(DON'T) PLAN YOUR TRIP
Hanna here. I'd like to talk to you today about traveling (unexpected huh!). Because there are all kinds of travelers. My mom is the kind of woman who has to bring at least 2 big suitcases, even if she goes on a two-day trip. She will always have everything rigourously planned before leaving. And on the other hand, my dad is the kind of traveler who only brings a spare T-shirt and the strict minimum no matter for how long. The part he loves is just leaving (mostly with his bike) and see where the road takes him. I like to think I’m in between of these extremes, only bringing and planning what’s necessary. Most of the times I manage to fit everything in one suitcase (sitting on it for closure is not adviced though) but I end up having 2 outfits a day (yay!). So I thought it'd be nice to share some of my travelings tips and tricks with you.
WORK (WORK WORK WORK WORK)
Rihanna got it all right. Before anything, you gotta work! There are tons of ways to save up for the next big trip. My plan was to work in a little supermarket as cashier last semester and I was happy about it! The benefits of working at a small place where everyone knows each other is that you might actually bond with your colleagues. I got lucky to hear everything about their rebelling children and their friend’s relationship problems. Dreaming about the awesome travel you’re working for will make it a lot easier!
It seams like a logic thing to do, right? Still, buying a ticket can be a big deal. Flight tickets prices vary strongly from one company to another and according to demand. Take your time to compare all the offers you find, there are tons of great websites to do that.
If you like planning, you might want to buy your ticket as soon as possible because prices often raises as the departure date approaches. But if you’re more the yolo (or “living-in-the-moment”) kind of person there are also some great last minute deals the day(s) before departure.
While you’re at it, you might want to investigate for place to stay as well - hotel, hostels, airbnb or couchsurfing (find cool tips on how to be a pro of couchsurfing here). No matter your way of traveling or budget, if you plan it along with your flight you can make the perfect combo!
(DON'T) PLAN YOUR TRIP
Obviously, when you’re about to visit some place you’ve never been, you want to see and experience everything you can while you’re there. A little bit of research is great to have a good general idea of the place you're visiting, but planning too much kills it all. There’s really no fun left if you’ve already planned every hour of every day. What I like to do if I'm going on a city (or short) trip, it's to make a list of 10-15 things to see or do. One great source of inspiration are blogs - and since you're here, you're probably aware of the way things work on the world wide web - covering tons of places/cities along with what they have to offer. We'll link our favorite ones in upcoming articles! Friends might also be a great source of knowledge - they might have discovered some unknown but amazing spots, or met locals to put you in touch with.
If you’re going on a road trip I really recommend this awesome site that lets you create your own map and pin-point places. There are also filters that show you campings, sightseeing and other activities along the way! With that roadtrippers map, it’s enough to just aim for a certain city on a certain day and then go with the flow. Because what’s the fun of traveling if you’re more busy timing everything you do than to just enjoy the moment?
Lay all your favorite things on your bed. You really don’t want to put all your stuff in your suitcase directly - talking about experience here. It just seems easier and quicker... until you realize your suitcase is full and you only took dresses. Whoops! So that's where organization comes into play: make stashes of all the things you have to bring - come on, lay it all out! Don’t forget to check if your clothes match each other... You don’t want people to ask you what you’re trying to express just because you had no choice but to wear your cocktail dress with a vibrant green jacket and cowboy boots. Finally puzzle everything into your suitcase.
Hand luggage should be easy to pack: passport, ticket, money, maybe a book for the travel? Or an Ebook if you're up to date with technology... I considered getting one but figured I'd miss holding the pages and physically turn them. So it’s still me and my books for now. And my MacBook. Can’t miss that one. Elo would remind you to absolutely not forget your camera! Verrrrry important! I would bring my Polaroid in that case, pretending to be a photographer for myself. No one has to see my failed pictures but me (hehe).
Once you have your money, ticket, semi-plans and suitcases you’re ready to go! The only thing you have to do next is enjoy your stay and absorb everything you can around you.