If you’re a seasoned traveler or just breaking out of your comfort zone and starting your world journeys, there’s some things about globetrotting that everyone needs to keep in mind.
I love to travel. I mean, LOVE-TO-TRAVEL. And with countless trips and somewhere around 28 countries under my belt, I can certainly attest to a few things I’ve learned over the years. Not every trip happens without a hitch, so here’s some tips to have your best trips.
#1 – Pack as light as possible
Less is certainly more when it comes to travelling. There’s nothing more cumbersome than trying to finagle multiple bags of luggage plus the stress if/when one of the pieces goes missing. Worry less about it by learning to pack just what you need.
When my husband and I went to Paris last summer, we only took a carryon suitcase each and I had more outfits than I actually wore. Try to practice the art of packing light.
#2 – Expect mishaps
Let’s face it, mishaps are just a part of life, and it’s no different when you are traveling. Missed trains, extra expenses, bad hotels, etc can be all part of the package when away from home. When something happens, take a deep breath and chalk it up to being a part of the experience. Yes, it’s inconvenient but one thing I learned is that mishaps often make for funny stories to friends and family later. Trust me, you may not laugh at the moment, but you will later.
#3 – Eat like a local
If you are like my husband, he has his food staples that he eats anywhere and everywhere we go. And while this is certainly not an issue, I love that he’s willing to try the local dishes when we travel. There’s just something about trying the local cuisine that adds to the whole experience of the trip. Have the authentic fresh pasta dish in Italy, the escargot in France, the souvlaki in Greece, the pho in Vietnam. Live a little and maybe get out of your comfort zone.
#4 – Take care of your health
Nothing ruins a trip faster than falling under the weather. For the weeks leading up to the trip I make sure I’m giving my immune system a good boost by taking a good probiotic and keeping on top of my vitamins. Sometimes there’s nothing we can do to stop a cold so I try to pack a few items to keep me going until I can get to a pharmacy (goes along with the whole packing light theme). Try to get regular sleep and be sure you stay hydrated (your choice of beverage – *wink wink*).
#5 – Embrace the differences
When I was younger, I remember going to Cuba and complaining how the resort wasn’t like the comforts of home. And then someone pointed out to me that part of traveling was experiencing the new culture and seeing how things are different. After all, if I wanted things the way they were at home I should have stayed there. Some of the charm of Cuba for instance, is the rustic and yet simplistic décor in some of the resorts. Embrace how the place you are visiting is unique and different, it may mean giving up some of your comforts but is part of the fun of experiencing new places. (You’ll notice how few people actually do this when you overhear them complaining to staff about things… kind of amusing to hear.)
#6 – Live the experiences
Know what’s worse than doing something you never thought you’d do? It’s NOT doing something you never thought you’d do. A few years ago in Greece, we took in a Greek dancing group who grabbed random people from the crowd to join in. I refused to do it for fear of looking silly in front of strangers. Know what? I regret it now. When might I encounter or have that experience again? Maybe never. And what a fun thing to do and an even more fun memory to have. If you encounter an experience, DO it.
Remember that travel is a gift you give yourself. Savor every moment, live every moment and love every moment.
Are you going somewhere soon? Where? I’d love to hear about it!
Ciao for now…