Travel

Get the most out of your trip with these 10 tips

Travel hacks to help you get the most out of your vacation
Black Sand Beach
Black Sand Beach, Vik, Iceland

After traveling a lot over the last few years, I’ve learned a few things that have made my trips easier. Hopefully you find some of them helpful too. Here are some more photos from my trip to Iceland in April.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Life’s too short to be frequently annoyed over things that are beyond your control. In some places, planes come and go on what seems like a made up schedule. Enjoy yourself while you wait instead of worrying about it, since you can’t control it. If you miss your bus or train, another one will be along.

Just take a deep breath and remind yourself that things could be worse.

Get moving early

Geysir
Srokkur Geysir, Iceland. When you get up early enough, you can get get close enough to see a geyser erupt!

I say this as someone who is not a morning person. You can get to the best attractions while avoiding crowds if you get up and get going early. You can better interact with residents before it starts getting too busy and you get the most out of your day. It’s also an excellent time for photos because of the light.

My preferred alternative is to travel during low season; then you can sleep in longer!

Take emergency money

Cash is welcome everywhere around the world. Some places don’t like to use cards for transactions because of the fees and will only work with cash. Keep some money stashed in various locations in case you lose your wallet; your card stops working or ATMs run out of money.

If you can, I recommend hiding one to two hundred dollars depending on the length of time you’re traveling. Some spots to keep cash include on the side of shoes or in a toiletry bag.

Back everything up

Keep digital and physical copies of your passport, visas, birth certificate, driver’s license, health insurance information, and important phone numbers ready in case of an emergency.

Backup your files and photos on an external hard drive and less sensitive things like your photos on the cloud as well. I wouldn’t recommend putting anything that has your personal information on the cloud like your passport or driver’s license.

Take lots of pictures

Skógafoss
Skógafoss Falls, South Iceland

You may only visit these places once in your life. You can remember them forever with lots of photos. Don’t worry about looking like a tourist. Great photos are the ultimate souvenir. They’re free, easy to share, and they don’t take up space in your luggage.

Pack earplugs

Just in case you end up somewhere loud, pack a pair of earplugs. You don’t want to be bothered by honking horns or other loud noises while you’re trying to sleep at night, or when you’re traveling.

Slow down

I have found that spending more time in fewer places gives me maximum enjoyment.

It’s natural to want to see everything, but you can’t get the most out of a place when you cram too much stuff into your day or too many cities or countries into your travel time.

You can find so much good stuff when you take the time to explore. You’ll find out about things that aren’t in any guidebook and meet people who are happy to show you around.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Do something you wouldn’t do at home, get a little silly or roll around and get a little dirty if you have to, who knows when you’ll get an opportunity to do the same things again!

Document your days

When I first started traveling, I didn’t write down anything, and now I regret it because while I remember things, some of the details are fuzzy. I recommend finding an app like Google Keep  to write down some information like the names of people you meet, conversations, feelings about a new experience, or foods, anything that stands out to you.

Plan…but not too much

Þingvellir National Park, Iceland
Þingvellir National Park, Iceland. Sometimes you come across hidden treasures like this underground trail that aren’t on your list!

I believe strongly in planning so you can hit the ground running when you arrive at your destination and to make sure you get the best deals. But I also think it’s important to be flexible. If it’s your first time visiting a place, you don’t know what you’ll like or who you’ll meet until you get there.

My advice is to pick a few things you must do, and if you’re traveling to multiple destinations, a starting point, and an ending point – or you don’t have to do that either and decide as you go.

Remember people at home

Connect with your family and friends from time to time. You constantly meet people while traveling, especially if you’re traveling alone, but not all of those relationships are going to be long lasting. So maintaining a strong connection with the people close to you is important.

These are a few of my tips. What are some of your travel tips?

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22 comments

  1. Great and essential tips. It’s true that you should plan your travel but not too much. There’s always an adventure in finding out new things and who knows there might be some surprises too….

  2. Not sweating the small stuff is probably one of the most difficult things to do, and is probably the most important.

    I remember flying overseas for the first time like it was yesterday, and the packing and flight made me into a nervous wreck.

    Once I landed, I realized I could buy everything I need now.

    And ooooh, use Google Photos account/app and have everything automatically upload to your unlimited and free storage account.

    They might be lower quality after upload (hence why it’s unlimited and free), but I personally find the photos good enough for a trip down memory lane.

    Connect to wifi, let it run in the app run, and sleep well knowing all your photos have been backed up. Also, more phone space!

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