Following on from my bad habits post, it was inevitable a good travel habits post was going to be on the cards sooner or later. So let’s jump straight into it.
Research, Research, Research
On the contrary to the bad habits post, when there is a destination I am genuinely excited for, I end up researching the hell out of it. From transport routes to eateries to excursions to learning how to buy a bus ticket, it’s one of my strong points. Knowing I’ll be surrounding myself in unfamiliar territory, preparation is key. The possibility of getting lost petrifies me especially if I can’t rely on my phone any more e.g. no signal or credit.
We all want the best flights, the best accommodation, eat the best foods, basically, the best holiday, research is inevitable. My travel life consists of checklists and screenshots.
I’m the paranoid type of person, afraid of missing my flight, coach, train etc. I don’t like feeling rushed, it stresses me out so much. The thought of having to purchase another flight ticket is indescribable. The habit of getting to the airport 2 hours early, 20 mins early for the coach/train in the UK, an hour elsewhere etc has been ingrained into my brain from an early age. I would say, arriving early in general, is a good habit to have.
Have I missed a flight myself? Yep, a connection but that was due to my own stupidity rather than timing. First time flying solo too but luckily I was connecting in London on my inbound journey. Lesson learnt.
Trying the Local Cuisine
Trying the local cuisine is a huge part of the culture. There’s a lot of different cuisines and dishes I love but it sometimes can be hard to find the actual authentic stuff. Many restaurants in the UK are westernized, catered to the British palate, where the dish can lose some of its authenticity. Outside this bubble is the world of the unknown waiting to be discovered.
If I see, read, hear, smell food that pleases my senses, I’m up for trying it out. Like, why not? Finding new flavours, ingredients, dishes and favourites are pleasurable moments. Take advantage. Even the most typical classics, I love to feast them in its country of origin. There are many ingredients that can’t be easily sourced back at home or are of lower quality, so I’ve learnt to appreciate the art of food in every culture. I mean, sometimes substitutes just don’t fully cut it.
Read the local customs, learn the history, explore deeply, venturing beyond the typical tourist hotspots, just fully immersing myself in the shoes of a local. Ignoring the stereotypes and keeping an open mind enables me to have a deeper understanding of the culture, to also feel a more profound sense of connection as opposed to only enjoying the idea of being abroad. Putting my phone away to allow myself to appreciate every second, every step, every moment. This is what I’ve always believed in, eyes over camera any day.
Sometimes, things don’t run smooth or go according to plan. Delays, cancellations, weather and other disruptions that are out of my control can ruin a plan. Being level headed in these type of situations allows me to think clearly and come up with a solution.
I’m all about having a stress free time. Once I’m stressed, it takes a while for me to calm down and clear my mind. Sticking to a strict schedule has never been my jam; I always go off track and may end up spending longer in one spot than planned because I’m usually in awe by the surroundings. I do make rough plans but it always ends up getting switched around (even at the very last minute).
Double Checking and Awareness
What’s probably the worst feeling ever? Forgetting your passport. Luckily I haven’t experienced this, touch wood. And what’s the second-worst feeling? It’s a toss-up between leaving something at the hotel or being pickpocketed. Yup, I’ve learnt from this. Now, I double, triple, even quadruple checking my bag for my passport, checking it’s still zipped up, yet paranoia still hits me. I’m the type of person to remind others to check they have their passports, visa, money, and any other important documents packed before setting off. Checking my list, thoroughly sweeping the hotel room twice, thrice, even four times has become second nature now. Can’t be too cautious right?