How To Make The Most Out Of Your Travels
When traveling long term we sometimes forget how to truly enjoy our travels. We’ve been on the road for 1.5 years and we’ve had to step back and press the refresh button because believe it or not, traveling can also become a routine. It can really burn you out. So how do we avoid this?!
Truly enjoy the moment.
Sounds cliche and it’s easier said than done, but it’s a must if you really want to enjoy your travels and everything that is around you. In the world of social media that we live in today, we get the urge to share all of our experiences. It’s fine to share your experiences with the world. but don’t forget the most important thing… you are traveling for yourself, not anyone else. Take the initiative and put the phone aside and be present in the moment.
Do things that are important and meaningful to you.
Once you arrive to a new city, you might feel that you need to do everything! You have researched all the “must see places” of a city and you feel like you have to visit all to make the trip complete. Our advice… if it doesn’t interest you don’t do it. You will find yourself burned out trying to go after a bucket list of things just to do them or to say you were there. At the end of the day, you should spend your money on experiences that make you feel excited and happy. The best example of this is avoiding all the little extra “fees” associated with taking a tour. For example, if you decided to visit a certain location and they offer the extra activities of 30 minutes or 1 hour, should you do it just because you are there? Our answer is “No!”. Do not get suckered in to spending additional money you did not have in mind. If you have to wait for the group for 1 hour, so be it. That extra money you spend can be used for another tour or excursion you really want to do in a different city. Be smart and don’t be afraid to say “I will just wait here”.
Allow yourself to be indulged by your current environment.
Take it all in! You might be in India at the most precious temple or in a bus on your way to your next destination.. see, feel, touch, taste, and smell all you can! Sometimes you will find that certain smells or tastes remind you of a past travel experience. One of our favorite things to do is sit in the main plaza and people watch. You will be surprised by how much you learn about the country and the people just by watching. Pay attention to the small details and I promise you will find things you would have other wise missed.
Have a plan, but don’t forget to leave room for flexibility.
One of the best things about long term traveling is the amount of time you have… do what you want, as you please. It is always good to have a plan of how you are getting form point A to B or where you will be sleeping the day you arrive. Some travelers like to plan ahead and although there is nothing wrong with that, don’t forget to leave room for flexibility. You never know who you will meet that might encourage you to change routes or tell you about a super cool place you should not miss. It’s all part of the fun, make sure your plans are not so rigid that you might miss out on some of the best experiences of your travels. Also, don’t be afraid to call a country home for longer than you expected. If you love a place and feel comfortable, just do it! You have the ability to manage your time now so make the most out of it.
Make friends and don’t be shy to put yourself out there.
Make the time to chit chat with locals or other fellow travelers. We have realized that the people you meet while traveling, can make your traveling experience even better! Even if you are shy, challenge yourself to strike up a conversation with others and have fun making new friends. A smile and a hello always goes a very long way!
Push yourself to do things you would have never done before.
Why travel around the world to do the same things we did back home? Now is the time to step out of the comfort zone and challenge yourself as a person. This may be hiking up a volcano for 6 hrs or trying a food that’s completely new to you. Putting yourself out there might teach you a thing or two. Make sure you are also growing as a person with your travels. Traveling has been one of the best teachers for us!
Document your travels.
It is great to discover and enjoy new places in the world. Our advice… document your adventures. If you decide to create a blog, Instagram travel account, take pictures or whatever makes you happy, just do it. This will give you an opportunity in the future to go back and relive the moments that you experienced while on the other side of the world.
Keep in touch with family and friends.
Make sure to keep in touch with the people that matter back at home. Don’t forget to keep those relationships stronger than ever. During your travels, you will miss out on specials events and important life moments back at home. It happens, you can’t be in two places at the same time. This doesn’t mean you should not follow up and initiate a connection. The people that matter will always reach out and see how things are going. Make an effort to stay connected. Continue to foster those relationships which are important to you.
Embrace the struggle.
There will be times you will miss your flight, get scammed, not understand a word anyone is saying or get sick. This comes with the package of traveling. But guess what? Your are traveling and exposing yourself to unknown circumstances! Nothing worth having comes easy…patience is key. Suck it up and be grateful for all experiences good or bad. I promise you, you will most likely be laughing about that experience later. Find a learning experience in all obstacles that come your way and always be grateful.
Work on that thing you’ve always wanted to work on but never had time.
Now is the time to do that one thing you always wanted to do. If you decided to travel long term, expect a life changing experience. If making friends doesn’t come easy to you because you are shy, make it a goal to be the first one to strike up a conversation with a stranger. If working out or eating healthy was always at the end of your to do list, make it a priority. Focus on you and on those things you’ve always pushed back. You’ll have all the time in the world now. One of the things I always had on my to do list is to take better care of my body and health…and guess what?! I am making it happen! (Yay!)
Budget appropriately always!
The best way to make your money last while traveling is to be on top of your budget. The last thing you want is for you to be short on money in the middle of your travels and are forced to return home. Check out Our Budget Mindset for Long Term Travel & Our Top Tips For Money Management for more details on how to budget.
Take good care of your body and health, both physically and mentally.
Traveling long term definitely messes with your body! It is up to you to make sure you take good care of it and stay healthy. Make sure to get enough sleep, drink water, use sunscreen, and exercise. (walking counts!) I have also started meditating, although I am still new I already feel such a huge difference. Download motivational podcasts or audiobooks to keep you busy during long bus rides.
Travel for you and for no one else.
Don’t let new friends guilt you into following a new route you are not interested in or going out for that expensive dinner if you know you can’t afford it. Also, don’t feel like you have to share every second of your day with others on social sites. It’s happened before that we are enjoying a place so much, we completely disconnect. It’s your experience at the end of the day, don’t be afraid to do it!
What other things do you do to help you enjoy your travels even more? We would love to hear them!