People leave their homes and travel the world for a bunch of different reasons. Some do it to challenge themselves and expand their perspective, some to escape an unhappy situation or celebrate a special occasion. And, often it’s seeking something they don’t have at home; a slower pace, sunnier weather and the freedom to do what they want.
Either way, travel is a raw possibility to educate yourself in a way, no college or university will ever do. There’s so much to see and learn about the world out there that travelling far away, exploring charming streets in charming towns and savouring the endless frenzy of big cities appeals to many.
The pandemic has wreaked a lot of havoc in so many peoples life’s, and Valters and I are no different. Just like millions of other people from all around the world, we were forced to call off a couple of trips we were joyfully looking forward to for a month. While on a big scale postponed holidays is a minor nuisance, knowing that none of us is boarding a plane bound for adventure anytime soon, is a sobering prospect.
Do you ever dream about exploring the world? Are you craving vacation after weeks and weeks of self-quarantine and social distancing? While we may not be able to set out on much-needed holidays right now it’s OK to dream of ones we may have in the future. Having something to look forward to often helps us navigate through tough times.
8 Powerful Tips on How to Make the Most of the First Post-Quarantine Trip
Don’t fall for the typical travel myth that’s used as a hook of every webinar on social media – you don’t have to quit your job, or sell your stuff to see the world! Long-term travel doesn’t make anyone superior.
Quitting your job to travel – just because everyone else is preaching about it – isn’t the only option or reason to do it; it’s ok to romanticise something we don’t know. Travelling to get inspired, travelling to be a better mom/ human being/ brother is freedom.
No matter if you are a pro traveller or a novice, these travel tips can make your trip an easy and enjoyable ride.
#1. Start by researching and planning your dream trip
Before you can dive into exploring medieval castles, sampling traditional Portuguese pastries and enjoying rooftop terraces in Prague, an important and inevitable task lie between you and your dream destination – meticulous planning.
Travelling to a new country is a super exciting feeling yet it can be overwhelming too, you have to arrange transportation, book flights, organise accommodation and create an itinerary.
To plan for a trip, first, you need to know where you are going and second, for how long you are staying – these two basic questions will help you with researching the costs. You can also work another way around – establish your budget ad then decide where you can afford to travel.
- Make sure your travel documents are up to date
- Pick a safe destination
- Decide the length of stay
- Start saving money
- Create your travel itinerary and activities
- Book your airfare
- Sort out your accommodation
- Pack your bags
- Buy your travel insurance
- Enjoy your trip
#2. Start a travel fund
Unless you win the lottery, there will never be enough time or financial resources to travel the world, but don’t sit back and wait for things to come your way, create your life and your own opportunities.
Yes, it costs money to go to places. It costs money to run trains and even more to fly planes.
Going on a trip is so much more than just seeing new places, along the way, problems need to be resolved, and decisions have to be made quickly; some of them involving money. This can be as unexpected as wearing the wrong clothing, fee changes and lost ID.
It entails a discipline of savings, although it’s not unheard of taking a loan for a vacation-something we have never done. We have an account to which we contribute every time we get paid, even if it is just 10 euros; eventually, it will all add up.
#3. Set goals and intentions for your trip
When it comes to travelling, we believe in goal setting, working together towards a common purpose and celebrating each milestone along the way; it’s one of the connecting things we can do as people.
Travelling is so much more than a sightseeing experience. Learn to seek out places and things that bring you the most joy and learn to forge your own path, it could be as simple as exploring more of your own country and learning the art of photography, and it could be as challenging as climbing a mountain or taking up a windsurfing lesson.
#4. Map out the route
Whether you are embarking on a road trip or plan on exploring Europe with public transport it’s always a good idea to map out your route and where you want to go. Invest time in research and write down on the paper the possible mileage and how long it takes to get there.
Unexpected turns and adventures are what trips are all about, but it is important to have a goal in mind as well as a couple of rest stops along the way.
Once you know your main route, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to do things differently and take a small detour off the main road; sometimes they bring you to unusual places and beautiful corners of the world.
#5. Try new experiences
Living in a fast-paced society with demanding jobs, lots of responsibilities and a list of never-ending tasks, we rarely set aside time to try out new experiences and mostly stick to what we know. We are tied to our daily routines and end up devoting our time to doing the same things we’ve already done hundreds of times before.
If you are planning a trip, try to incorporate new experiences into your itinerary, and you’ll be surprised at how much meaning it can add to your journey. Engaging in new activities will make you feel more confident, will stimulate creativity, and you’ll get to know yourself better.
You don’t have to jump out of the plane or eat roasted scorpions. Start by making small adjustments; go on a trip all by yourself, sign up for a cooking class or – leave room for being spontaneous – new experiences demand our full attention and make us better human beings.
Whatever you choose to do, be confident and have the courage to open up to new experiences. They can bring you moments of connection and immense joy. Get out of your comfort zone; it’s a chance to learn, a chance to grow as a person and leave your mark on the world.
#6. Learn to be in a moment
People travelling the world often worry that they won’t be able to see it all, that we simply run out of time. Because there’s so much to see and do; from every coastal town, every surf beach and all the beautiful villages where half-timbered houses dot timeless streets, we are yearning to see it all.
Instead of frantically running around, trying to see every single tourist attraction and Instagram-worthy photo spot, set aside time for meaningful leisure activities. Sit on the beach and watch the colours progress from blue during the day to orange and purple in the evening. Let your eyes wander softly, press your fingertips to the soft sand and take notice of what you feel.
Stop thinking about all the other places you have to go, see and do while on a trip and try to be in the moment. Don’t multitask and don’t feel bad for doing nothing, just appreciate the moment. The key to being in the moment is to use all your senses – touch, scent, sight, sound, taste and as well as how you feel to create lasting memories.
#7. Practise gratitude
This life is oh-so stunningly beautiful and one of the best things you can do: try to make an effort to appreciate what a privilege it is to have it. And not only during the epic and exciting travel around the world but also during everyday life with mundane house chores, time management, day jobs and everything else in between.
Frustration, tiredness and disappointment are parts of travel but don’t let that distract your inner peace and become bitter towards places and people. Once you start practising gratitude, you’ll see how many small and unexpected acts of love can be found in each day.
Be open to seeing the beauty, it’s literally everywhere, it may not be what you expect, but travelling with an open mind and open heart will make your trip even more memorable. Most of the ways of practising gratitude are very simple.
Keep a gratitude journal and write down all the good things that have happened, take time to appreciate nature, refrain from speaking negatively about other people and call someone and tell them how much they mean to you.
#8. Interact with local people
Curate connections with people you meet along the way, you never know how much of an impact someone may have on your growth and your life.
Interact with local people, just like you, they have dreams and passions and someone they love. They have jobs and plans and bills to pay. Talking to locals is one of the best ways to learn about a new place, and it’s one of the easiest ways to find out all the dos and don’ts. And who knows, you might even end up making new friends.
- Local tours | You can start by signing up for one of the tours provided by the well-established company ToursbyLocals that at the moment has, according to their website, 4249 guides in 163 countries for one of a kind way to see a new city.
- CouchSurfing | Sign up for CouchSurfing to find a local host and a bed and you’ll get lots of insider knowledge too.
- EatWith | For delicious food experiences accompanied by a local guide, sign up for EatWith where you can meet other travellers and locals.
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Now, over to you!
What are your tips for a truly memorable trip? Let us know in the comments!
Let us know if you are plotting a trip and have travel-related questions!