Travel can be such a life-altering experience as we learn about other cultures, absorb ourselves in the colourful histories of our destinations and grow excited at the possibilities that people create in their different environments. Travel acts to connect our world’s people, places and cultures. It also provides an amazing opportunity to learn about yourself.
Here are our Top 10 Travel Tips to get the most out of your time away.
1. Go with the flow
Invariably things aren’t always going to go to plan. What’s the saying – “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”? It can simply be a waste of time and energy to try to control every detail of your trip. When things do go wrong perhaps it is better to just go with the flow. There are always going to be ups and downs but try to remember that you are on holiday and make the most of every experience.
Planning every moment will only lead to stress and disappointment. Stay flexible and open to change!
2. Get lost
Honestly, just get lost. The caveat here is don’t throw your common sense to the wind at the same time. But, in safe areas of cities and towns go for an explore and see what you find that isn’t necessarily in your guide book. Away from the main streets and tourist strips you’re bound to find some fantastic spots where you can sit and watch the world go by, the locals about their business and try some of the cuisine.
3. Adjust your pace
Some days will be busy, others not so much. Travel can often be that contradictory mix of hurrying up and waiting! Treat long transits as an opportunity to stretch your legs, try the local beer/food/snacks/toilets and window shop (while you stretch your legs!).
Slow down and enjoy your surrounds. Enjoy all the sunsets you can and imagine where your loved ones are at that moment at home.
4. Be open to new experiences
Try everything and eat and shop in local places to ensure your dollars are staying in the local region. Be brave and try new things!
5. Use your senses
Look up. Sometimes we get so focused on getting from one point to the other that we don’t stop to admire the amazing things happening above street level. Listen. There is something incredibly liberating in simply listening to people talking around you – particularly when you don’t understand the language.
Smell, touch and taste your destination. What is unique about the place you are visiting? Do some research before you go about something that is special and unique and small. Find that porcelain shop, bookstore, coffee shop, whatever! Take in everything you do and everything you see as your time on holiday will go so quickly.
6. Pack light
We are firm believers in packing light – that leaves more space for your unique finds along the way! Practically it also makes navigating airport terminals, train stations and so on much easier.
Take great walking shoes and don’t forget your camera, charger, toothbrush and sense of humour.
In your hand luggage be sure to pack a change of clothes – just in case!
7. Keep your passport safe
This one is a no brainer – keep your passport safe and keep a copy of all of your documentation with a trusted relative or friend at home and a copy on you. Another handy tip to protect yourself and your passport – don’t dress like a tourist. No camera around the neck, socks and sandals, location t-shirt and so on. Dress as you would at home, appropriate to the weather, and you’ll find you won’t be targeted as much.
8. Tech tips
If you have a smartphone, download Tripadvisor. The city guides are very comprehensive with heaps of great eating places & attractions. It includes offline maps which don’t use mobile data and we’ve found some smashing little restaurants and attractions. https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/apps
Take as many pictures as you can and when you return make a photo book! You can flick through whenever you are feeling nostalgic over your holiday memories.
9. Hotel Heaven
Pay a little more and stay in better hotels wherever possible. It isn’t always just a place to sleep but can be an oasis after a crazy day of sightseeing.
10. A little bit of respect goes a long way
Remember that travelling is not a right, its a privilege and you are a guest who is just passing through. Have no expectations and treat everything as an experience, either way you get a travel story out of it.
Be respectful of other cultures and try to learn some basic words and phrases. Even if you just learn how to say hello, thank you, please and goodbye. Put yourself in their shoes – you may be somewhat offended if someone walked up to you on the street at home and began speaking to you in their native language with the assumption that you’d be able to understand them.
What are your top travel tips to get the most from your holidays? We’d love to hear them!