Traveling is undoubtedly a wonderful activity, whether you’re a backpacker, a thrill-seeker, or a simple “holidayer”. Sometimes, though, we unconsciously do some things that get in the way of fully appreciating the joys of travel. Here are some simple yet infinitely valuable tips on how you can make the most out of your vacation and enjoying every second.
Most experienced travelers say that more than half of the things you usually bring or think about bringing aren’t really necessary for your trip. In fact, learning how to pack light is an unwritten rite of passage for travelers. The “motto” is that when in doubt, don’t bring it. What’s more, unless you are going to a truly remote area, you can buy whatever you need at your destination if you realize that you really need them.
One tip is to carry a multipurpose item with you, like a sarong or a big scarf which you can use as a makeshift umbrella for those hot days or even through a light drizzle. You can also tie it up just so and transform it into a bag or roll it up to use as an extra pillow. You should also consider buying a microfiber towel expressly for travel purposes. Not only is it light and easy to pack, you’ll also help the environment by not using as much resources in washing and drying those hotel towels. And if you’re staying in budget lodgings, you may not have the luxury of having a fresh towel each and every time — bringing your own will definitely save you some trouble.
Bring Extra Cash
Setting aside a budget for each aspect of your travels — especially for food, attractions like museum entrance fees and transportation — is a wise move indeed, especially if you have limited funds in the first place. However, some people focus on the fixed expenses that they forget one important part of the budget: the emergency fund. Make sure that you have cash to go around — you don’t want to be caught without a second option when the town’s only ATM runs out of money or if your card suddenly stops working. To be sure, bring about $75 to $100 per person per day, depending on your destination; some people prefer to bring about 25 percent more than their allocated budget. The ideal scenario, of course, is that you won’t be using your emergency stash at all, but it always pays to be prepared for any kind of situation.
Choose Something to Splurge On
It’s possible to travel without spending big bucks; indeed, there are many guides and travel articles that you can find online, showcasing the places you can visit and enjoy even on a shoestring budget. Budget travel also gives you a deeper appreciation of the world, especially if you’re going somewhere steeped in culture and history.
However, it’s also nice to spend for yourself. You’re out there to enjoy, after all, so pick one or two things you can treat yourself to. It could be a meal in an upscale restaurant, a really fancy souvenir like an expensive bottle of wine, or maybe even a helicopter tour.
Try to Navigate Sans Technology
This is especially nice to try in a small locale. Turn off your navigation apps and rely on printed maps, street signs, and the friendly advice of locals. You might end up discovering a restaurant that serves authentic food (and that’s also friendlier on your budget), or perhaps a local merchant that sells handcrafted souvenirs. It’s also refreshing to be able to travel without the constant buzzing of notifications of your phone.
Wake Up Early
Waking up early not only gives you more time to explore, you also avoid the crowds when visiting parks, attractions, and other tourist spots. It’s also a good time to strike up conversation with the locals, when they aren’t yet busy with their own comings and goings for the day. And if you’re a shutterbug, the soft light of early mornings can result in truly wonderful photos.
Hopefully, these tips can spur you not only to travel more but appreciate and enjoy the activity in a deeper, more meaningful way. Bon voyage!