Those who have the privilege to travel will agree that travel is one of the most important, enjoyable, and eye-opening experiences that someone can have. You can’t place a value on exposure to different countries, because studying ways of life helps contribute to the development of a widened worldview. Besides, it’s just really fun and there’s so much to see and experience. With that being said, keep reading for travel hacks to make your next trip a little easier and a lot more enjoyable!
Bring extra clothes.
Although this is geared more towards longer flights, bring an extra pair of underwear, a fresh shirt, and a pair of socks. Change right before you land so you can land feeling fresh and ready to explore.
Check in early.
Other than that, sometimes checking in online/early means you can choose your seat, which is always great, especially for longer flights.
Tip: I prefer window seats because then I can lean on the side for support/sleeping space, but aisle seats are great as well because you have more leg space and access to the walkway/bathroom.
Research what to wear.
Keep in mind that if you are planning on visiting certain monuments or places of worship, there are often certain dress codes in place. Research what you should wear in order to be a respectful visitor.
When in doubt, dress conservatively.
Bring a pair of pants and a short-sleeved shirt or cardigan to wear at places of worship. Most Roman Catholic churches, mosques, Orthodox synagogues, and Buddhist and Hindu temples expect visitors to dress somewhat conservatively.
Plan your schedule.
For many who prefer to live in the moment or make decisions on a whim, prior research may seem unnecessary, but what I have found is that creating a tentative schedule helps keep me organized and guided. Of course, my schedules are just a provisional compilation of suggestions, but it helps me manage my time and ensure I can visit all of the places I want to go!
Tip: I like to leave some time for “miscellaneous activities,” which is when I do something impulsive or interesting that isn’t included in my schedule.
Bring water (and snacks) everywhere.
This might seem like a given, but carry a bottle of water everywhere you go! Staying hydrated is one of the most important things, and in some places, water isn’t easily accessible or reasonably priced. In several countries in Europe, although tap water is drinkable, taps are not easy to find, so bringing a reusable bottle and filling it at your hotel is always a good idea.
Also, I generally pack a box of granola bars or something else that can come in handy when you don’t need a full meal but just need something to keep you going until the next meal.
Talk to everyone!
The coolest thing about travelling for me is that it helps you realize that everyone has a story to tell. Especially in major touristic cities and areas, talk to people – your taxi driver, concierge, waiter – anybody, really. There is so much to learn.
Every city has some sort of music and art scene.
Find that underground scene to enjoy something less touristy and more authentic. Music and art are uniting factors worldwide so I find it beneficial to learn about how different people approach them.
Obviously you will want to do all the normal touristy stuff and ‘must-do’s’ in a new country, but one thing I always enjoy is attempting to emulate a normal day in the life of a native of whichever country I am in. To do this, I do the things and go to the places I imagine they would go to. It’s enjoyable because it allows me to perceive the world through someone else’s eyes, and it helps me to understand others’ realities.
Remember… Have fun!
All in all, there is so much to see. Please take your time. Sometimes traveling feels like checking places off a checklist, but it should be so much more than that. Happy travels!