Traveling goes beyond just packing your suitcase, wearing some fancy clothes, taking your flight, booking a nice accommodation and sightseeing. As much as it is meant to be an all-fun time, it may turn out to be the most boring, frustrating and disappointing travel, especially if you go unprepared. Reviewed below is a list of the most effective traveling tips that will teach you how to be a better traveler so you can enjoy every moment of it.
Asking for recommendations from family or friends who have been to the place you want to visit is usually the number one factory for ideas. By doing so, you will have an idea of what to expect during your visit. This will also help you decide whether you should go to the destination as planned or look for an alternative. You may also ask about the best means of transport, best accommodation options and even the approximate cost of visiting that destination which helps in the better planning of your travel.
Read Before You Go
Reading about the destination you want to travel to is crucial in helping you plan for a smoother journey. You get to know what sites you need to visit beforehand, how to get there, best accommodation options and the cost of touring the location. You can read information and reviews about the destination in books, magazines, newspapers or the internet. You also get to know the different cultures, religions and customs, so you know what is expected of you when you get there as well as how best to interact with the locals.
Ask the Locals
When traveling to a new location, it is pretty obvious that you can never know more than what the residents know. Feel free to ask for directions and advice from the natives for the best experience. Even when it comes to food, don’t struggle to figure out what’s on the menu. Rather, talk to the waiter or bartender and let them treat you with their best foods and drinks, preferably something you never have back at home. As much as you may have read about the best sites in the area, ask your taxi driver to take you to the best areas they know as some of these sites may not have made their way to the famous websites on the internet yet.
Learn Basic Phrases
Visiting countries and destinations that use a foreign language can be so challenging at first, but there is nothing as rewarding as learning some of the most significant phrases in the respective language. It does not mean that you have to take a whole course on French before visiting Paris. What you need to do is learn the language’s basic greetings, gratitude phrases and how to request phrases. Not only will this make your interaction with the natives easier and faster, but it will be a good gesture to them. Most locals find appreciation in tourists who make an effort to at least learn to speak their language no matter how little they know.
Try the Foods
One of the major reasons you travel to a new destination is usually to experience its diverse practices, food being one of them. Traditional foods are usually a representation of a country’s culture, and if you plan to enjoy every bit of the cultural experience, then those new foods you may consider strange are worth trying. If you keep eating what you eat at home, then what is the worth of visiting that restaurant? Although you should still beware of food allergies, and if you are susceptible to them, make sure to ask about the ingredients used in foods before eating.
Take Chances With Conversations
Interacting with locals and other tourists is important, even if you traveled to have specifically a quiet time. With proper conversation, you will get to have fun with the people you meet there. Even if you are not thoroughly conversant with the language being spoken, you could try incorporating some of its phrases into your original language. You could also make use of nonverbal cues such as gestures and body language to drive a point. All this makes for a more authentic experience, and you may, in fact, make new friends during your travel period.
Be Flexible With Your Plans
Traveling is one of the best ways to open up and enjoy different parts of the world. Unfortunately, this can never be completely achieved unless you let loose and decide to be flexible with your plans. Rather than sticking to your boring itinerary, you need to trust your instincts and go with the flow as it will expose you to new and more exciting stuff. Make friends, try new things and be open to different ideas. You don’t need to follow a strict schedule; you are not at home or work.
Show Some Gratitude
Tips exist for one main reason; to show tangible gratitude to people who have been of great help to you. Make sure to tip even the most under-appreciated and forgotten employees at the hotel and wherever you go, including the maids who make your bed, clean your room and ensure your living environment is sparkling clean and in good order. If your budget does not allow for a tip, just saying thank you and treating them right is enough.
Keep an Open-Mind
Open-mindedness is a skill that not only applies to careers and being at home. Traveling will take you to places with different kinds of people, a diversity of cultures and varied opinions of everything. Keeping an open mind will let you learn the various practices around the world. You will get to appreciate and respect different cultures, people’s opinions and customs no matter how different they are from what you are used to back home.
Experience Over Stuff
The most rewarding thing about any travel is the experience you get from it. There is much joy to be experienced across the world, and you only need to focus on the feeling no matter how terrible the journey is. At the end of it all, it usually turns out positive, and the experiences will forever be in your heart and mind. Don’t just focus on the stuff you see; you can just get them in the comfort of your home. The incredible experience you get from touring new places is what made you decide to travel, so you should enjoy it all.
Taking photos of new destinations will act as a lifetime reminder that you visited that destination and enjoyed your time there. Take funny pictures with sculptures and monuments, take a picture on a landmark such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Photographs captured perfectly, in good lighting, apparently make the most incredible souvenirs as they represent a moment frozen in time. Take as many photos as you can and have some of them turned into artworks for your walls.
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Get off the beaten path
Various travel destinations are known and glorified all over the world, and every tourist wants to visit. Such destinations may not offer the best experience for you, especially if you want to avoid the crowd. If this is the case for you, then you should keep off the busy city streets and such famous tourist sites. Rather, try something new, visit less popular destinations, meet the natives and interact with them and more so, be creative and discover the hidden treasures.
Traveling for leisure should never be done in a hurry. You aren’t at work, neither are you participating in a traveling competition or race. Take your time to enjoy truly each site you visit to avoid anxiety or to be caught up in the frenzy of wanting to bite more than you can chew. Make your itinerary shorter with the most important activities at the top of the list. It is okay to miss visiting other places during your travel for as long as you have enjoyed each moment visiting the few important places.
Follow the Golden Rules of Guesting
If you plan on visiting someone, even if they are hosting you in their home, it is of great essence to follow the golden rules of guesting. You should never show up empty-handed; at least, bring a gift even if it is a book, a bouquet of flowers or wine. It is showing gratitude for their good gesture of hospitality to you. You also need to leave the place better than you found it, even it means just making your bed and making the place neat.
Even with all the above tips, the final rule of being a better traveler is keeping a positive attitude and having all the fun you can. As much as you expect to run into obstacles and setbacks such as delayed flights, lost luggage and catching a cold during your travel, remaining positive will make sure you enjoy this lifetime experience.
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