The most worthwhile thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others.Robert Baden Powell
Travel is for everyone. Your abilities, fears, financial situations, or language barriers don’t keep you from traveling. These are merely small bumps in the road to conquer to see something that has the potential to change your life. There are so many aspects that go into travel that can put someone in a bad mood for the entire trip.
That’s where this post comes in. This week I wanted to focus on the little things that could potentially cause frustration but shouldn’t because they have simple fixes. Not only that, but I wanted to also focus on doing little things that can bring a smile to your face while you travel! After all, isn’t that the point?
Check Your Passport’s Expiration Date
The second you think “hmm… I’d like to go to _____ soon.” check your passport’s expiration date. If you have at least a year left on the date of your planned trip, you’re golden. If not, start the process of renewal so you don’t have to stress over getting your documents back in time or at all.
Plan to Use Multiple Forms of Payment
Always carry back up options. I usually bring about $200 of cash if I’m traveling out of my own country as a just in case fund in the currency of my destination. Sometimes credit or debit cards just refuse to work in foreign machines, so it’s best to have a backup plan. Don’t forget to tell your credit card companies you’ll be traveling so they don’t freeze your accounts!
Shop Around for Flights
Paying for a flight only to see an ad later for the same flight at half the price can start your trip with a bad taste in your mouth. Try as many websites (make sure they’re legit) as possible and play around with different dates and airports. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but I’ve saved hundreds of dollars this way. Don’t forget to try apps like skyscanner or hopper to see if that works better for you too!
Don’t Settle for Mediocre Accommodations
Accommodations don’t just mean a bland hotel anymore. You could stay at a cozy farmhouse that you found on Airbnb. You could sleep in a pod attached to the side of a cliff. You can stay in a cartoon-themed hotel. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. Find somewhere memorable to stay to keep the good vibes going even when you first wake up and after a long day of exploring.
Opt for Local
When I travel, I like doing a good mix of tourist attractions and local experiences. I always opt for local food and accommodations whenever I can. The food will always be cheaper and usually more authentic. If you’re on a budget, try to navigate the local markets or supermarkets to stock up on breakfast foods and snacks to save money! Also do your research when buying gifts. Find shops that are truly made by locals so your money can support the economy instead of going to major corporations located elsewhere.
This might come as a shock, but you don’t need 8 pairs of shoes wherever you’re going. You also don’t need 47 outfits. Ask yourself if you want to carry multiple suitcases or a heavy suitcase through the airport, to your hotel, or around for the first day if you can’t leave your bags immediately. You’ll be less likely to lose something, more likely to have room in your bags for souvenirs, and will not be hit with overweight baggage fees.
Invest in a Travel Voltage Converter
It’s not something you immediately think about, but it can be essential. Mine cost $30 and I’ve had it for over 10 years. You won’t be blindsided by not being able to plug anything in and it takes up next to no space in your bags!
Plan Your GPS Method Ahead of Time
You’ve gotten to your destination; you’re settled in; and now you’re ready to go explore… how do you get from Point A to Point B? What if you don’t have wifi or signal? It’s possible! Download the map of the region you’ll be staying in and use it in the offline mode to save on international plans and fees. Plus, it will always be available to you regardless of service.
Let Go of the Stress
Don’t let the stress of your everyday life follow you to vacation. Disconnect from anything that remotely brings you down and focus on the moment. Travel is a wonderful escape but only if you let it. Do yourself and your travel companions a favor and give yourself a break from stressing about every aspect of the trip. It will all work out.
Gain Lasting Memories
Have you ever been to a party where at least one person didn’t talk about their amazing travel adventure? That’s because travel leaves an impression with not just the person experiencing it but also with everyone who hears about it. Make your trips memorable in a way that’s meaningful for you. Don’t travel just to impress others. Do it to surprise and impress yourself.
Eat Your Way Through Your Travels
Calories don’t count on vacation. Enjoy the food. Don’t hurt yourselves or send yourself into a diabetic coma, but treat yourself. Food in a foreign country is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself and friends/family. Try new things that you wouldn’t get at home to get the full experience.
Be Reminded of the Important Things
Nothing makes you appreciate what you have quite like traveling. For most of us, travel isn’t permanent. It’s a brief respite from work and all of the responsibilities you normally have each and every day. When you take a break from that, you realize just what you have and how much it means to you. Travel also has a way of making us realize what is important and what isn’t. Once you get back, keep that in mind and consider decluttering or making improvements based on what you learned.
Happiness is Infectious
It’s no secret that traveling makes you happier. It’s even been proven by science! When you radiate happiness, like most of us do on vacation, it’s infectious. Regardless of whether you infect those you know or others you don’t with your happiness, that’s one thing I wish more people would share with others in their travels.
Gain Confidence In Yourself
Travel has a way of forcing you to deal with unexpected situations head on, without warning, and with usually less materials at your disposal. You will learn how to tackle these problems and teach yourself new skills while doing so. Travel will also force you out of your comfort zone to try new things, making you into a better version of yourself.
Which little things help make you more happy while you’re traveling? My personal favorite is infectious happiness followed closely by gaining self-confidence. I hope this helped you infuse a little more happiness and a lot less stress in your travels!