After many years of traveling and planning bucket list vacations for clients, I thought I should share with you my top 10 travel tips to help you avoid the common mistakes and help you travel like a pro. Traveling the world and seeing new places can offer incredible lifetime experiences and following these tips can help make your travel much more enjoyable. Here are my tips:
1. TRAVEL INSURANCE IS A MUST
The number one travel tip that you will hear from me…. Get your travel insurance. How many horror stories have you heard about thousands of dollars being spent on medical bills? The option is there for a reason and the second you reject that option, things could turn sour. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you because you will find many travelers with big debts who felt the same way. When designing your travel, I provide options to protect your vacation. This will always be the most important of my top 10 travel tips.
It is not difficult to learn the basics of a language. And the locals appreciate the effort to communicate with them in their language. It is fun and respectful. Key words such as hello, please, thank you, sorry, goodbye will gain you a lot of respect from the locals. In Europe, many locals will speak English, but please attempt their language and do not speak louder to force understanding. iTranslate is a great app to download before you travel abroad. READ OUR BLOG ABOUT OUR FAVORITE TRAVEL APPS HERE
Share Taylored Tours’ app of your vacation itinerary (included when you plan your travel with us) with your family and friends to let them know where you are and how you are traveling. It is always a good idea to let your loved ones know where you are going to be located. It’s also a good idea to check in with family and friends through Skype and other systems periodically during your travels.
What better time and place to experiment with foods than when you are traveling. The local cuisine is always the best option when eating out and is a big part of the whole experience. There are a lot of local cuisines that you may not be able to try back home so make sure you make the most of your experience and opportunities. To find the best areas and knowledge of local cuisine, make sure you do some research prior to traveling. Ask Taylored Tours about your destinations that may have dedicated food tours.
Download maps and travel apps (Again, refer to our Travel Apps blog HERE). This was a huge help when I was traveling in Ireland. Being able to know the transport times and having an understanding of the correct train and bus lines are a necessity. Having these apps will limit the likelihood of getting lost. If you have limited wifi or data, then invest in local maps and travel timetables. These are a lifesaver and will keep your anxieties down.
How many people have gone traveling and have either lost their passport and documents or had them stolen? It is far too common and the safest way around this issue is to make copies of everything and store it in a safe location. If you do happen to lose your passport, you will be required to go to the local embassy and get a replacement, and they will ask of proof of identity. Just like travel insurance, you always think it won’t happen to you…until it does. Therefore, be prepared and don’t let anything that can be avoided, ruin this magnificent experience.
This is one of the most important tips when traveling. If you pick up the odd bump and cut along the way, you will not want to be caught short. It does not have to be anything special. Just the basics, so you are able to patch up and keep moving. Remember you will want to be traveling light. Also remember that you will have travel insurance, so anything big will be covered by your insurance. Remember the number one rule is to be prepared for any outcome that will not ruin your overall experience due to lack of planning.
I had to add some photography into the mix. In years to come, you will want to look back at your travel memories. These photographs might be some of the most important memories in your life so make sure you invest in a good camera or phone, and learn how to use it before traveling. Take photographs with the locals if they consent. It is always nice to remember the local that helped you or spent time talking to you on the long train journey.
You may think that sleeping in and not having the stress of having to wake up is living the dream. However, when you are traveling, sometimes that is the opposite. Sure, rest some of the time, but make the most of the time you have. The greatest secret of all is being able to visit the greatest places on earth at the least populated times of the day. Many popular destinations will get crazy busy, especially during peak season. Also, heading out early may mean you are first in line for the popular attractions which get huge queues throughout the day. Remember to plan ahead and be early.
Everyone loves to live in their comfort zone. It is safe and constant, however, sometimes your comfort zone will not allow you to grow and spread your wings. Leaving my comfort zone allowed me to start traveling overseas on my own to find the best destinations, tours, activities and restaurants for my clients. It is something I would have never imagined doing years ago, but I understood it was the only way I could grow, learn, and live one of my dreams to become the best in my field.
It helped me overcome my anxiety of dealing with the things I was most nervous about (that actually never really happened). Remember…you are always a phone call or FaceTime away from your loved ones. And it introduced me to new experiences and people that I would have never imagined if I did not leave my comfort zone. You don’t get many opportunities in life to travel. So take the opportunity and remember how lucky you are.
And when you are ready to start planning your bucket list vacation, get in touch with me. I’d love to help. To learn more about our travel planning process…
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Cindi Taylor, Taylored Tours
Taylored Tours specializes in custom-designed travel and tours, “taylored” to your taste…perfect for foodies, wine enthusiasts, and seasoned adventurers alike.