Here is a list of tips that I personally find useful to do before, during and after a trip that maximized my travel experience. This list has also helped me to understand the local cultures and lifestyle of my travel destinations.
Before going on a trip:
1) Visa requirement.
Check if you need to apply for a VISA to the country you're going to before travelling there or it' may cost you some troubles with the immigration there! This is a must-do.
2) Learn the local language.
If the country you are going to speaks another language other than English, I would recommend learning some simple phrases before going. This will help you in communication with the locals, especially in day-to-day conversation and in bargaining. Although I find that in most of the countries I have visited so far people could speak and understand at least some English, I think it is still very useful to learn the language of the destination I am traveling to. It will help with understanding the local cultures and lifestyle more.
3) Research your destination before going.
I usually google/ wiki about the country that I'm going to in order to learn more about their customs, culture, what the place look like etc. so I can have an idea of what the place is like and what to expect. In addition, googling gives me an idea of what the weather will be like and the suitable clothing I should pack for my trip. For example, there are strict rules of what can be worn at a Holy Place in Israel. When I was visiting the wailing wall, I could not wear anything too short or expose too much skin and my pants must cover my knees.
I also find it useful to look the place up on:
other sites equivalent for ideas to where to go, what to do in my travel destination, the type of food I need to try whilst I'm there, etc. Websites such as lonely planet also give you reviews and insights on what some travelers enjoy or not enjoy. It also give you advice of things to be aware of while in the country.
4) Have a packing list.
Yes I am a list kind of girl but I find it so so useful. Lists help me to remember what to bring and what not to bring. Packing could sometimes get overwhelming, especially when I am packing for a long trip, so using a list has helped me focus on what I need to bring instead of what I want to bring. Click here for my suggested packing list.
5) Check if you need to take vaccines.
There may be a chance of getting mandatory vaccines for the specific place you travel to in order to prevent you in getting specific easily contagious/ regional diseases. For example: If you live in European countries and want to travel to India, there might be a higher risk for you to get malaria because your body might be unfamiliar with the disease, so it might be safer to get a vaccine to prevent that beforehand.
6) Check the weather forecast.
It is so important to check the weather forecast of the place you're travelling to in order to get an idea of what type of clothing to pack. You do not want to bring clothes that doesn't keep you warm enough in cold climates or vice versa.
7) Buy a travel insurance.
It is better to be safe than sorry right? If you get sick and need to go to the hospital or your possessions got stolen, at least you can get some compensation for your loss.For me, I am more to get sick when I am travelling and the last thing I want is to be stranded and have nowhere to go. So I'd say it is better to to have a travel insurance just to ease up the anxiety and panics of trying the unknown.
8) Write a bucket list.
I like to write a bucket list of the things I want to do in the country I am visiting, that way I could maximize my experience during my stay and do fun things that I enjoy.
During the trip:
1) Be positive.
It is essential for travelers to have a positive attitude and an open mind to the place they are travelling to. I enjoy myself much more when I am willing to try new things that I come across, instead of thinking negatively.
2)Try New things!
I could not stress this enough. You're travelling to another country because you want to experience new things, new cultures right? Trying new things means getting out of your comfort zone, of the things you are used to. You will enjoy the new things more when you have an open mind.
Sometimes when I am in a new country, I could get overwhelmed by the unfamiliar surrounding and get a bit homesick. Travelling to a new place does not mean you will have to try everything immediately, some may need time to get use to the food, water etc. there. I find it useful to eat something that I am familiar with at least once per day for 2- 3 days at the country I travelled to in order for me to adjust my stomach to the food there. I have learnt from experience that if I try to adapt to the local's diet immediately, I will get ill easily because of the overwhelming amount of unfamiliar food. But that is only because of my very sensitive stomach. This may not happen to everyone, but it is a suggestion for those who are.
4) Do not be afraid to ask!
I like to ask locals about the places I am visiting to learn more about the history of the place or what I need to look out for. Many of them give me good advice of what to do and it is fastest way to get good advice.In addition, I get to learn more about the people, their lifestyle and even some very personal stories of their lives.
After the trip:
1)Record your experience in the ways you like best
This is a tip for during and after the trip really. I like to take photos, draw and write down the things I have experience and the places I went during my travel.
2) Tell others about your trip.
Storytelling is a good way to help you to remember your trip and to think about what you enjoy or did not enjoy about the trip. Others may ask questions that you have never thought of about the trip before, which is a good way to help you evaluate your travel experience.There is nothing wrong with showing off sometimes.
Hi Jetsetters, welcome to my blogisphere. I am Esther, your guide for today! I hope you will enjoy this tour of my visual travel diary.
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