some of these steps to take your travel to the next level.

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