So if you guys have been reading my travel diaries or watching my YouTube videos (casual plug, nbd), you would know that I have been traveling a LOT more recently! It has been a crazy, fun experience, but more than that, I have learned so much. I feel like I have a much better grasp on world history, local cultures, and traveling effectively. As a result, I have some travel tips for you guys!
Here are some do’s and don’ts that I’ve acquired over my travels, and I hope they help you make your next trip your best yet 🙂
DO make sure you stay hydrated!
This is my number one out of all of my travel tips, because it’s changed the game for me forever. While it’s easy (and fun!) to subsist on a diet of solely European coffee, it might not be the best move. When I was in Barcelona, I felt so sluggish because I’d been traveling for so many days and I’d been constantly remedying it with coffee. I didn’t even want to stay out at night, and that is no way to enjoy a new place!
Think about it: you’re taking multiple forms of transportation, walking a ton, and sleeping in a new bed. Your body is experiencing a lot of change at once, and it needs water to be able to keep up with it. The second I started drinking more water, I felt immensely better, and my skin even cleared up a little bit!
I recommend staying hydrated well before your first flight, because you’ll be priming your body for the trip ahead. I know this rationale isn’t super scientific, but take my word for it guys!! You won’t regret it!
DON’T neglect your body’s needs.
In the same vein, make sure you’re constantly checking in with yourself & your health. It’s okay to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but at the same time you need to make sure that you’re not endangering yourself or your body. There are definitely ways to balance that while you’re traveling, and that is key to getting the most out of your trip!
Feeling tired in the middle of the day? Instead of taking a 2-hour nap at the hostel, maybe forgo a night out and tack those hours onto your sleep schedule. Think you’re getting a little bloated/feeling sluggish? Take a pass on those fries and order something with fruits and veggies instead.
Your body knows what you need, so don’t forget to listen to it. Even if you are traveling, this is the only body you have, so make sure you take care of it!
DO as much as you can to streamline your airport security process.
I could probably write an entire post solely about airport security, but I’ll keep this short, I promise! Security is probably the most stressful part about flying, so do everything you can to minimize that stress. Here are some of my favorite travel tips when it comes to airport security:
- Pack all of your liquids beforehand, and keep them in an easily-accessible part of your suitcase. In the event that a lipgloss mysteriously made its way into your purse, the TSA agent won’t have to shuffle through your whole bag to get to the liquids container.
- Prep for security while you’re on line by taking off your jacket, making sure you clear your pockets, etc. It’s honestly my biggest pet peeve waiting 15 minutes for people to clear their pockets before walking through the metal detector – don’t be that person!
- Keep your laptop in an easily-accessible place, or don’t bring it at all! If you choose to bring your laptop, make sure you carry it in a bag that will let you slide it out easily into the bin. I can’t tell you how much time this tip has saved me in the past!
DON’T forget to do your research
It’s easy to think subconsciously that you’ll hop into the culture of a new place immediately, but if my travels have taught me anything it’s that you as the visitor are charged with the responsibility of adapting to the culture. Now that sounds kind of heavy, but it really isn’t all that bad.
Make sure you look up basic facts about the place you’re visiting before you go. Google it, look on Pinterest – just prepare yourself in general for anything that might be different once you get to your destination. This is helpful not only for gaining a better understanding of the new place, but also enables you to be better equipped in case something unexpected happens.
If you want to do limited research, I recommend: checking the weather (so you can pack properly!), checking the official/local language, and planning your transport to/from the airport. Knowing these things will soften the effects of culture shock, and will help you put your best foot forward at the start of your trip!
DO leave room for spontaneity
This is one of my travel tips that I never thought I would have said before I went abroad. Even if you’ve only read one of my old college-themed posts, you would know that I value and cherish a good plan. However, while I’ve been abroad I’ve also learned to value good old spontaneity.
Planning one to two things you must see is good, but don’t forget to leave a little room for randomness. Some of my best memories come from being spontaneous on a trip. For example, while in Amsterdam I thought I planned out my weekend to a T, but I was left with a lot of free time. I went on walks along the canals and popped in and out of stores, and that feeling of freedom stayed with me just as much as my planned activities. I also randomly chose to visit the MOCO museum, and I found one of my favorite modern art exhibits ever!
DON’T live behind your camera
As a blogger/participant of the social media world, it’s easy to spend all of your time hunting for your next pic for the ‘gram. While I am guilty of this, at the same time it’s important to remember that some things are better experienced in person rather than behind a lens.
Let’s be real – trying to take photos and videos of everything distracts from what’s actually in front of you. I know I’m guilty of recording entire concerts and not remembering what actually happened because I was worried about getting “a good Snapchat”, and coming to Europe I knew that I wanted to throw that mindset out the window.
While I do take lots of pictures, I try to leave some time to just observe what’s going on in front of me. That time of reflection has been so valuable to me in my travels, and I hope it will be for you, too!
DO soak up every moment!
Finally, this one might be a little self explanatory.
Really be present (aka, put your phone down every once in a while), and enjoy every single experience, the good and the bad. Don’t get hung up on the small things that go wrong – you can charge all of it to experience, and it will make for great stories when you get back home. You don’t know the next time you’ll be in this place, so make the most of it!
Well, those are all of my travel tips! I hope you guys got a little something out of this post, and that your next trip will be amazing.
Where are you going next? What are your favorite travel tips?