Travel is good for the soul, which is probably why we find it so hard to pack our bags and return home as our vacation draws to our clothes. After all, it often means that we’re swapping sunshine, beaches, and delicious cuisine for the humdrum (and stress) of daily life.
However, while we’d all love to extend our vacations, this isn’t always possible. Instead, you must learn to carefully plan your vacation ahead of time so that you’re able to make the most of your time!
Here are some top tips to get you started!
- Put together a travel plan or itinerary. Whether you’re traveling for several weeks or a handful of days, putting together a travel itinerary is undoubtedly the easiest way to make the most of your time (and reduce your stress levels considerably) This is because it provides you with routine and structure during your trip, so you don’t waste precious time each morning or evening deciding what to do next. It’s also useful from a logistical point of view, as you can plan to visit attractions that are near each other on certain days, as opposed to traveling back and two (once again wasting your time).
- Find somewhere to store your luggage. Many hotels, hostels, and other forms of accommodation require guests to check out early on the final day of their trip. This is less than ideal if your flight/train is later in the evening, and you were planning on doing some exploring. For example, if you’re visiting New York, the streets are hard enough to navigate without being weighed down by a heavy or bulky suitcase. Thankfully, there are plenty of storage lockers you can use throughout the city, which once again will allow you to maximize your time. For example, if your train was departing from Penn Station, you could find luggage lockers Penn Station.
- Join a travel group. Joining a travel group, especially when traveling solo, is another great way to make the most of every moment you have at your disposal when traveling. This is because you’ll be able to ‘buddy up’ with other travelers, and discover more about your travel destination together. This means you’ll feel safer and a little less lonely. Furthemore, you can also ask other group members for travel tips and tricks for your chosen destination, so you know whether or not certain attractions are worth the money ahead of time. As such, it’s also perfect for those looking to travel on a budget.
- Turn off your phone. While it’s normal for our phones to be ‘glued to our hands’ in our daily life, it stops us from living in the moment. After all, it would be impossible to truly detach from work and enjoy your vacation if you’re receiving email notifications every few minutes. Then, instead of enjoying your trip, you may find your mind wandering to meetings and deadlines. On a similar thread, you may feel tempted to update your social feeds when traveling, but this also stops you from embracing the moment as you’re viewing everything from behind your phone screen. As a result, you should try to hold a mini ‘digital detox’ during your trip, using your phone only when strictly necessary.
- Know the quickest way to travel from point A to B. Whether you’re moving from one city to another, or from a tourist spot to a recommended restaurant, another way in which you can make the most out of your time during your travels is by knowing the quickest way to get around. For example, while getting on public transport may seem tempting (giving you a chance to rest your feet), you may find that in some cases, it’s quicker to walk! Alternatively, you may be staying at a destination where riding a bike or renting a car is the most reliable form of transport. The less time you spend moving from place to place, the more you’ll be able to enjoy yourself.
- Embrace spontaneity. While having a routine when traveling is useful when it comes to ticking off attractions from your, you should also make sure that you aren’t closing the door to spontaneity when traveling either. For example, you may want to ask locals for recommendations of things to do when visiting a certain location, instead of visiting some of your pre-planned locations. While staying safe is important, traveling is all about being adventurous – so don’t be afraid to go a little off-script from time to time. Doing so may enable you to uncover some true hidden gems, from delicious family-run restaurants to local beauty spots.