How to Get the Most out of Traveling

Written By Alla Levin
July 13, 2020

How to Get the Most out of Traveling

The city lights. The sprawling tundra. The mountains and the rivers and the cliffs and lakes.

All there. But what on earth do you do with it? I had this problem only once.

I was in my late teens and I traveled across Europe, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, map in hand with at least one thing per day to go and check out.

And I don’t mean aquariums or shopping centers that you can get just about anywhere.

I mean cathedrals, landmarks, architecture I’d only seen in books and great plazas filled with the local way of life that I’d only heard about from friends (people really do drink coffee past midnight in Prague’s old town square – the cafés are open so why not?!).

There’s only so much research you can do, after all, before you have to jump in and see things for yourself.

So, let’s pack our bags, buy our currency (check out exchange rates at comparison service), and head off into the fray … and let’s get the most of it while we’re at it. Here’s how.

Eat the local foodEat the local food

Far too many people are fearful of local foods because they’ve heard that you should only drink bottled water while traveling.

Now, the water thing is true. Don’t drink the local water.

That’s not because it’s dirty (we hope) but just because it’s different from what you’re used to, and that means an upset stomach while your gut adjusts.

But the food is cooked. That makes it safe to eat. Try it now or forever miss out on local flavors that you won’t find back home on the supermarket shelf.

Don’t over-plan

You need a bit of a plan but don’t go crazy. Speaking from experience, I had booked accommodation in different cities so that I always knew I would have somewhere to stay.

You can take this approach, too, if you want, but what I forgot is that phones exist. The internet exists.

When you leave your house, that’s not the last time you’ll be able to communicate with hotel/hostel desks.

Why not book your first few nights of accommodation and leave the rest to a loose plan.

Sure, you want to see certain cities, that’s fine, and you will, but you’re going to meet people and speak to them and discover that there’s somewhere awesome you hadn’t heard of that’s not too far from where you’d like to go.

If like me, your accommodation is all already booked, your plans are nailed down.

Booking as you go isn’t that hard.

Get the Most out of Traveling: photography tip…take selfies

Travelers take photos of everything. A top tip here is to remember to put yourself in the frame – take selfies.

Coming home to 500 plain photos of castles and churches is a bit of a let-down.

Say cheese and look back fondly.

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