When I was first starting out as a world traveler, I made plenty of mistakes. Making your own mistakes and learning from them is part of the process – and, I would argue, part of what makes travel such a valuable life experience. However, it never hurts to learn from others who have made mistakes along the way so that you can avoid at least a few pitfalls as you venture out into the world.
Don’t blow the bank. It’s tempting to “go all out” financially when traveling, but there’s really no need. With all of the great travel sites out there (like OneTravel, of course), it’s easier than ever to find great deals on flights, accommodations and activities. Remember that more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. Some of my most memorable travel experiences cost little to no money. Spend your resources wisely, and then splurge on a few things here and there that are really worth the money.
Don’t cram too much into your schedule. It’s so tempting to try to do and see everything when you are in a new place. While maximizing your time is great, overloading your schedule can lead to exhaustion and missing out on those wonderful travel experiences that happen when you just slow down and relax. Prioritize the things you really want to do and see, and build in plenty of time for wandering and soaking in your new environment.
Don’t pass up an opportunity to experience something new. At times, it can be tempting to stay within our comfort zones while traveling. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but constantly seeking out the familiar in an unfamiliar place can hinder your enjoyment of your overall travel experience. Seize the opportunity to try something new –eat a dish you’ve never tried (or perhaps even heard of), learn a new language, or participate in a cultural event unlike any you’ve ever seen before. You’ll be glad you did.
Don’t take your trip for granted. It’s all to easy to fall into the trap of taking travel for granted, or feeling negative about things that aren’t going exactly according to plan. However, if you feel grateful for the opportunity to travel, you will get more out of your trip and walk away from the experience feeling more fulfilled.