Traveling is the most fulfilling activity for me. I adore hopping on a plane and being somewhere completely different only hours later. It amazes me how much lies outside of my norms, outside of my comfort zone, outside of my perceptions, and every time I explore beyond my front door, I become more connected with the world I live in. Advocating for others to travel and enter into eye opening experiences is an important mission of mine – and that’s why I want to share my travel tips to make the process a little simpler and a whole lot smoother.
- Pack for comfort and for what you are going to be doing.
If you know you’re going to be walking a lot, pack your tennis shoes and pack clothes you won’t sweat through. You’ll be exposed to many new sites and the last thing you want to be thinking about is how uncomfortable you are. Also, have a vague idea of what you are doing so you can pack accordingly. You never know, you may need that satin dress to make an appearance.
- Search “Landmarks” in your Google/Apple Maps.
You truly never know what’s special to a city until you search these landmarks. Especially if you are spending the day exploring, you will know if a world heritage site or a cathedral or a renowned art gallery are near. This way you get to see more without having to go out of your way. This is great for when you are in beautiful places like Old San Puerto Rico, St. Augustine, and anywhere in Europe.
- Ask locals where they recommend.
I listen to blogs and videos before leaving for my trip, but asking once you’re there to people who live there allows spontaneity and amazing insight to the culture and hot spots. Every server we have or person who plops down next to us, we always ask “what do you recommend seeing and doing while in xyz?” Even if there is a language barrier, I recommend letting them type into your phone notes so you can look them up later.
- Try local dishes and expand your horizon.
Everywhere I go, there’s amazing places to eat with great environments. While trying those highly regarded places, try something you couldn’t get back home. Indulge in a different style of cooking – I’m sure you’ll come home and tell everyone about it.
- Make the reservation – COMMIT.
I am normally a “let’s just swing it” person, but with COVID regulations and guidelines in place, capacity may be limited and I do not want you to miss out. While traveling recently, we were shocked that we were turned away from multiple places because they were only taking reservations. Also, we were paying premiums for rental cars and tours since we waited until last minute. So do your homework and plan ahead.
- Get inspired by browsing activities to do.
Some of my favorite sites to look at tours and various ideas are The Travel Brats, Trip Advisor, Airbnb Experience, and Viator. You can tailor your travels to what excites you and makes you happy.
- Lastly, HAVE SO MUCH FUN.
Things happen while traveling and not everyone talks about it. Reservations fall through, weather disrupts plans, you lose your wallet, the list goes on and on. I’ve been there and done that. Don’t take things too seriously and pivot as you go along. In no time, you’ll be a pro-traveler and nothing can throw you off.
Enjoy these travel tips and be sure to share yours.