22 ways to get the most of your travels
Traveling and experiencing what the world has to offer is a privilege and one of the best ways to grow as a human being. Even if you are going a short distance it’s still an adventure! You’re spending time and money to travel, so you should make the most of it, right?
- Have an Open Mind … to new cultures and different ways of thinking. Your life has the potential to grow in unlimited ways just by trying and learning new things.
- Do Your Research … on travel blogs (preferably professional ones) to find recommendations for your destination. Don't limit yourself to only touristy areas. Take the road less traveled and you may find some incredible spots away from the crowds.
- Prioritize … which activities are most important and do those first.
- Plan ... but don’t not too much. Over planning is a sure way to make a trip seem dreadful. You don't want a jam packed vacation but you do want to take in activities that are unique to your destination. Buy tickets, make reservations, but keep the rest flexible.
- Pack Light … this way, you aren't bogged down with stuff at the airport or in the car. It's no fun and even stressful to travel with too many bags. Instead pack a mini mix and match capsule wardrobe (with multi-use jewelry + accessories) into a roll-able carry-on.
- When in Rome ... don't be a tourist the whole time, go ahead and act like a local, or hang out at the local spots. This way, you get to experience what it would be like to live there. And, we bet you will meet some new friends, and try some new things.
- Skip … the franchised restaurants and chain stores. You can go to those closer to home. Go to the local restaurants and boutiques for a taste of something you can’t get back at home.
- Be on the Lookout … for opportunities of course! Make meaningful contact with local people and if you’re driving past a festival, market, or event … stop by!
- Embrace + Respect the Culture … by learning and asking questions.
- Indulge ... but don't overdo. We don't want you to get sick, but do enjoy the desserts, wines, pastries, etc. of the area.
- Slow Down ... and don't let the hustle and bustle of our overly-busy lives follow you on your travels. Take it easy and live with purpose.
- Take In ... moments, memories, conversations, scenery. Engage all of your senses and skip the material stuff.
- Be Present ... and don’t think about work or other worries. Put anything you didn’t get done from your ‘pre-vaca to-do list’ on your ‘post vaca to-do list’ so you’re organized and can hit the ground running when you get back. Enable your ‘Out of the Office’ email auto response which will include the date you will get back and phone numbers or email addresses of others who can help if needed before then. Whew, it’s all taken care of so enjoy.
- Share ... a picture or two on social media in real time. Your friends and family will love it and it may just encourage them to get out into the world too. But don’t be a slave to social media while you’re gone. You can always social share a collection of trip memories after you get back. This way you can stay present which is the whole point of the trip!
- Support the Community ... by buying their products (see #7) or volunteering.
- Be Safe ... by travelling with others and being present in your surroundings. Even traveling in your own country can be dangerous.
- Be Prepared to Have Epiphanies … moments of deep and profound self-realization … ‘I am going to learn Portuguese,’ ‘I must make my health a priority,’ ‘I need to break-up with ___,’ ‘I need to quit my job.’ There is something about traveling and getting away from the daily grind that unleashes your hidden (real) desires.
- To Take Pictures or Not to Take Pictures ... is the ultimate travel debate. We are picture takers. We love to capture beautiful images to share with friends and family and to look at years later. But many people say that the pictures aren't worth missing a few seconds of the experience … so it's entirely up to you! It's important to do what makes you happy and full just don't be a slave to the camera. Quality over Quantity.
- Limit Tech Use ... including phone calls, text messages, emails, games, and social media. You can catch up with people when you get back. The world will not end, it may just begin.
- Say No To Souvenirs ... because your friends and family don't need any more trinkets! Have dinner with loved ones and tell them about your experience when you come back. That is much more special.
- Focus on the Reason You’re There ... which may be to explore a new culture, spend time with family, get away from ‘real life’, have some alone time, or maybe to (re)discover yourself. Regardless of the reason remember it and make that your main priority.
- Have Fun ... because that’s what it’s really all about! :)
We want to know …
How do you make the most of your travels?
How will you use your travels to make the world a better place?
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