It’s the holidays and holidays come with vacation and road trips with family, friends or both, maybe yourself; as you explore places you’ve either never been to, or you’ve heard of, or you just can’t get enough of. As exhilarating as traveling may sound, planning for one can prove to be mentally exhausting in most instances if not all, and sometimes we end up making too many errors that are disheartening, but because of all the cheer, glee, fun and new stuff and memories we get to own as a result of traveling, today I’ll discuss traveling tips in my A to Z series as we get into the holiday atmosphere.
Technology has made present life much stress – free with a number of applications to assist us every day. With apps such as Africa travel guide, Jumia Travel, Explore Kenya, Kenya Travel guide (Tripwolf), KQ mobile (Kenya airways), TripAdvisor, Hopper, kayak and FLYR traveling in the 21st century has revolutionized and become easier. Whether is flight bookings and pricing, hotel bookings and even maps; all these can be carried in your pockets or bags and used at ease. The best part is, the places you have visited can easily be accessed just by tapping your smart phone.
Budgeting for a trip is essential to prevent over spending or being stuck in an unfamiliar place with no money whatsoever. The budget should be short, manageable and precise.
Make a list of everything you will need during the trip, from packing essentials to what you will need to buy during the trip.
Keep that loose change. Store them in a jar or piggy bank which will only be opened when you embark on you traveling. These cash should be packed in different places as you travel as it may come in handy when paying for meals, parking, local transport or when buying an item in the case of an emergency especially if you loose your wallet.
Avoid wasting your money on things you do not need whether it’s for budgeting for the trip or during the trip. That new shoe, dress, car, phone can wait because you are not getting any younger. Don’t miss the chance to travel our beautiful, magical and diverse world.
Electronics and back-ups
Imagine you have the perfect view worth a shot but when you turn your camera on or even your phone, the battery is down 0%.
Always pack chargers for all your electronic devices and extra batteries and memory cards for your camera. In any case push comes to shove, enjoy the view.
First Aid Kit
Injuries and allergies are inevitable and you are not living inside an actual bubble to avoid them. Have a small bag with your luggage packed with basic first aid materials from a bandage, cotton wool and antiseptic to allergen pills, pain relievers and mosquito repellents.
Gear up lightly
You don’t need to pack your whole closet into a huge suitcase. You are not running away. It’s a vacation. Always travel light. If you are not sure of packing something you don’t need, then it should not be included in your packing.
Always carry refillable water bottles/flasks which are safe for the environment. Staying hydrated limits the chances of dehydration which could be fatal during traveling.
Look for other ways to make income other than your current job to fund your explorations. Traveling doesn’t come cheap neither is it hugely expensive but having a side hustle or making money from your talent/hobby will make traveling more achievable.
However short or long the journey is, enjoy every moment.
Smile, say Hello and Thank you as often as possible when interacting with locals, drivers, tour operators or the hotel management. People tend to open up and assist at ease when you appear friendly. Learning local phrases of the local language is a plus.
Always make it a point to start conversations with local people. You will be surprised what you will learn from them. People enrich your travel more than sites do.
Everything in moderation. Do not over indulge, you might miss out on the good stuff.
Note it down
Keep a journal or notebook during your travels of the places you’ve been, names and contacts of people you have met, conversations you have had or even feelings about a new place and new experiences. At some point, this might be of good use.
Keep an open mind. You are a visitor. Do not judge or undermine the culture or the ways of people just because you believe otherwise. Ask questions even if you don’t agree with them and don’t assume you know everything. You might as well surprise yourself by what you will gain just by showing some empathy and trying to be in someone else’s shoes.
Moreover, expect nothing from no one, even yourself.
Photos and photocopies
Take lots of photos, whether good or bad don’t delete them. Memories are made of this.
Take photocopies of all your travel documents and pack them separately from the original documents. Anything can happen.
Be on a mission, in pursuit of your goal.
No one wants to wake up feeling lethargic and wanting to spend the whole day indoors (On a vacation!! Really!!). Get enough sleep and relax as you plan on your next move.
Scarf and sunscreen
A scarf, preferably made of cotton, is great for sun protection, makeshift wet towel, an eye mask, you can carry things around in it, emergency bandage and many other uses. A scarf will always come in handy in any traveling situation.
Wear sunscreen. This is important while traveling.
Travel more often
The average person chooses not to take a vacation from their occupations. We need to take the time to recharge, reconnect, rewind for the sake of our mental state. How many places have you wanted to go? How many moments have you missed saving it for next year, then the next, thinking it will be better then, when life is ‘better’? We need to create memories that will last forever as we travel and see the world starting as close as our backyards.
All we will ever have is now. Travel more.
Worrying when something is amiss while traveling is unhealthy. Unplanned moments are sometimes the best moments. You don’t have to have it all figured out. Go with the flow.
A vacation can be a hands on experience. Spare some time to volunteer for a worthwhile community projects and give to a good cause.
Wake up early
Vacations are short and making the most out of a 24 hour day will leave longer lasting memories. Simply to be alive to watch the sun rise over a beautiful landscape is truly a great treasure.
Rise at sunrise, enjoy the early breakfast and the peace that comes with no crowds in the early morning hours. With the soft diffused morning light, taking photos will be mystical.
It’s also a good time to catch up with the locals. Remember, honest hardworking people wake up early making it less dangerous in the morning.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
YOU Only Live Once. Make the most of it. Say yes to new adventures.
Always be willing to challenge yourself outside your comfort zone. Do what scares you the most. Whether it’s hiking, rock climbing, paragliding, water rafting, sky-diving or even talking to strangers.
Face your fears with a smile and the will to thrive.
LIFE IS AN ADVENTURE