I’ve planned a few trips in my time and as I’m in the midst of planning my next adventure back across the pond to Paris, I realized that there is SO much that goes into planning your trip. Whether it be your honeymoon, a family vacation, a babymoon, or simply an excuse to be adventurous, it might come into handy these simple travel tips. And guess what all these tips have in common — RESEARCH!! You absolutely cannot expect to have a super amazing adventurous time that is packed with site seeing, exploring, and immersing yourself as a native if you don’t plan ahead and do your homework. I’ve gone on trips where I didn’t plan and it was okay. Just okay — I missed SO many opportunities to go beyond and do more exciting things and found myself bored at times trying to figure out what to do next. So, even though it was okay that I didn’t have a plan, I would have optimized my time SO much more had I just done the work ahead of time. So..here goes. My 7 things that will get me nearly everything I need when I travel.
Take the time to really look into the place you are visiting. Check out their customs and norms and really pay attention. Sometimes, the way that we act towards others in another country can really make or break our own experiences. So it’s incredibly important to do your due diligence and find out what general terms are used and what mannerisms are expected so that you can adapt your behavior in order to have a more pleasant time. And when I say that, I don’t mean that you have to change who you are, but that you need to be aware that you are a stranger coming into someone else’s home, someone else’s country, and therefore; as a guest, it would be helpful to acclimate yourself to their way of life and living to gain a more enlightened experience.
Seriously my best friend in the whole world when it comes to traveling. YES — you may have to sort through some craziness but ultimately, it’s real people with real reviews. I use this to help me find all the good places to visit and things to do. I sort through the reviews and find people that have like interests and take their reviews more to heart than others. They also have great articles that are written by locals as well that help explain what to do if you want to wander off the beaten path a little. It’s really wonderful and a great way to kick start your trip planning.
Reading up on some travel blogs is wonderful. When you search for travel advice and land on a travel blogger’s page — you are in for a treat! Travel bloggers are amazing because they literally tell you their whole story and they often don’t fall into the tourist traps either. So, if you truly want to travel and visit and be swept away into another country, travel bloggers really dig deep. After doing research and finding this awesome blogger — I now want to go to Spain! https://youngadventuress.com/2015/08/visit-asturias-spain.html
Check the Weather
No really, it seems like a normal thing to do but check it. Summer here in the midwest is not the same as summer in Europe. Heck, summer in Europe varies depending on what country you are going to. So, don’t think that just because it’s summertime means that you can wear shorts everyday. Look at historical weather for the month that you are traveling and adjust to make it fit. Luggage is a privilege and expensive to fly all your belongings. So, choose the right attire and pack a little lighter so that way you have more room to take home some awesome souvenirs.
FOODIES! Yes, I’m talking to you! So, as much as I love TripAdvisor — I don’t often rely on them soley for food. Instead, I turn to Yelp. Yelp is hands down my favorite app when searching for a place where I can fill my tummy with delicious food. And the best part is that I can set my budget and still get great cuisine whether I’m splurging or being budget friendly for a meal. The cool thing is, if I see a restaurant that is rated super high on Yelp and it also so happens to be rated high on TripAdvisor? I know that I’m going to have an amazing meal. BUT, I also know that I will likely need to research slow times or make reservations seeing as they might be a busy place.
Get a Map – Get the App
As you travel – especially if you are going to places with bigger cities, most likely they will have public transportation. Whether it be buses, trains, or the subway — be sure to download their public transportation app on your phone before you get there. Get familiar with the routes or the main ways of travel. In Paris, the easiest way to travel is actually — walking and taking the Metro. You can’t always rely on taxi’s of the Uber pool because in bigger cities, it can get congested and then you are just stuck. So, get a map and get the app and get familiar with where you are going. If you will travel via Metro/Subway — think about making a purchase ahead of time so that you will already be one step ahead when you arrive.
Leave your “I’m a tourist” gear at home!
Like I mentioned before, you are a guest in someone else’s country, home, livelihood. Yes, am I super proud to be from Wisconsin, heck yes I am!! But if I’m exploring the fjords of Norway and hiking up a volcano in New Zealand, you bet I’m going to be dressed for the occasion. Even as I’m hitting up the shops in Paris, you won’t see me sporting my Badger shirt or a Paris shirt I just bought from the shop down the road. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Yes, be proud of where you are from, but also be respectful that you are a visitor and try to blend in so that you become treated more like a native — that will also give you the most authentic experience too!
I leave you with those tips today. So whether you are scuba diving in Thailand, hiking in Norway, or climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower, try to remember these tips as you plan your wanderlust adventures.