Last Updated on June 18, 2022 by Rat Race Running
Traveling to other places is essential to widen our perspective on the world and human nature. It gives us a new frame of mind of how various cultures differ from our own and hopefully produces more understanding.
It also teaches us more about ourselves. It teaches us how to interact with other people, try new things, and experience things you never thought you could do.
Though I am not a frequent traveler, I have some experiences and lessons learned in traveling, which I hope to share. Here are some.
1. Plan your trip.
An essential part of your trip is your planned itinerary. Though possible, you shouldn’t book a plane ticket somewhere with no plan of what to do or where to stay, especially with no money to spend.
Planning includes identifying what you will do when you get off the plane or bus. You also need to know where you’ll stay and for how long. Plane tickets and hotels are also much cheaper when booked in advance.
Planning your activities will also include your clothing. If you want canyoneering or island hopping, you must prepare a dry bag and sets of clothing for swimming. If you are going somewhere cold, you need to bring thicker clothes.
If you’re planning to visit farther places, you’ll need to know how to get there. Do you need to ride a bus or book a travel and tours agent or maybe you can walk or ride the local means of transport?
2. Pack light.
The key to efficient travel is to have smaller and lighter baggage as possible so that carrying it would be easier. You may also opt to use a trolley bag so that you can roll it instead of lifting it.
Laundry services are also almost everywhere, especially in highly urbanized cities. You can now wash and dry your clothes in less than an hour.
To pack light, you will need to identify the most important things. Avoid bringing too many unnecessary items. If there are items that you can easily buy at the destination, you can do that.
3. Detach yourself from work.
Traveling is usually a means of escape from your day job. However, your job can often linger in your head longer than needed, especially if you have unfinished tasks.
The key is ensuring you finish all of your deliverables before leaving and setting an out-of-office notification that you will be unavailable for calls or emails.
It is essential to not think about work when on vacation. It would be best if you savored each moment you spend in another culture, especially if you’re with your special someone.
4. Give your travel budget some leeway.
Like anything good in life, your travel will need funds. So, you must include the amount you will need to spend during your planning. Identifying the current prices of goods and services is crucial, so you will have a bird’s eye view of how much to save.
However, it is still impossible to correctly estimate how much you will spend, so you must include a buffer in your travel budget.
You may check travel bloggers or Facebook groups and look at the updated price lists for reference.
5. Taste the local foods and delicacies.
Similar to how Bicol has its signature dishes, like Bicol Express, sinantol, and laing, other places also have the signature dishes they are proud of.
Many travel vlogs and documentaries showcase foods from each location they go because food tells a story. So, it would be a shame to miss out on trying the local cuisine.
I personally prefer eating in local eateries instead of restaurants because they are often more authentic.
6. Don’t spend too much time taking pictures.
When traveling, I avoid spending too much time taking pictures. I usually take one or two photos or videos of the place as souvenirs. Doing so gives me more time to visit more locations in the itinerary.
In the age of Instagram, it is usual for people to do pictorials and photoshoots that may take a long time that can be used elsewhere. But what can I say? To each their own.
7. Travel slow.
I don’t know if I am growing older or if my body is just not as active as it used to be. But I realize that traveling slow can also be fun, even if you are not ‘maximizing’ your time to go to as many locations as possible.
I realize that we could spend the mornings just eating breakfast, staying in the hotel, then spending the afternoons and evenings outdoors, or vice versa.
When we travel, we usually want to take a rest and escape from the normalcy of our day job. So, it wouldn’t be wrong just to take things slow.
8. Four is a good travel number.
I recently traveled with my parents and my sister. We realized that four is an excellent traveling number, especially for accommodations and transportation. Having more than four can be a crowd.
Taxis are usually four-seaters, tables are also commonly grouped in four, rooms are better with two double-sized beds, and so on.
9. Skimp on pasalubong.
Pasalubong is very Pinoy. When we travel, we want to give the people we leave items from places we visit, usually food or souvenirs.
However, pasalubongs can be costly, especially if traveling on a budget. They can also eat up precious baggage space, especially when riding a plane.
So an excellent way to maximize pasalubongs is to give items in bulk rather than individualized. Instead of giving every officemate or family member a keychain, you can give a pack of food items for sharing.
But you can always avoid buying pasalubongs altogether if you’re short on budget. There is no shame in that.
10. Cherish the moment.
The most important thing to do on vacation is cherishing each moment you spend away from home. It can be the boost you need to recharge yourself for another bout on your job.
If you’re traveling with your special someone, friends, or family, it is good to spend more time with them, get updated on what’s happening in their lives, and just be present.
Though pictures remind us of what we saw or did in a place, our memories and what we learned from others will always influence us and change our perspectives a little better.
Traveling is not about social media. It is for the renewal of our hearts and minds, which can contribute to further understanding of other people and communities.
Though I still have so many places I want to visit, I now want to see more with my special someone. The best experiences in life happen when it is shared.
Until the next travel, see you!
This post is a collaboration between my girlfriend and me.
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