Traveling is one of the great joys of life. There’s nothing like getting away from your day-to-day existence to see something new and start having some unique experiences. You just feel more alive and these memories will stick with you forever.
Really, there may be no wrong way to travel. It's that exhilarating. But there are definitely some ways to do it better. Certain destinations certainly can make all the difference. There is nowhere quite like Paris, Rio de Janeiro, or Angkor Wat.
Even a few right moves, however, can make sure you have the best vacation possible no matter where you chose to go. The following three tips in particular will help you prepare for your next trip like a globetrotting pro.
1. balancing relaxation VS ADVENTURE
At some point in our life, we should all take a vacation that is nothing but relaxation. Sit in pool chairs, get massages, eat decadent foods, sleep long hours, and totally rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. We all should also take one adventure travel vacation that truly pushes us to our limits. Explore a foreign, unfamiliar land that makes you feel uncomfortable or truly tests your physical limits.
But most vacations should probably include a balance. You don’t want to spend all kinds of money just to be a complete sloth. But you also don’t want to pack in too many 5 a.m. wake-ups with constant travel that leaves you too exhausted to even think straight. Consider these extremes as you map out an itinerary. Do you really need to see five cities in Italy in one week or would it be better to spend four days in Rome plus a long weekend in the countryside? Try to pack in as much as you can — but don’t go overboard. Remember that you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself as well. Strike the right balance.
2. understanding actual value
The only downside to traveling is that it can get expensive. There are all kinds of ways to do it on different budgets, but certain costs are simply unavoidable in most cases. You need to sleep somewhere, you need to eat, and you need to get around with local transport. But one way to have a successful trip is by knowing how to judge real value.
Tourist traps abound and some fancy restaurants are just overpriced without much to offer. Ignore these wallet destroyers and instead look for real local food that won’t hurt your budget and cheap — or even free — cultural experiences. Hiking, beaches, and live music can provide some of the best times and often cost next to nothing.
At the same time, there are some things worth paying for. If you’re only in a city for two days, is it worth getting lost on confusing local bus routes or spending two hours trapped underground on an inconvenient metro just to save $20 on a taxi? That wasted time is worth a lot when you're getting on a plane home in two days, so don’t just give it up for a few bucks. On the flip side, some cuisine or local wine may be worth splurging for. If you’re in Italy or France, food is half the reason to go. Go out to a higher end restaurant at least once and you’ll likely remember the meal forever. Some things are definitely worth more than money.
3. Traveling with Peace of Mind
Safety and security are common — and legitimate — concerns that people have about traveling. Most places tend to be safer than you think, and booking with reputable companies that cater to people like you will usually protect you pretty well. But you do need to take the right precautions and common-sense steps while traveling. Don’t wander around certain areas at night, don’t carry too many expensive belongings when it’s unnecessary, and do your best to blend in at least a little bit.
Beyond that, you can also tap into a few good resources. Travel insurance, for example, can protect you in many locations across the world in the event of injury, illness, or even local disruption. Check available plans for details, but many are very affordable and may be included with your credit card. And you should always have good life insurance before you travel. This way, your family is protected even in the worst-case scenario.
Who doesn't want to travel the world? Every trip is a unique experience that you will remember for a lifetime. It refreshes the mind like nothing else can.
Just make sure you do it right. Don't go too far overboard on relaxation or adventure. Try to strike the right balance. Then, be sure to make sure you get good value for your money. And protect yourself with resources like travel and life insurance.
If you just get these three basics alone, traveling will become even better. You won't spend as much time worried about the details and will be able to fully absorb yourself in your trip.