For many of us, there’s nothing more exciting than the prospect of getting away and seeing the world. Sadly, it’s not always possible to travel as much as we’d like, and this is why it’s essential to make every trip memorable. If you’re keen to make the most of every break you take, here are some golden rules to follow.
Research the destination – There’s a lot to be said for being spontaneous and putting a pin in a map and letting fate do its thing, but if you don’t have the funds or the time to travel extensively, it’s important to choose the right destinations. Think about what you want to do, what you want to see and how you’d most like to spend your time. If you’re interested in doing nothing but lying on golden sands beneath swaying palms, not every destination is going to fulfil your fantasies. Do some reading, get some inspiration and narrow down your options based on your personal preferences and what you want to get out of the trip.
Take advice from other travelers – You don’t have to take every single recommendation on board, but it’s really useful to read some reviews and travel articles and ask friends or family members for advice if you’re planning to visit a place you’ve never been to before. You’ll often find that travelers will offer a different perspective to guidebooks, and this can help you broaden your horizons and enjoy a more diverse range of experiences. You can read reviews to help you find everything from the best times of day to visit major landmarks to amazing restaurants. There’s a huge amount of information available online, so tailor your search to make it relevant. You could select traditional Chinese cuisine or Italian restaurants when you’re looking for places for dinner or use filters to find more information about the attractions that appeal most, for example. If you do have friends or colleagues who have spent time in locations you plan to visit, ask for some insider information. Places that are popular with locals often don’t appear in travel guides, and you could discover some secret gems this way.
Don’t be afraid to get lost – If you’re short on time, having plans can help you to ensure you see everything on your list, but try and leave a little time to wander off-piste. The best way to explore, especially in cities like Rome, Venice, Barcelona and London, is to walk around at leisure. Meander through winding streets, get away from the main tourist areas and see what else is on offer.
Take it all in – In this day and age, we can get distracted by trying to capture moments, and this can prevent us from actually enjoying what we’re doing and seeing. It’s perfectly fine to want that Instagram shot, but don’t let angles and lighting get in the way of your enjoyment of that precious moment in time. Take a step back, look around you, soak up the atmosphere and take it all in before you start worrying about filters and hashtags.
If you love to travel, it’s natural to want to make the most of every trip you take. Do your homework, take advice on board, enjoy once-in-a-lifetime moments and don’t be afraid to get off the beaten tracks.