8 Top Tips to Get the Most out of Your next Trip

8 Top Tips to Get the Most out of Your next Trip

Travel is weird thing in that it’s meant to be relaxing, and yet it’s also a treat that you need to appreciate due to the cost and potentially short time you have in which to do it. So really you need to combine relaxation with some careful planning that allows you to maximise your time away. So what are some relatively straightforward ways to get the most out of your trip?

  1. Write it Down

It’s not as though you need to scribble down the next great travel novel when you’re on your trip, but a journal can have benefits on many levels. It’s not some pretentious form of expression, and you might find yourself surprised at how pleasurable it can be to jot down a paragraph or two of your thoughts about a particular destination, even if it’s something as basic as “Let’s see how many of these 40 cent supermarket beers I can drink in Hamburg!” You can read these words months, or even years later and all the memories will come surging back, sometimes more powerfully than an actual photo. It’s also practical in the sense that you can write down tangible pieces of information such as train departure times or the address of that obscure gallery some guy told you about in a bar.

  1. Vacation Snaps

Digital cameras in phones have made us sloppy in some ways, and (it’s a contradiction) but also more capable of taking better photos. You might snap 12 photos of the same thing, and you can do so without wasting film, and one of these 12 photos will be perfect. Don’t upload all of your travel photos as this is a good way to bore your friends and family to sleep. Wait until you get home and then curate a selection of beautiful photos that best sum up your travel experience. Uploading your travel photos to social media should be about quality rather than quantity.

  1. Interesting Research

Do some research about your destination. Devour everything you can find. Borrow some up to date travel guides from the library, read some travel narratives about the destination. Knowledge is power, and reading a variety of sources gives you both practical information as well as anecdotal information that can be enormously interesting.

  1. The Local Lingo

English is often the default language when you travel, but this should not be taken for granted. Learning a few pleasantries in the local lingo will really go a long way. Even just the basic things such as hello, goodbye, please, and thank you will be beneficial. If you want to charm/amuse people, you should also learn and memorise the phrase: “Sorry, but my German/French/Spanish/Latvian is crap. Do you speak English?”

  1. Protecting Yourself

Travel insurance should not be an option. Do not travel without it, and we cannot stress this enough. It’s not only for medical emergencies, but for strange unforeseen circumstances. What if the public transport system in Barcelona is disrupted by a strike, meaning you get to the airport late and miss your discount airline connecting flight for which there are no refunds? If your budget is really tight, consider applying for and paying for your trip with a credit card scheme that comes with free travel insurance.

  1. Outsource Your Planning

Joining a tour is an excellent way to maximise your time. You don’t have to muck about with public transport trying to find your way from one spot to another (although this can be an adventure in itself). Some easy to manage destinations have those hop on, hop off bus tours which is a great way to see the major spots of interest at an unhurried, fairly flexible pace. And then there are places where a proper guided tour is the best way to go, such as private tours in Cuba. Sometimes it’s easier to leave the bulk of the planning to professionals.

  1. Pack Smart

You simply must pack light and pack smart. Look up the typical climate and conditions for your destination and pack accordingly. Less is generally more when it comes to packing. The downsides to over packing can be financially damaging. While a full service airline might be somewhat flexible with the weight allowance for your baggage, budget airlines can be infinitely less forgiving. You might find yourself slugged a hefty surcharge by a budget airline if your baggage is even the slightest bit over the weight limit. This surcharge can often cost more than your actual flight, so please be careful.

  1. Get Fit

You don’t need to turn into a sleek gym bunny, but it’s wise to improve your physical fitness before you travel. Just think of it: you will be walking a lot more, possibly less able to rest, and possibly overindulging in terms of food and alcohol. You don’t want to spend your holiday feeling drained and potentially unwell. So perhaps undertake a light exercise regime in the weeks before you go, so that you are in the best possible position to get the most from your holiday.

Categories: Travel

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