Thinking of taking a trip soon? You want to get the most you can out of every moment of your time away, regardless of where you might be heading. Here are six traveling tips that will make this journey, and many to come, more epic and enjoyable.
1. Pack light
A common miscalculation newer travelers make, and one that’s easier to correct than you might think, is judging the amount of “stuff” they need to bring with them. You don’t need to completely transform to a minimalist lifestyle if you want to travel, but it does help to practice carrying the lightest amount of gear and necessities as possible.
A great rule of thumb to follow is to avoid packing something if you aren’t sure whether or not you will need it. If you are planning to travel somewhere in a few months, for a few days keep a list of things you use on a daily basis. Could you live for a week or two without them? Chances are, you probably could.
You will be able to travel much simpler, and happier, if you don’t have to stress about keeping track of more belongings. Over time, the more you travel, you will learn how to live off of less. Here are some more tips for traveling light on your next trip.
2. Be an early bird
You may find it tempting, and may even think it necessary, to sleep in when you’re traveling somewhere you have never been before. All part of the experience, right? You might actually get more out of the experience as a whole if you wake up as early as you can, instead of the other way around.
Waking up early, you can experience some of the sights and scenery all on your own or within your group of travel companions. You’re much less likely to have to deal with large crowds, especially groups of other tourists. Rising early is also a great way to capture great photos.
3. Plan a flexible itinerary
If you are already planning on traveling, chances are there are a lot of places on your bucket list you want to visit and things you want to see and do while you’re far away from home. You’ll have to do a little bit of planning to make sure you squeeze it all in, You don’t want to go overboard, though.
The thing many don’t think about while traveling is how likely it is for things not to go as planned. Putting yourself and any travel companions you have on a tight schedule only adds to the typical minor stressors associated with traveling. It isn’t worth the stress. Find a healthy balance between relaxing and going where you want to when you want to go there.
It’s a good idea to make a list of things you know you want to do while you’re at or near your destination. It might help you to plan out which days you want to go where. Leave the majority of your days open for doing whatever might come along. If you’re traveling somewhere, and stumble upon something else along the way, go on a detour. Take advantage of the freedom to be spontaneous.
4. Snap as many photos as possible
No matter where you’re going, you want to have some documentation of your trip. Capturing beautiful photos of your unfamiliar surroundings is one of the reasons many people choose to travel to new and faraway places. It’s worth bringing along a camera, or at least your phone, to capture some memories.
Take as many photos as you want to, as long as you don’t forget to take your eyes off the viewfinder and experience as much of your surroundings in the present as you can. Photos are important, but so are real-time experiences you can share with friends and family along with the photos when you get home. Here are a few helpful tips for taking better photos no matter where you are.
5. Eat local food
You want to have the most authentic experiences possible while you’re traveling, and you just won’t be able to get the most you can out of it if you stick to familiar dining experiences. There isn’t anything wrong with most tourist attractions, but you should at least try to ease yourself off of restaurants that serve food you know and love.
Any traveling experience can be enriched simply by eating where and how the locals eat. Visit local markets and get to know vendors. Don’t be afraid to try foods you are unfamiliar with, as long as they are safe and prepared properly. As you already know, food has the potential to enhance any experience. Branch out: you might be surprised at how easy it is.
6. Stay in touch, but keep it limited
You’re going to want to post photos and keep your friends and family updated on your travels, and social media is a great way to do this. From pretty much anywhere you can instantly give followers a glimpse into what you’re up to without having to take too much time away from the actual experience.
Don’t overdo it, though. It’s probably best if you designate a time of day, either first thing in the morning or at the very end of your day, to catch others up on what you did that day or the day before. This will help limit the time you spend on your phone or computer, which will make the overall experience much more worthwhile.
It’s essential to find balance between planning and relaxing, taking photos and putting the camera away, updating your friends back home and saving your best stories for later. It might take a few trips to get everything just right, but you will more likely than not have an amazing experience no matter what you do or where you go. The above tips will help give you some insight into what you can pay more attention to on your next trip, to make each traveling experience a little bit more epic than the last.