With “travel the world” topping New Year’s resolutions list year after year, now might just be the best time to book that trip you’ve been saving for. Think of it as part of your continuing education. Travel provides those who do it with soft skills like grit, empathy, and global understanding—necessities as global citizens in a world with disappearing borders.
As you plan out your journeys for 2017, consider these tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of your experiences:
The Best Tips Before You Travel The World
1) Be Surprised. Do the Unexpected.
The tourist destinations don’t always create the most vivid memories. It’s usually the out-of-the-ordinary experiences that do. Be open to surprises, and say ‘yes’ to unexpected opportunities that come your way.
Whether it’s trying a new food, like deep-fried crickets in Thailand, simply saying hello to someone sitting by themselves in a park, stopping at a place on the map that you’ve never heard of, or just getting lost all together – you could wind up having an adventure that you’ll never forget.
2) Travel Light.
As long as you have your passport, a compass, and some cash, you can leave everything else behind: your favorite clothes, your best bag, technology. By leaving the luxuries behind, you can completely immerse yourself in a new country and culture. You’ll bring yourself out of your daily routine. By packing light, you can fully experience everything once you travel the world.
3) Be Open to What’s New.
When you travel, expect to experience things that are different. Note the differences. Observe and let your curiosity lead you. Even when traveling city to city in the U.S., there are differences to be observed.
It’s easy to opt out of experiences that are different than what you’re used to in your own everyday life. But when you’re exploring, give the ‘new’ a chance. Participate in a song and dance, try a new dish, attend a place of prayer – you just might bring a newfound experience back home with you.
4) Don’t Plan Too Far Ahead.
Someone once told me never to book any accommodations when I travel to a place, so that I have the freedom to see what happens. It’s true that many of us get a little anxiety when thinking of going somewhere without an itinerary.
However, an open mind and a flexible travel schedule will really force you to look at your own internal strengths and resources. This can be educational beyond measure. It has helped me to make some of my very best travel memories.
5) Travel as Part of an Education.
If possible, study abroad while you’re in high school or university. Spend a few weeks to travel the world on a service learning or educational based program over the summer or winter break. This opportunity really only happens once in your life and the experience is unforgettable.
It’s different than a vacation. By studying in a foreign place for an extended period of time, you dive deeply into a country’s offerings. You will come out of the experience with many lessons not only about the place you’ve visited, but also about yourself.
Are you ready to cross borders and travel the world?
There’s transformative power in travel. There are all kinds of ways to travel the world: from Spring Break, Gap year, College, and Critical Issues initiatives, giving people the opportunity to take a tour and give back to the local community – even while they enjoy their personal time.
These trips are a fun way to learn more about yourself and world around you, while giving back in a way that really matters. Remember, when you’re considering a trip, think of it as an educational experience.
Immerse yourself in the experience, expect the unexpected, trust your intuition, and be prepared to learn just how adventurous and resourceful you are!