Travel is something we all look forward to. It’s what gets us through those long hours at work, stimulates our imagination, and offers an escape from ordinary life. Travel and ordinary life, however, are less different and separate from one another than you might think. The two are actually extremely interconnected and similar. Think about it. What do you do in your everyday life?
Let’s go through a basic day routine:
- You wake up.
- Get ready.
- Take some means of transportation to the destination which can be either work, school, an appointment.
- You might go somewhere after work like the grocery store or run some sort of errand.
- Prepare and eat dinner (if you’re lucky, have someone else make dinner for you – ahem my boyfriend…).
- Maybe if there’s time, a fun activity like going to the movies.
- Then it’s time to go to bed.
Did you miss it? What is the common denominator of each of these everyday activities? Preparation, of course! Let me clarify: What time do you wake up? What do you do to get ready? When and what means of transportation are you taking? What do you need to get at the grocery store or what errand do you need to get done? What are you eating for dinner? What movie do you want to see and what time are you going? What do you have to do before you go to bed and what time is bed time? There are many situations and events in everyday life that requires planning and organization – it’s all about the little details!
Like everyday life preparation, travel requires even more! Think about it: Travel often involves, first and for most, a destination of choice and decision on the length of time. Secondly, how you are going to get there and a place to stay overnight. Now you might plan a few things to do beforehand, maybe look up a couple of places to eat. However, during travel you need to plan well in advance to avoid stress and bad experiences, while also facilitating a good experience. For example, the need to book transportation and hotels well in advance, restaurant reservations etc. The consequences of not doing so in travel could lead to an increase in stress at having to try to find a hotel with little availability. Compare the stress of not being prepared in travel to the stresses of unpreparedness in ordinary daily life, like feeling unprepared for a meeting, test or otherwise. I could go on and on about life and travel comparisons, but I think you get the big picture.
Doing your due diligence beforehand can also save you time and money (who doesn’t like extra money in their pocket?!). Here are some lessons I’ve learned from a of my travels, specifically, did you know you that some attractions that cost money are free during certain times or you can save some by bringing your own instead of renting?
- In Milan, Italy the Sforza Castle is free everyday one hour before closing AND every Tuesday from 2:00pm.
- Budapest, Hungary is well known for their thermal baths, but often people overlook the fact that there is an additional fee for towel rental on top of the price for entry! Bring your own towel (BYOT) and you can save some Forints (that’s the Hungarian currency) and buy some aromatic paprika to make the country’s specialty, goulash (I’ll be posting a recipe on this on my blog later on so stay tuned!).
- In Madrid, Spain, the Prado Museum is free Monday to Saturday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm and on Sundays and Holidays from 5:00pm to 7:00pm and entrance is also free for students with a valid identification (ID).
- With that same student ID, you can get lots of student discounts on pricey attractions anywhere in the world (check online before your visit – you’d be surprised with how many places offer student discounts).
Without planning, you might miss these opportunities by paying full price for entry and be forced to wait in long lines to buy tickets. What a difference a bit of planning and research in advance can make on your experience!
The devil is in the details. The more you prepare beforehand, the less stressed you will be, the more time you will have to just enjoy yourself, and the more money you will have for other experiences. Take some time and invest in yourself and be prepared to get the most out of your travel life!
Let me know if you have any travel planning lessons you have learned, I love hearing about your travel experiences! Don’t forget to like, comment, and share if you found this post helpful – I post a new blog post every Sunday!
Ciao for now,