Travel is meant to be exhilarating, enriching, and even life-changing. But it’s easy to get caught up in unimportant details and feel as though you’re wasting precious time instead of just enjoying it. Here are 5 ways to get more out of your travels.
The easiest and most effective way to break down barriers when you’re travelling is simply to smile. A genuine, warm grin is a great weapon to have in your armoury and can be a complete game changer. This particularly goes for when you’re exploring alone.
Do it freely and do it often. Smile at everyone you see. You might feel a little unhinged and self conscious at first, but it won’t take long for it to pay dividends.
You’ll find that people are completely disarmed and you’ll receive an equal amount of positivity in return. You’ll make new friends, strike up unexpected conversations and generally connect with more people than you could imagine.
Write about them
So often a vacation or break is a whirlwind of emotions and excitement then it’s over. We don’t allow ourselves time to process our feelings or sit back to think about what an awesome time we’ve had.
One of the best ways to give yourself a deeper appreciation of your time away is to simply write about them. It doesn’t have to be a novel or even anything that would be comprehensible to other people. But a few notes about the events of each day can really make a difference to how you see them.
It’s also a fantastic method of preserving those memories forever, as with time it’s natural for little things that we’d like to remember to be forgotten.
Plan just enough
Prior planning is essential to making the most of your time away, even if it’s just finding a route to your accommodation that doesn’t involve forking out half your holiday budget on a cab. But if you’re one of those people who likes to have every day planned down to the minute, it might be time to take a different approach.
One of the secrets of really squeezing more from your travels is allowing yourself enough space to go with the flow. You never know what could happen, and just like the best nights out are the ones you don’t plan it’s not unusual for the best vacation stories to come from completely random encounters.
Sure, feel free to write a schedule and research the best things to do in your chosen destination. But make sure you have enough wiggle room to say “yes” if someone asks or recommends you do something different. What’s the worst that could happen?
Go as slowly as possible
People often contact us for advice on how long they should spend in a certain place and whether they should try and squeeze in this side trip or that excursion. Our response is invariably the same, your time is better spent getting to know one place really well than rushing around trying to see as much as possible.
Clearly it’s not always going to be feasible to take a month to discover a single location. And there are also going to be places that you don’t necessarily think warrant dedicating extra time to.
However, when you have time on your side, the joy of really getting under the skin of somewhere can provide a much deeper travel experience than an in-and-out visit that just skims the surface.
Be an early riser
Partying all night and sleeping all day might well be what you’re looking for in your time away. But if you want to see places at the optimum time with very few other tourists then it’s essential that you get yourself up and out early in the morning.
Not only will you have tourist attractions virtually to yourself, but you’ll see another side to a place as it’s just beginning to wake up. Plus you’ll be blessed with great “golden hour” lighting for your insta photos as the sun rises.
We’re not suggesting be up at the crack of dawn every day, but when you’ve done it once, you’ll appreciate the difference it makes. Not only does it provide a new perspective but your day will feel so much longer for the added couple of hours. It’s highly addictive.
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