Hoping to travel more this year? Whether you’re looking to check something off your bucketlist, or catch up with family and friends, we share some tips to help you achieve your travel goals and improve your overall travel experience.
As tempting as it is to brag to all your friends and family back home about the amazing things you’re experiencing on your trip, don’t measure a moment by it’s potential on Instagram. Instead of caring how many ‘likes’ your photo got, put down your phone and enjoy the experience before you. Use your trip as a way to unplug from your life at home. Stay off your smartphone/computer and enjoy a week (or even just a weekend) without technology.
2. Go Somewhere New
As tempting as it may be to re-visit a vacation destination that is tried and true, expand your horizons and try something new. It will not only open you up to new experiences, sights and cultures, but will teach you something you didn’t know about yourself in the process.
3. Learn a New Skill
Whether it’s getting in a kayak for the first time, getting your PADI (scuba diving) certification, or learning to rock climb, taking the time to learn a new skill can teach you a lot about yourself, and if you enjoyed the experience; allow you to create future trips around the new skill you learned! Warning: Scuba Diving is addicting and will change the way you view our world.
4. Take a Solo Trip
Although the idea of travelling solo can seem a bit scary at first, it’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself. It teaches you to be independent, while encouraging you to meet new people and try new things. If the idea of travelling by yourself isn’t your cup of tea, consider joining a tour. You have the safety of a local guide to show you around, while still having a room to yourself when you need your own space.
5. Learn to Use Your Camera Better
Whether you’re rocking a DSRL or a smartphone, make sure you’re comfortable with your equipment before you leave for your trip. Whether it’s experimenting with shooting a timelapse, or using some cool photo apps to help you capture and edit more creatively, your photos can be powerful images to help inspire others to travel, while also capturing memories for yourself. Oh, and don’t forget to pack extra batteries/chargers!
6. Slow Down
Spend a little longer in a city, get off the beaten track and don’t just photograph it. If all you want is a picture of yourself in front of a landmark, you’re missing the point of travel. In 2014, make a promise to slow down and take it all in. Take a breathe and remind yourself where you are and how lucky you are to be there. Gratitude is a powerful thing.
7. Speak to a Local in their Language
We know you may not have all the time in the world to learn a new language, but take the time to learn the basics of a new language so you can carry on a conversation with a local. There are a tons of great smartphone apps out there that can help you with the basics phrases to get by. Make an effort to learn a new language at home, and plan your travel experiences on where you can practise it. And when in doubt, a smile can go a long way!
8. Let Your Stomach Guide You
Do you have a favourite authentic dish you love to eat at home? Why not go to the country it was created and perfected? Let your tastebuds take you on a tour and plan your travel around the foods you want to eat (or try) on your trip. There are some great culinary tours you can take that range anywhere from a few hours in a city, to a few days throughout a country.
9. Keep a Travel Journal
In a day full of smartphones and social media, we sometimes forget to take a time-out and write how we’re really feeling beyond 140 characters. Write down the things you smell, taste and see (even if there are things you don’t like about your experience). It will help you travel even better the following year.
10. Just Go
Money and time are often the top two things that deter people from taking a trip. Stop making excuses. Stop telling people you want to travel, and just book a ticket already. You’re not getting any younger. The first step to being a better traveller, is to take a trip in the first place.
So, where are you travelling to this year?