Traveling, it’s everything you think it can be…exciting, fun, mind-opening, relaxing, and all of the other great adjectives you can imagine. You have to go somewhere…internationally or domestically. Dope pictures, passport stamps, and experiences help define the new millennial.
But, traveling can be overwhelming, especially when you’re first starting out. You’re not a millionaire(yet), you have a regular job, and you don’t even know where to go, how to afford it, and acquire the time to do so. Relax! You’re GOING to travel, and soon! Here are a couple tips to make your travel worthwhile and turn your frustration to excitement.
1. DETERMINE YOUR TIME AND USE YOUR WEEKENDS
Most of us have been either working at our jobs for a while and have acquired time for travel. Whether you only have a couple of days or 2 weeks, there are plenty of ways to stretch your time, like:
Instead of booking a flight that leaves Saturday morning, book the flight that leaves late Friday night, that way, you can sleep on the plane and have an additional day of exploring. This way, using your 5 days of paid time off, could possibly turn into almost 9! If you don’t have weekends off, determine your days off and use them to your advantage. Once again, YOU CAN SLEEP ON THE PLANE, it’s my motto.
Check to see if where you’re going has low-cost carrier airlines that have service to other places. Personally experienced, I booked a round trip flight to London, and as I was researching, I found a cheap-o airline that had service to Amsterdam(around $80 round trip) so I flew there for 2 days and came back to London, then home. Two countries in one!
2. USE THE INTERNET
Travel agents are great, but sometimes doing the research yourself will not only tailor your trip to your needs and wants, but you could also save money on fees and unnecessary excursions. The internet gods have blessed us by having sites that show flights by date, and price in the style of a grid, very user-friendly. You can also almost never go wrong with the trip bundling sites, it’s definitely easier, but be careful with these: they do not always provide complimentary trip insurance, some don’t list the incidental daily charges by the property, and they also do not inform you of what you some of the necessities needed when you travel. Also, there are apps that locate fares priced in error, and while most of them are great deals, these usually work best for the flexible traveler. When dealing with these, it’s always best to cross reference and book directly with the airline, as sometimes, if the airline catches their mistake and notice a flight is booked by a third party, they can dishonor the price, then you’re either stuck or have to shell out more cash.
3. USE YOURSELF
Seems easy, but you have all the tools to make a great trip. Don’t be afraid to sight see, walk around, find a great restaurant. Use context clues in all airports. Trust yourself with everything. Read signs. Take pictures. Taste food. Use your phone and apps to look for experiences and different excursions inside and outside of being touristy.
4. BRING WHAT’S NECESSARY
You’re traveling, not moving. Do things in advance that will make traveling easier for you. Instead of packing flat irons, and 4 step facial regimens, see if you can shorten that for your trip. Take a step or two out of your morning routine, practice one universal makeup look, and pair with different lipsticks. Have a hairstyle that is easy maintenance. For the guys, you don’t have to bring every pair of shoes you own, maybe one pair for walking, and another pair for a special night. Also, sometimes what has worked for me in the past, you can use a lot of the hotel/airline amenities such as toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. I personally don’t trust soap and lotion, but almost everything else is pretty universal. If they aren’t available, you can always stop by a local stop and grab what you need for the duration of your trip(which helps contribute to more local conversation and exploring…win!)
5. LASTLY, IF IT DOESN’T FEEL RIGHT, DON’T DO IT
The world is a huge place, with a lot of people, and everyone does not have your best interest in mind. Make sure to read up on every place you’re going, before you make the trip. If it sounds too good to be true, it may be, or there are more details not listed. If a hotel or rental property by host seems like a steal, search how far it is from the airport, and include the transfer fee into your cost. Make sure you know what is considered all inclusive. Ask the host or resort about nightlife or activities close by. The last thing you want is to be at a cool place, but pay every time you want to experience an excursion. Or, if you want total seclusion, make sure you ask about noise, the scene and other things that will make you comfortable. Remember, this is your trip. You’re paying for it.
We travel, dine, and experience other cultures, and no amount of money can be traded for what we gain when we return. The only thoughts we have after landing back on US soil is….”where am I going next?”
Be sure to comment below with your experiences!
By: TK Jones.