Go with an open mind, relax and have fun, but make sure you enjoy your holiday!
Getting the most out of your next adventure is the best thing you can do for yourself. Plan ahead and be sure to relax and enjoy it!
If you’re looking for a relaxing week on the beach? Do it! Want to party in New York City? Go for it! Planning to trek up Mt Kilimanjaro? Knock your socks off! Just be sure to enjoy everything you set out to do.
These are my 10 best tips to maximise your next adventure!
1Research your destination
It’s a good idea to research your destination before you leave.
Read up on your destination: Map out your ‘Must-see’ places, plan a couple of day trips, look up the historic attractions, learn basic language phrases and be familiar with the exchange rate.
For additional information, follow a couple of travel bloggers who’ve already been to your destination as they will have ideas and suggestions for you. My favourite travel bloggers are Nomadic Matt, Everything-everywhere, 2 Aussie travelers and Where is Noodles?
These are great blogs, jam packed with tips to get best value out of your next adventure and if they don’t have what you need, I’m sure Google will be able to help!
2Enjoy your adventure
Try different accommodation options. If you’ve always stayed in mid-high range hotels, why not be a little daring — try one of these to add some difference into your adventures.
Or if you’ve always gone ‘budget’ treat yourself to a weekend at a ‘5 star’ hotel! I love booking a ‘mystery hotel’ experience with Wotif, just for something different!
Sometimes it’s time to take advantage of an opportunity. It’s a chance to meet new people and add a new dimension to your travel experience.
3Enlist the locals as your guide
Talk to the locals for tips about what to see in their city.
It’s a great way to do something different that’s not mapped out in every travel guide.
Ask the Concierge at your hotel, or talk to the waiter at breakfast, stop a local for directions or engage a market stall holder in chat.
Most people are proud of their city and will willingly offer suggestions about their favourite places so that you can enjoy them too.
4A little local lingo is a great icebreaker
Traveling to a new country is a great opportunity to learn a little of the local lingo. A few words like “Hello, Goodbye and Thank you” will go a long way when visiting another country.
Our breakfast waiter in Ubud, was very keen to help us use the correct Balinese greeting which ended up being fun for us all.
Even a clumsy attempt at pronunciation will usually draw a smile from a local and they love to correct you.
5Get your bearings in a new city
Take a ‘city explorer’ bus trip to get your bearings when arriving in a new city. It’s a great way to familiarise yourself with the city and learn about it’s main attractions.
We often head to the highest lookout point to get an look at the city from the highest vantage point. It’s often an exhilarating sight and a great opportunity for a photo-moment or a ‘we were here’ selfie for Facebook!
6Take a Walking Tour
Cycling or walking tours are a fun way to explore a new city and we usually try to include them whenever we can.
- I took a ‘Pub Crawl’ walking tour in Sydney a few years ago which turned out to be a fun experience and a great way to learn about some of the convict history of Old Sydney Town and meet some new people, albeit over a few beers.
- Another fun walking tour was the ‘Brothel Tour’ in Singapore where we walked through the ‘red light’ district which was the ‘seedy’ area of Chinatown in early days. It was great fun and we learned about so many things that were not in the guide books.
Tour guides on these sorts of adventures are a wealth of information and great fun.
7Photograph or Journal your experiences
Often it’s hard to remember the little things on your holiday so it’s always good practice to take notes of things that you’ve found interesting, especially if your trip is a long one.
Another option is to simply take photos and build an album of memories for yourself.
Social media is sometimes used as a travel journal so it makes it easy to post a few photos up on Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr every few days for an easy to use record of your adventure.
Set up a blog for your family and friends back home, it’s easy to do and a nice way to record your travels.
8Enjoy the local flavours
I always think that tasting the local flavours is one of the best parts of the overall holiday experience.
I know travelers who’ve eaten at Maccas everywhere they went, ‘just because they could be sure of what they were eating‘. Don’t be that traveler!
There’s just something special and ‘real’ about mexican food in Mexico, savouring hot bagels from a street vendor in New York, Jambalaya in New Orleans, enjoying Pasta in Italy, spicy Mei Goreng in Indonesia and eating street food at the hawker centres in Singapore.
It just can’t get any better!
9Safety comes first
Always be conscious of your surroundings and be sure not to put yourself at risk.
- Keep your travel plans, including accommodation details, to yourself.
- Don’t hitch hike.
- Avoid the ‘risky’ places of the cities you visit, especially at night.
- Keep a photocopy of your passport and all other important documents in a safe place.
- Use ATMs during the day, when other people are around.
- Don’t carry a lot of cash on you. Rely more on credit cards than cash.
- If you are mugged, don’t fight back. It’s better to lose your wallet and watch than get injured.
Don’t make yourself a target
- Don’t wear expensive jewellery on display.
- Consider carrying a ‘dummy’ wallet with a small amount of cash. Hand this over if you are directly confronted by a mugger.
- Wearing a bum-bag around your waist or carrying a bulky backpack screams ‘traveler’. Consider a bag which isn’t so ‘touristy’.
- Try to blend in with the locals and avoid looking or acting like a tourist.
If you are concerned for your safety at any time, make sure you know the safest path back to a safe zone as quickly as possible.
10Remember to Relax
It is a holiday after all. Enjoy!
Take the time to chill out, relax and enjoy where ever it is you’ve decided to visit. It’s the most important part of traveling!