Travel forms a part of many people’s lives, but the fact is that visiting different countries around the world is rarely easy. There’s a lot to consider every time you leave home, from what to pack to where to stay. The planning process often takes weeks in its own right, and we’d always advise our readers to take their time before they settle on their ultimate destination.
We designed this feature for people that do indeed want to travel freely, potentially on an entire around the world expedition, or even as a one-off. The idea is that you travel without restriction and live in comfort and luxury for the duration of your journey, without necessarily breaking the bank. Read on to see how to make this possible.
1. Use Online Tools to Find the Best Accommodation Money Can Buy
Some might say that the explosive growth of the internet in recent decades has made international travel less necessary. Sure, it means that people can cut down on business travel as they can communicate face to face from anywhere in the world. It also means that you can get an idea of what any country is like just by heading to YouTube.
Nevertheless, nothing beats experiencing different countries for yourself and one area in which the internet does come in handy is in helping you to find the best value for money deals out there. It’s not even cheaper to compare what’s around when you get there any more; such is the competitiveness of the hotel comparison industry. Try different sites for the best price and cut costs immediately.
2. Pack for Efficiency
If you plan to be gone a while, there are some things you’ll need and others you won’t. If you plan to document your journey, you’ll need your laptop and camera, but the task in mind should drive everything else. The chances are that you don’t need as many clothes as you think you do – a couple of outfits for different conditions will suffice as it’s rare to land somewhere that doesn’t have washing facilities or at least a sink for underwear. Use packing tips to cram as much in as you can and don’t overthink what you might need in any given situation too much.
3. Remember to Entertain Yourself
Long-distance travel means plenty of waiting around and just as much time doing nothing. If you’re the kind of person that copes poorly with sitting still, remember to bring along your music player and e-reader. Crucially, you don’t want to forget charging cables, and it’s worth bringing along a multi-use adapter so the wrong kind of plug socket never foils your plans.
4. Pack as Much Multi-Purpose Clothing as Possible
We’ve already touched on travelling light in terms of how many clothes you take with you, but one of the best ways to do this is only to take clothes that suit multiple situations. A relatively smart pair of shorts is fine for a walk on the beach, and equally so for heading to a restaurant in the evening. Conversely, board shorts are okay in the day but may be frowned upon in the evening.
5. Keep the Most Important Stuff in Your Hand Luggage
You may never have experienced the pain of losing your luggage before, but it does happen and it’s worth planning around. Your hand luggage never leaves your side, so ensure you have everything you might need for a day or two before you get the chance to replace lost items. This means a few clothes, essential gadgets and your entertainment options. Naturally, cash and cards should be in there too so you have the means to pay for anything you need.
6. Leave Space When You Pack
Assuming your luggage gets to your destination with you as planned, it is often difficult to resist the temptation to pick something up while you’re away. If you want to bring it back, it makes sense to leave room in your luggage for this purpose. Otherwise, you’ll have to dispose of something you brought with you or risk going over the limits imposed by airlines, and paying a fee in the process.
7. Have an Idea of Where to Go Before You Get There
Even people that usually prefer to play things by ear and take each day as it comes prefer to make the most of their time abroad. Any time spent searching around and procrastinating is time wasted, so come up with a list of places to visit before you travel. This could be venues and museums if you’re sightseeing or bars and restaurants with good reviews.
8. Learn a Bit of the Local Language
When you go on holiday normally, you probably go somewhere that the locals speak a bit of English. However, if you’ve decided against a conventional vacation and have somewhere more exotic in mind, you risk being unable to communicate at all. You don’t have to become fluent in the language of every place you visit, but you should try to learn at least enough to get you through a typical day to day situation.
9. Use Apps to Make Friends
You might see making friends as purely incidental when you travel abroad, but you never know who you might run into. If making friends is a priority, use apps like Meetup to find local people with shared interests, and if your personal interests extend further than this, consider dating apps too – as long as you’re confident in your ability to stay safe while using them.
10. Make a Note of the Good and Bad
If you’re only in a particular place for a short time, you might only visit places once. Nevertheless, it always makes sense to keep track of places you like for if you plan to come back again. You can do this with a pen and paper or notes on your phone, or you might choose to leave online reviews that you can refer back to through your account. Either way, it’s always more comfortable to know places that meet your needs without the need to search them out.