travel better in 2018

Another year of opportunity is here! Let’s make it a year of adventure, fun, and positivity. No more excuses, no more laziness, and certainly no more FOMO.

Start by incorporating my tips in everyday life and throughout your travels so you can travel better and longer in 2018!

Branch Away from Big Brands

I get that being a member of loyalty programs can get you some sweet discounts with the big hotel chains, but you’re probably missing out by going that route all the time. Try to incorporate at least one boutique hotel or B&B into your trip so you can get a more authentic feel of a city or country.

Staying at family owned B&Bs not only helps you connect with the owners, it helps give back to the community by supporting small businesses… not to mention you’ll probably get much more personalized service!

Put the Camera DOWN

Documenting trips is bigger than ever these days. With snapchat and instagram, people have started living behind the lens of their phones and cameras. Snapping memories is fine to an extent, but don’t lose out on the experience by worrying if you captured it in focus.

Travel Solo

If you want to visit a new place, don’t let the fear of being alone stop you. Just buy the ticket and GO! You can make your own schedule, eat where you want, and have the freedom to make all the decisions! You never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn by taking a solo trip.

Start Saving NOW

It bothers me when people say they don’t have money to travel yet they go shopping and out to bars every weekend. You need to prioritize travel and that starts with cutting back on excess spending to save for your trip. Even if it takes a year or more, every little bit counts.

Learn a Language

I’m guilty of not having mastered another language from a young age. I have that high school level French that gets me virtually nowhere. Learning another language doesn’t just help you communicate more easily when you travel, it opens another part of your brain. You begin to think differently about certain concepts that don’t translate to your native language. In 2017, I took the plunge to learn Spanish (as you do when you move to Spain) and even though it’s tough at times, I know it’ll pay off in 2018 and beyond.

Don’t Dwell on the Itinerary

Traveling slow was on the list for 2017, and it carries over to this year as well. Take your time when you travel so you don’t get overwhelmed and forget the first half of the trip. Don’t miss out on a spontaneous opportunity just because it’s not on the schedule.

Related: How to Be More Present When You Travel

But Make Sure you Have One!

It’s a bummer to return from a trip halfway round the world to learn that you just missed something spectacular. Sometimes a little planing will save you the anguish of FOMO.

This is something I can help with! Why not let me do the research so you never have that feeling of travel regret again?!

Speaking of Research, Do Some!

Reading up on the history of a city or country before you visit will give you a whole new outlook on traveling there. You don’t want to overlook a building or statue that boasts a compelling story just because you didn’t put in a little effort towards learning.

Also, checking what the common customs are, the traditions, the dress-code, and the must-do’s and do-NOTs can all help you avoid a sticky situation and arrive prepared.

Get Outside your Comfort Zone

It’s one thing to take a trip, but it’s another to do the same old things in a new place. We all have a travel style we’re comfortable with, but why not push yourself to try something truly new? Usually when you push yourself just a little further to talk to a stranger, try a new food, or jump off that waterfall, it feels really weird at first. However, 9 times out of 10, you’ll be really happy you did it.

Don’t Worry what People Think

The worst thing you can do is avoid trying something because you’re worried you’ll embarrass yourself. Travel is the time to be 100% YOU, not to make decisions based on others judgements. Take that cheesy photo, get out into that dance circle, and let your weirdo flag fly!

Surround Yourself with Positive Energies

This should be done in your everyday life anyway, but for travel, it can really suck being stuck with a negative nancy the whole trip. If your travel partner is getting you down, don’t be afraid to branch off and make new friends. You don’t have to suffer through just because you originally planned the trip together. It’ll all be a waste if you don’t enjoy yourself and you shouldn’t at the hands of someone else’s negative attitude.

In the same respect, BE a positive energy as best you can. That’s not to say you have to put on a fake smile and be peppy all the time, but make an effort to focus on the beauty and bright side of life.

Don’t sweat the small stuff, say ‘yes’ more, give compliments and mean them, build others up and support the people and things you care about, push yourself to be better, and never stop learning.

What are your goals for more, longer, or better travel in 2018?

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