5 Travel Tips for a Successful Trip
Sometimes I think about the wanderlust that has led me away from my home and out on the road over the last two years. I can’t say exactly what it is about the feeling that makes me want to discover things I’ve never seen before, but I know that I can’t escape from it. Yet, I also know that because each journey is an investment of time, money, and a piece of myself, I need to be careful when planning my travels. Here are the rules that I follow to make my journeys worthwhile:
1. Follow your passion
I never ever go somewhere just because I just like beaches and the place has a beach. I have to be in love with a place before I drop my two feet on the soil. The list of places I want to go keeps getting bigger and bigger, so I know that it’s not worth wasting my time on places I don’t really want to go–like a resort in Cancun. I’d much rather be somewhere in Salzburg, learning to sing to the hills.
2. Pick a sleep style that works for you
There are a million ways to spend your night: hotels, couchsurfing, camping, timeshare, Airbnb, hostels… However, it’s worth remembering that you should never put yourself in a position that will make you uncomfortable. The place where you leave your belongings and close your eyes for the night is your happy, safe place, and I think the best way to be rejuvenated the next day is to have restful sleep, not just any sleep. I know people who prefer couchsurfing to staying in hotels because they like the company, or vice-versa because they like the privacy. Do whatever feels right for you and your budget.
3. Start a payment plan
I like to save $20 a week whenever possible for a getaway weekend, or just to have as a squash funds for whatever the world decides to throw at me. Some weeks funds are tight and saving is not possible. But when I can, I put this money aside because it all adds up: at the end of the month it’s an extra hundred, and at the end of the year an extra thousand, which can be the difference between me getting to spend a week relaxing in Key West or not.
4. Get out of your comfort zone
Travelling is the ultimate getting-out-of-your-comfort-zone situation: you meet new locations, new people, new languages, and many first-time experiences. These require you to think on your feet and learn to take things easy. The easiest way to be comfortable outside your comfort zone is to test those skills while you’re still at home. The easiest way to do this is to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger at a bar. If you have the quick-thinking skills to keep up a conversation with someone new for five minutes, you’ve got the skills to get you out of a tight spot, no matter where you are.
5. Read everything in preparation
Be so well-up on current events that you think your head will explode with dates and subjects and names and story titles. Subscribe to travel blogs, read magazines, and just consume as much as you can. Having a wealth of information stored in your head that does not require Wife will be so useful when traveling and meeting new people.