It takes a certain type of person to travel the world and to know what to do when traveling. Not only do you need to be willing to travel, but you need the financial and personal freedom to go on a trip. Though it can be difficult to take the time out of your life to go traveling, the memories you make and the adventures you seek will forever shape who you are.
Travel is truly an amazing thing, but only for those who are ready for it. Among other things, travelers should have the right mindset when getting ready to travel. Understanding where you are going and being prepared is extremely important. However, having prejudices or being too rigid with your itinerary can spell disaster for you and your trip.
What To Do When Traveling: Before, During, and After a Trip
Here is what we suggest you to do when traveling including what you should do before the trip, during, and after.
Before Your Trip
Plan your trip
Research the Culture
Talk to People
Talk to People
Try New Food
Visit the Attractions
Live in the Moment
Share Your Trip
Plan Your Next Trip
Preparation is an important part of any trip. Plan your itinerary to maximize the amount of things to do in the time you have available. This is a step you should not skip (especially when researching visas and immunizations).
Though you don’t want to miss this, travel with an open mind and be prepared to change your plan if something comes up. And something will come up. Don’t resist whatever changes your plan, especially if it is something better than what you had planned. Some of the best things while traveling happen spontaneously.
It goes without saying that you need to book some things before going on your trip including a flight, accommodation, rental car, and any excursions or tickets you need to purchase for your destination especially if you are traveling during a peak season.
Planning your trip will really help alleviate some of the stress you will have when you first touch down in a country you have never been to before. That being said, we have talked to a few couples that love the feeling of arriving somewhere with nothing planned. To each their own.
Understand the country you are going to. Knowing the cultural differences will help reduce any awkward exchanges that may occur during your trip. Knowing how to greet someone or how to tip, among many others, is going to make your time much more enjoyable. It is good to compare your culture to another to help you further comprehend the life of someone else’s.
Have an open mind and embrace the culture of the country you are currently in. Understand that their culture has developed for probably hundreds of years into what it is today. It is their heritage. It is their country. Don’t try to change it while you are there. It will not work.
We have received some of our best advice from people who have already been to the destination, simply because they have already been to the destination. They can help tell you what to expect, what you should see, and how to plan you trip.
Really if you find somebody who has already been to the place you are about to visit, pick their brain until they get sick of you. You really will get some great information from them that you can apply to your own trip.
During Your Trip
Understandably, some people are more reserved than others. It is good to be cautious with who you talk to. If at all possible while traveling, talk to the locals. Get to know about their day-to-day lives. These are the people that will teach you the most about the country you are visiting. Don’t speak their language? Use hand signals, be friendly, and be polite.
Be willing to try new food. Food is an important part of a country’s culture. You should be willing to experience this aspect of their lives, though you can afford to be choosy when it comes to this. Food also tells a lot about the history of a nation. Research what food is eaten and why. You may be surprised with what you find.
This one seems obvious, but time and time again stories show up online about travelers doing something stupid or disrespectful. Understand that you are an ambassador of your nation. Don’t give your country a poor reputation because of your actions.
Do not go onto someone else’s personal property or damage something just to get that perfect shot. Be aware of who is what and who is around you and try to polite.
It is good to visit the places that you want to when you arrive. This will be different for everyone. Some want to visit all of the museums or palaces while others just want to get to the beach right away. Make sure you get to do what you want to do and try to do it sooner rather than later or you may not be able to do it at all if something unexpected comes up.
Take photos, take videos, take notes of the different places you visit. It is important to make those memories that you will forever live with, but we love the idea of documenting those memories and sharing them with others or keeping them to ourselves in the form of photos and videos.
You do not get to do this back at home working a 9 to 5 as often as you may like. Do it while you are traveling. Get up early for the sunrise and go to bed late well after the sunset. Say yes to everything, as long as it is safe, and enjoy your time away from the real world.
Last, but certainly not least, be safe. It is good to have a great time out on the town, but always be aware of your surroundings. If you are traveling with a group, make sure to take care of each other and to know where one another is at all time. Safety is the most important because you want to come back the same way you left. In one piece.
After Your Trip
Most travelers love to share their adventures with friends and family. Or they have a blog, like we do, and share them online. Now that you are back from your trip, you will likely have a little bit more time to edit and share everything you captured while you were traveling. This can be a great way to reflect on your travels.
Sometimes we have not even finished our trip before we are planning our next one. It is just the way travel goes. There is no end to it and once you are bit by the travel bug, there is no going back. Enjoy the memories you have made on your last trip and look forward to the ones you will be making on the next one.
Isn’t travel amazing? To be able to experience another land, another culture, and to immerse yourself in a world that is not yours. Then to come back home and really feel the contrast. To make memories and share them with friends and family. To have all of those memories documented in one way or another.
Everything about travel just makes us want to travel even more.
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