Travel is an amazing and transformative experience, but it also can be overwhelming, for novices and seasoned travelers alike. Jet lag, hectic schedules, and culture shock can create tension and anxiety that keeps tourists from fully experiencing the beauty and wonder of a trip abroad, or even, at times, domestic.
Travel has a sweet spot...the key is finding yours.
Learning from others' mistakes can help you avoid your own travel pitfalls and better insure that your own journey will fulfill, or even exceed, your own expectations.
Here are three common travel mistakes that, in hindsight, may become travel regrets, and how you can avoid them.
As tempting as it is to try and fit in everything, refrain. You may end up exhausted and cranky, overwhelmed, and feel like you're only moving from place to place, snapping photos of landmarks that you passed too quickly to truly remember.
And, if you haven't seen everything, you have a reason to go back. Don't look at your travels as some grand checklist or "Been there, done that." Live like a local and less like a tourist.
I wish I had tried that... When you travel abroad, or even out of your home region, it may be tempting to stick to what you know. If you have dietary restrictions, I empathize with why this makes sense. But, if you are able to eat, throwing abandon to the wind, so so.
Go off the beaten path and eat where the locals do. Nothing sends me farther away than when I see an "American menu" abroad. Even in the most tourist driven areas of Spain, you can enjoy the Menu del Dia, and experiment with flavors and culturally adored comfort food. Why search out pizza when you can experiment with tortilla española. Even if you don't like it, you can be assured that, more than likely, it was properly prepared and cooked, not simply cut out a bag, standardized across a chain or franchise of restaurants.
What a waste...I never even used that...
It's tempting to pack options. With variable weather and dining options, it's hard to know exactly what you will need when you travel. Here's what I learned. Overpacking is a nightmare. Worst case scenario, you buy something in your destination and you end up with a souvenir. It's a win-win.
Unless you are traveling to the most remote areas of civilization, I can almost guarantee they have what you need. If sizing is an issue, I appreciate your concern, but nevertheless, you may be carrying that bag around...at least at the airport. Think before you pack.
Take out everything you want to bring. And then, aim to remove half of it. Bring your most versatile items that can serve double duty. And truly consider what you need versus what you want. Less is more. And you'll feel like a packing ninja!
Travel is a transformative experience. As someone blissfully infected with wanderlust, I can vouch for the power of the journey. But making mistakes, like the ones above, can diminish the experience and prevent people from taking chances on longer, more extensive trips.
Knowledge is power. Note people's success and learn from their mistakes and set off on your own journey. And then inspire others to take that first step themselves.
What travel advice would you offer novices?
Thanks so much for sharing these great tips with us Kelly! Check out the original post and more travel ideas on her blog A Lovely Life, Indeed!