I have a few draft posts waiting to be finished here on this blog, but, being the procrastinator that I am (thank you, college), I decided to start a whole new post with a topic that is situation-driven.
Though I mentioned above that I am quite the procrastinator, it does not apply to the type of traveler that I am, that includes: purchasing tickets, making accommodations, and even packing.
- Deals, deals, deals!
They are everywhere! Every month or so, I check out Yoga Travel Tree, Exit Fares, or even just my favorite airlines (i.e. Hawaiian Air) for any deals for any future dates. It could be half a year out or longer, but I truly enjoy searching deals on fares, most of the time, I do so before I go to bed, so I can daydream about the many places I can go.With that, I want to mention, both as a reminder to myself and others, that we must be reasonable and travel within our means. I have seen travel bloggers/vloggers say, “Money will come later, memories/experiences when you travel are invaluable.”OK. True, but to a certain extent.
Remember to keep on budgeting for your trip, well after you pay for your ticket and your accommodations, keep checking on the budget, and also, keep checking on the exchange rates, especially as the trip date nears.
- PYP! Pack your patience!
Patience is not a virtue of mine, though, I wish it were… But, letting go is liberating!Not only does this apply to airport etiquette, with the long lines and waiting times, this also applies in finding the right deals, the right place to stay, and even possible tours to take. Many of these things are beyond your control in regards to travel, so as much as possible, go with the flow.
After 20+ years of traveling and being the: angry sigher, grumbler, pusher, and eye-roller; I now understand that all of that negative actions do not help yourself, others, and expedite the airport or travel woe you are going through.
- Start to talk to people who’ve been to places you want to go.
There are experiences, and lessons from those experiences, that you can learn pass the guide books, blogs, vlogs, and travel sites. Hearing past experiences from a person you know can give better insight.For example, if you have a friend who just recently went on a trip that you are soon going to (or wish to visit soon), they will have insights, may have itineraries you will want to borrow, or have some good tips, too.One tip I received recently from a friend is that: Don’t stress about where to eat. Use your phone, ask around, or explore where to eat, there will always be good food wherever you go, you just have to be willing to try it.
- Research your booty off.
Though you don’t want to overplan, overpack, overdress, and overstress about your trip… It is best to research if the destination of your choice is the best place to travel right now.Researching will also help you find great alternatives to your trip that will make your travels easier, such as a pass for public transportation for the duration of your stay, or it may even give you time to apply for an international driver’s license, if you decide you’ll want to rent a car to your foreign destination.Another reason to research is that the etiquette of the destination you’ll be traveling to may be significantly different from the country you originate from. For example, in Honolulu, the service tip for restaurants, and other services is roughly 15%-20%. In Japan, it is considered rude to tip. So, if you are über interested in a destination, be sure to research their customs and culture, it doesn’t hurt and you’re only broadening your knowledge. That doesn’t hurt, does it?
Research. It’ll save you and also maybe put your mind at ease…In February, I’ll be going to a country that has a ton of political unease and my first reaction after I was assigned to go was, “OH HECK NAW!”
I am still a little uneasy about going, but, after doing research about the areas I’ll be traveling to, the safety precautions to take in that country (although I’ve been there often since I was a child), talking to many and I mean many people about that country’s new leader, I decided to go for it.
- Pack early.
This doesn’t and will not have to apply to all travelers, but, it is a must for me. Instead of waiting for the last minute to check if I have enough toiletries, underwear, or medication, I say to start a month in advance.I do so to: ensure I won’t leave anything behind, if I pack ahead of time, I realize I overpacked and it gives me time to take excess clothing out, you’ll do a good amount of laundry within that span of time, so, it’ll certainly ensure you’ll be bringing the clothes, shoes, and toiletries you prefer with you.I’ll be heading off to a winter destination next week, so I started a bit longer than a month ahead of time because I live and will be coming from a very tropical destination.
Luckily, I coordinated my essential shopping with Thanksgiving/Black Friday deals and was able to get tons out of the way for cheaper prices.
What kind of a traveler are you? Are you like me? Or are you a night-before-wash-all-clothes-pull-an-all-nighter-to-pack type of traveler?