How You Can Be Awesome At Travel

How You Can Be Awesome At Travel

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I recently wrote about why I suck at travel, but I can’t hate on myself all the time. While it can be easy to focus on the negatives it’s just as important to focus on the positive. So here are some completely biased reasons on why I’m an awesome at travel, and how you can be awesome at travel (at least in my opinion).

Why I’m Awesome at Travel? I Research My Travels (Usually)

In the previous post, I wrote about going to Montreal on a whim and having a hard time finding a hotel because it was during The Montreal Grand Prix. Usually, that’s not my travel style because I love to research my travels. Where to go, where to stay, what to do. Researching where I’m going helps me to get excited about my trips; it brings out my inner travel nerd.

My Advice – Plan, But Be Flexible

Researching your travels just means doing some basic research on where you’re going. Will you need a passport or a visa for your destination? How will you get there? How much will the transportation cost? How much will the accommodations cost? What can you do while you’re there? Researching a trip doesn’t mean you need to prebook and schedule everything in advance. Research and plan for the essential details, but leave some flexibility because you never know what you might discover when you get to your destination.

Why I’m Awesome at Travel? I Pack Light

Every time I travel I learn more about what works best to pack for a trip. Now my packing rules are that I should fit everything I need into a carry-on suitcase and in my purse. Packing carry-on only saves me from paying checked baggage fees, and it keeps me from worrying about whether or not my bag will show up, in one piece, at my destination.

My Advice – Be Discerning with What You Take

Make a list of all the items you’ll need and divide that list by half (the adage of pack half the stuff and twice the money is pretty spot-on). Be discerning about what you take with you. You don’t need more than a week’s worth of clothing on any trip (you can always do laundry instead of packing more). If you’re finding it hard to carry or move your luggage on your own, then you might want to reconsider what you’re bringing with you.

Why I’m Awesome at Travel? I Have a Passport

75% of Canadians (or something like that) live within 200km of the Canada/US border. I am not in that statistic, and I’m lucky I travel outside of Canada once a year. Still, I have a passport because I like knowing that I can go outside of Canada if I want.

My Advice – Get a Passport

Perhaps you don’t have a passport, and you’re wondering if it is worth getting. Yes, I believe it is. Of course it’s great to travel within your own country, and the availability for someone to have a passport is a huge privilege that not everyone has. However; if you have the means to get a passport, then I’d strongly encourage you to get one since it means more of the world is available for you to see. Don’t be the girl I met at the passport office a few years ago, trying to get a rush passport for an international flight she was supposed to be boarding in 3 hours. Do some research on what it’ll take for you to get a passport, and do what you can to get one.

A canal in Amsterdam. I couldn’t have gone here without a passport.

Why I’m Awesome at Traveller? I Can Travel Alone

I’ve always been introverted, and I like doing things on my own, but I didn’t travel alone until I was 24 and went to London before doing a group tour of Europe. Funny enough I could have gone with some friends who were planning a similar trip about a month after I was, but I wanted to try going on my own. I’m glad I did because I learned solo travel could be a fantastic experience. Now it’s my favourite way to travel.

My Advice – Travel Solo (at least Once)

Much of the concern I’ve heard about travelling alone comes from people who’ve never travelled solo before. When done with care and consideration solo travel can be an enjoyable experience. You can ease into this by visiting somewhere new within your country. You can also try going to a country that’s easy to visit (like one where you can speak the language). Solo travel is something I hope everyone can do once in their lives. You’ll experience a way of travelling that you can’t get when you visit a destination with people you know.

Why I’m Awesome at Travel? I Can Travel With Other People

Yes, I love travelling alone, and it’s now sort of my go-to default when planning a trip, but I can also travel with other people. I’ve taken different trips with friends and family and have made many memories because of it. Taking trips with others has shown me who I can travel with (and while keeping my sanity).

My Advice – Travel With Others

Before you travel with someone whom you haven’t travelled with before having clear communications about logistics and expectations will make things go much smoother. If you expect to stay in a posh 5-star hotel, and your travel companion wants to stay in hostel dorms, then you’ll need to make some compromises. Finding the balance between what everyone wants is part of taking a trip with other people.

Why I’m an Awesome Traveller? I Keep Travel Days for Travel

I won’t book any tours, activities, show tickets, etc. on a travel day, which I consider to be a day where I’m travelling to my destination. I used to work at an airport, and I saw how travel doesn’t always go according to plan. If I get to my destination on time, and if I’m up to it then I might do something, see a show, etc. once I’m there.

My Advice – Don’t Prebook Any Activities On a Travel Day

If you get to your destination on time (or earlier) and decide to visit an attraction, see a show, etc. then great. Just don’t book those travel day excursions and activities in advance. You don’t want to stress and think, “oh no, I only have an hour to get from the airport, and through traffic to make it to the tour/attraction/show, etc that I paid for.” It’s not a pleasant way to start your travels.

I also believe there is valuing in travelling with people you don’t often go with. As an adult, I usually travel with my friends, but in 2012, I drove my grandparents and my great-aunt to Kelowna, British Columbia. I learned to go at a slower pace, and I saw family members I’d never met before (or hadn’t seen in many years) by taking this impromptu road trip with my family.

Why I’m Awesome at Travel? I Use My Feet

When I travel, or at least when I’m in the city, I try to walk as much as possible. If I can’t walk there, I try to use public transit, or if it’s a bit further, I might take a cab. My first choice is to walk because it helps me get my bearings for where I am (sometimes), and more importantly it gives me a feel for where I am.

My Advice – Walk Around

First I would advise you to invest in good walking shoes for your travels. Now I would encourage you to walk around (as much as possible) at your destination. Walking will help you to see different neighbourhoods and sites up close. Taking a cab or another form of transit is worth it if you’re tired, or if you’re going somewhere, which is too far or unsafe to walk to.

Why I’m Awesome at Travel? I Don’t Care About Tourist versus Traveller Debate

When I travel, I sometimes stick to local areas and sites, but sometimes I go to the well-known tourist attractions. It’s not an either-or situation. Skipping something I want to do when I travel because it’s deemed “too touristy” or because “I’m not a local” is stupid.

My Advice – Do What You Want (Within Reason)

My belief in travel is pretty simple – don’t break the law, be respectful of where you are and who you’re around. Beyond that, if you decide you want to hang out and see how the locals live, then great. If you decide you want to hit every tourist attraction where you are, then that’s great too. Find the type of travel you love, and do what makes you happy. There’s no need to consider yourself either a traveller or a tourist. You can be both.

Why Awesome at Travel? I Try Something Old

I’ve made return visits to many places I’ve been to before like New Orleans, New York, Las Vegas, and Toronto. Some people might wonder why I’ve gone back to these places instead of going somewhere new. Well, because I had the opportunity to go back to these destinations, and I took that opportunity. There are many places I would gladly return to for a second, third, fourth (or more) visit.

My Advice – Don’t Be Afraid to Make Repeat Visits

I do think it’s worth it to travel to new places as well, but if you’ve fallen in love with the destination and you want to go back there, you should. Saying that a return trip to somewhere won’t be the same as the first trip, but that can be a great thing. When you go back somewhere, you’ve been before you know more of what you’ll want to see and do when you’re there.

I came upon Alcee Fortier Park when I was in New Orleans, and loved it, but I also enjoyed visiting Bourbon Street too.

Why I’m Awesome at Travel? I Try Something New

I love going to places I’ve been to before, but I also love going to new places, particularly those I wouldn’t have thought to visit. Denver had never been on my radar until I went there in 2012. I didn’t know much about the city before I went there, but I enjoyed the few days I spent there.

My Advice – Embrace the Unknown

Being safe and listening to your intuition when it says, “this isn’t a good idea” is essential for any traveller. It’s just as important not to live in fear and to try travelling somewhere new, or even doing something you might not usually do. Perhaps if you like to visit cities, then next time check out a National park. With travel, and with life it’s important to challenge yourself, and try something different now and then.

Why I’m Awesome at Travel? I Splurge On What I Love

I consider myself a budget traveller for the most part, but I’m always happy to splurge on the things I love. For everyone, this splurge will be different, but for me, I’m willing to pay extra for theatre tickets because theatre is something I love. Figure out the things you want to splurge on and save up for them ahead of time.

My Advice – Have a Budget, But Have Some Wiggle Room

I should have a travel budget (my previous post shows how I’m not-so-great with money and travel), but I do believe having a budget when you travel is necessary. No matter what your travel budget is to make sure to give yourself some wiggle room for extra splurges. Perhaps the splurge could be staying at a boutique hotel rather than staying in a hostel, or taking a helicopter tour or something else you want to do when you travel.

Tickets for Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson ONE in Las Vegas were not cheap, but this splurge was definitely worth it.

Why I’m Awesome at Travel? I Can Appreciate Every Destination

Every trip I take, and every destination I’ve been to have taught me something about myself and the world around me. I love visiting big cities like New York and London, but I can have just as much fun checking out a cheesy roadside attraction in a small town. Even if it’s not a place I love entirely, I can find something I enjoy about every place I’ve been to.

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust

My Advice – Learn to Appreciate Where You Are

Let’s say you’re an outdoorsy person, and you’re travelling in a big, crowded, noisy city. Learn to appreciate where you are right now instead of wishing you were somewhere else. Find something positive about where you are, who you’re with, who you’ve met, and the experience you’re having. Sometimes it isn’t easy to do this because travelling isn’t always easy, but I believe it will give you a better experience. Change your perspective, and you can change your travels and your life.

Why I’m Awesome at Travel ? I Love to Travel, Even When I’m At Home

I started calling myself a travel enthusiast a few years ago for a few reasons. One is because I don’t travel all the time. I’m working a full-time job, and I’ve been stationary for several months. The second and the most important reason is because I’m enthusiastic about travel all the time. I love hearing or reading about where people are going to and where they’ve been. Sometimes people will apologize to me for talking about their travels, but I always want to hear more.

My Advice – Be A Travel Enthusiast

Maybe you can’t travel all the time, but you can be a travel enthusiast. Listen to people when they tell you about their travel stories. Read travel novels and memoirs, and blogs. Doing these things are not a replacement for travelling, but having a positive attitude and being a travel enthusiast can help to give you inspiration and motivation to travel for yourself.

What tips do you have to be an awesome traveller?

8 thoughts on “How You Can Be Awesome At Travel”

  1. You have all the attributes of an awesome traveler Alouise. The one attribute I’m proud of that I have – is that I’m always curious.

  2. I really like your “travel enthusiast” concept. Like you, I can’t travel all the time, but my mind and my attitude are somehow always on the road; remembering, imagining, reflecting…
    Nice post, Alouise 🙂

  3. Thanks for the encouragement Mary. I’m always hoping to help people travel more, even if they’re like me and make a few mistakes.

  4. I wish I could take credit for the travel enthusiast term, but it was a post by Gray Cargill on SoloFriendly.com that inspired me to use the term (since I don’t travel all the time or want to, but when I travel I do love travel). Thanks for the comment.

  5. Travelling light sounds like ythe way to go, especially if you want to be mobile once you get where you’re going. When someone packs heavy, they are looking to nest on the other side. Fine, if you’re planning to stay somewhere awhile, but what if you want to check out something the next town over?

  6. Very true. The only time I packed too much was when I was first traveling and didn’t know any better. Less stuff to carry around is always better for me.

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