Why Your Travel Experiences Are Sometimes “Meh,” And What To Do About It
Travel should be one of life's great experiences. But sometimes, you can feel a little let down. You spend an enormous sum of money jetting off to exotic places and staying in fancy hotels, but it doesn't quite feel as good as you imagined when you were booking.
The problem is rarely the services you choose. More often than not, it's your approach that's holding you back. Would you like to make your travel experiences incredible again? Take a look at these ideas.
Choose A Destination Off The Beaten Track
People believe that they have to travel to tourist hotspots to cross them off their bucket list. Locations like the Pyramids, The Great Wall of China and Empire State Building are at the top of everyone's agenda. However, most people go to these destinations already knowing what to expect. Their travel experience, therefore, feels like it is on rails. Unpredictable things don't happen. And that can actually detract from the sense of adventure.
Experienced travellers, therefore, continually seek out new off-the-beaten track locations. They look for opportunities to find new experiences.
Related to this point is the idea that you should deliberately wander when you travel. Usually, the experiences that you remember are those that weren't part of your official itinerary. You'll find places that you never knew existed and meet people you wouldn't have encountered otherwise.
Sort Out Your Flights
Most people travel on packed aircraft where travel companies cram as many people onboard as they possibly can. But there are other options.
What is a private charter? Essentially, it's a service where you rent out an aircraft to yourself (and a group of fellow travellers), giving you more space and avoiding the crowds. It's a great way to bypass regular airport issues and feel like a real VIP.
Get Up Early
If you travel in peak season, you'll want to get up nice and early so that you can access tourist hotspots before they become too crowded. In many cities and famous tourist destinations, crowds of people will appear by around 10 am, so you'll want to get the jump on them if you can. If you can be an early bird on vacation, you'll be waking up before 90 percent of people. This way, you can avoid traffic, queues and other issues you're likely to face once cities open up fully.
Experience Food How The Locals Do It
Thanks to globalization, most major cities will provide food that you're used to eating back home. But experienced travelers avoid regular chow. Instead, they feast on what the locals eat, even if it seems a little strange sometimes.
If you can, look for restaurants where the locals like to eat. Walk some distance from the tourist hotspots as these locations tend to provide subpar food at premium prices. It's only when you get into local areas that you can find some real gems.
Put On Your Cap Of Curiosity
Curiosity might have killed the cat, but it can certainly make a human travel trip infinitely more enjoyable. If you can, approach destinations in a child-like manner. Don't assume that you know it all. Take it all in as a child might and continually seek opportunities around you. Foreign cities often do things very differently from how you experience them at home. Instead of avoiding these changes or working around them, embrace them instead. This way, you can become more accustomed to the area and enjoy it more.
Hike In The Wilderness
Cities vary from country to country, but so too do landscapes. Walking around the wilderness can give you memorable experiences that last with you for a lifetime. For instance, if you travel to Bali, head out of the main tourist resorts and into the jungle, climbing towards the volcano. If you go to Sweden, spend some time travelling to the lake and mountain-filled interior of the country.
Go With The Flow
There will occasionally be aspects of foreign culture that you won't like. But instead of fighting these features of foreign lands, go with the flow. How people do things in other countries isn't always pleasant, but as a tourist, it's not your responsibility to correct evils. If something isn't to your liking, just go with the flow. See it as part of the travel experience. You're not there on a crusade. You're just there to enjoy yourself and experience a different side to the world.
Add Notes To Your Photos
Taking photos is par for the course on vacations. But relatively few take notes to accompany them. And for those who want to remember their adventures (or talk about them in more depth), that's a mistake.
Travel bloggers keep records of their thoughts throughout their trips. Most actually carry a diary with them that allows them to make notes any time they are out and about. If you have a good phone, you can also use apps to write down your immediate thoughts and experiences so that you can refer to them later.
Learn The Language
Learning the language might seem like a lot of effort – and it is – but it can massively enhance your travel experiences. It can also help you travel much further and to unexplored places. 95 percent of the locations westerners visit are English speaking. In other words, the culture you travel to caters to your linguistic needs. But when you learn the language, you're free to go to places that regular tourists don't visit. You get to see a part of the world that they simply don't.
You also make your trips much easier. Trying to overcome the language barrier to ask for directions is difficult. Asking whether a restaurant caters to your allergy needs is also a challenge if the owner doesn't know English. But once you have a grasp of the local language, it becomes easy. It's something that everyone can do.
So there you have it: some of the ways you can transform your travel experiences from “meh” to something special.