Packing a bag and heading out into the world on an adventure of discovery is one of life’s pure unadulterated pleasures, and with cheaper air travel making trips to far-flung countries cheaper and easier than ever, there’s nothing stopping you from taking an extended period of vacation to hit the road. From road tripping around Europe to discovering the treasures of Asia with a backpack in tow, the savvy traveler will know how to navigate the world of free-spirited travel to avoid headaches, maximizing the enjoyment: here are a few of those travel hacks, for those suffering itchy feet.
Travel is made that bit more care-free and simple when you’ve sorted all of your documentation in advance. From buying a suitable form of travel insurance to visiting your doctor for advice on the countries you’re visiting, there are some preparatory steps to take that’ll ensure you’re prepared for the worst-case scenarios while you’re on the road.
Print out all of your documents before you fly and keep them in a safe place, inside a waterproof document wallet so you’ll not reach one day for your medical insurance only to find a soggy mass of paper. Don’t forget passport photos and photocopies of your key documents, which will help you get visas into new territories, and ensure you’ve got an ‘In Case of Emergency’ piece of paper that others will be able to find to contact your nearest and dearest.
Traveling can entail mountaineering in the Himalayas, beach-hopping in the Caribbean, or backpacking around Europe’s great cities – all of which can be enhanced with the right amount of research into each destination. The rise of TripAdvisor has largely obscured other, more informative and independent blogs – the kind of places you’ll learn the location of bicycle repair workshops, cookery classes, or that stretch of sand that nobody else knows about.
As well as being little online treasure chests for the curious traveler looking to get the most out of their globe-trotting trip, blogs, forums and online resources will also provide you with fair warning of variables like weather and climate – and thus what clothes to pack – as well as giving you an accurate idea of how much things will cost while you’re out there, which will allow you to roughly budget for your trip in advance of your flight.
Budgeting for a long period abroad can seem a pointless task, especially for those nomads who prefer to go with the flow. It is indeed difficult to determine exactly how much you’re likely to spend, which is why getting the right travel card can be so handy. Check out the top discover cards online that’ll help you accrue air miles while you spend at home and will help you track your spending while you’re aboard: in this way, you’ll be able to extend your travels by saving money.
There are always options for saving money while you’re out on your adventure, too. If you’re on the sort of trip with no return flight booked, look into volunteering opportunities that’ll house and feed you for free while you work on a farm or help in an orphanage; for those away for only a month but with only a small pool of cash to access, think local public transport, the cheapest hostels in town, and always eat where the locals eat – it’ll be the best value food, and is guaranteed to be delicious whether you’re in Malaysia or Mali.
Are your itchy feet never satisfied for long? Maybe it’s time to consider a form of income that will keep you afloat as you travel the world. Thousands of young people have discovered these lucrative life hacks thanks to a little bit of tenacity and a couple of hours’ worth of work each day. Some take up Instagramming to the point where they have gained enough followers to plug products in their posts for cash or travel blogging in order to take some advertising revenue. Others work remotely on a freelance basis or manage their online business from the beach.
In order to achieve this seeming Nirvana to satisfy your travel bug, you’ll need to engineer a departure from the nine to five career you may presently be in, angling your skills and interests towards a form of work that you’ll be able to perform with just a laptop and some WiFi – you’ll be amazed how much WiFi there is to be found on the road. Fully consider the skills you have to offer, and look for freelance work in those areas. Alternatively, set up an online business that you can manage from anywhere in the world, and watch the money trickle in each day you travel.
The final and most important tip for aspiring world travelers is to be open-minded: to take each day as it comes, and to treat everyone you meet with respect and curiosity. Travel may feel like a trip from physical place to physical place – taking in temples, beaches, jungles, cities, or nature reserves – but it’s really a trip that’s dictated by the people you meet. Those people can teach you an awful lot and may be your ticket to further adventure in the form of tips or even companionship as you explore new places.
Above and beyond that, being open-minded often places you in the position while abroad that you are offered jobs by intriguing people, or a free place to crash after a long day on a bus chatting to your neighbor. It’ll get you into places that aren’t listed on Lonely Planet, and out of tricky situations that you may find yourself in whilst you’re on the road. From translators to employers, keep an open mind with everyone you meet, and your adventure will expand beyond its imagined horizons while you’re on the road.
Traveling is becoming an increasingly popular way of decompressing from the stresses of everyday life. If you’re one of the millions around the world who enjoys leaping into new destinations and cultures, then bear these travel hacks in mind for your next foray into foreign lands: they’ll help make your trip cheap, stress-free, authentic and unforgettable.