Travelling is one of the greatest pleasures in the world. The thrill of discovering new places, the incredible new sensations you can discover; whether you are staying in luxury or living it rough, you will learn and gain so much from travel. Still, it can be quite a challenge for the inexperienced, and a few tips can go a long way to making sure you get the most from your travel experience.
Packing light is one of the best and easiest changes you can make when travelling. A light bag will save you a lot of stress while dealing with the airport and train systems of the country you are touring. The last thing you want to do after forty hours in the air is to carry a heavy suitcase from the airport to your hotel. You always need less than you think, and a half empty bag means you have room for souvenirs.
While a good travel itinerary will keep you on the move and continually busy, but at some point in every trip you will find yourself dealing with down time. Typically on plain flights and train trips. Bringing adequate entertainment is a great way to make a long transit speed by. My personal favourite things to bring are a laptop and an eReader or tablet. A plentiful supply of books is always a great way to use your downtime, and catch up on that backlog of books you have been meaning to read; having them all stored on a light eReader makes it easy to travel with more reading material than you could ever hope to get through. Laptops are also a great investment as you can load them up with downloaded movies and TV shows, a great saviour when you are too tired to read but too uncomfortable to sleep.
Stay near the Action
A mistake a lot of people make is option for a cheaper hotel that is outside the centre of the city. The savings from staying further out can be pretty nice, but ultimately it is not worth it. If you are far outside the city, then every single day you have to travel in to the city wasting both time and money that could be spent on better things. For instance, if you were to travel to London, but your hotel is somewhere cheaper like Hammersmith; the area might be nice, but a half hour trip on the tube either way takes a lot of time out of your day. If instead you stay somewhere like the Marble Arch Hotel London, then you simply have to walk out your door and you are in the heart of London’s West End; ten minutes’ walk to Buckingham Palace, twenty to Covent Garden.
Have a Day Bag
Having a small, light backpack in addition to your suitcase or huge backpack will save you a lot of back pain. In it you may store your maps for the day, a water bottle, any urgent chargers and maybe an eReader;enough to keep you going all day, but not enough to weigh down your back. It will also give you something to store anything you buy during the day.
Learn to take a break
One of the best tips I can give to new travellers is to learn to rest once in a while. A common mistake made by the inexperienced is to pack your schedule completely, with long nights and early mornings and no time to rest except while on planes or trains. This is very dangerous and you will burn out if you aren’t careful; there aren’t many who can live long at that pace. The best advice is to take a day or two each week from your schedule and leave it as relaxing time. Go see a movie or read a book in the park; you can still do touristy activities, but stick to the laid back options. Your body and your mind will thank you.