How To Have The Best Travel Experience, Ever!

Ever notice how Jane and Judith go off to Mexico and Jane seems to enjoy it and wouldn’t stop raving about it while Judith just cannot understand what the hype is all about? Two people, same destination but two different reactions. I believe there is an art to traveling and traveling well and will be sharing how to have the best travel experience, ever!

I know individual preferences and circumstances may differ and there can be some challenges during a trip that may prevent you from having a great experience but all things being equal, everything all well and good, here are some ways to ensure that you have a trip that totally kicks ass!

Travel, it leaves you speechless, and then turns you into a storyteller- lbn Batutta

How to have the best travel experience, ever!

1. Be interested in where you are going

Perhaps Judith wasn’t as interested in visiting Mexico as Jane was? I find that the more excited you are about a trip, the more enjoyable it becomes. But how can you be excited when you aren’t even interested? If you are not jumping for joy to be headed there, stalking the internet for photos of the place, googling the destination for latest news or having sleepless nights before your travel date (this is extreme but not judging you!) then you just may not be feeling it and if you can, you may want to look out for another option.

2. Choose your travel buddies like you will your men (or women.)

Be picky! You’re either going to have an absolute blast on your trip or a total nightmare and your choice of travel partner has a huge role to play in it. I think it is way better to travel solo than to go with someone who just doesn’t match your vibe. Sometimes, even your best friend may not be the best person to hop on the plane and jet off to another country with.

3. Get sentimentally attached to the destination

A sentimental attachment may come from finally getting to visit that dream location on your bucket list. You’ve checked out several photos of the landmarks you’ll love to visit, imagined yourself there and then boom, there you are! It’s a special kind of feeling, sort of like finally getting the chance to talk to your crush after months and months of stalking on Facebook. Maybe even better.

Another way to get sentimentally attached is by knowing about the history of the place before getting there. I remember heading to the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial and I was floored because I knew the history behind it all and it made for such a surreal moment. Any other person who didn’t have the background story would have stepped in there and termed it “just okay.” 

4. Do and/or try something new

Challenge yourself to doing something totally new. I always suggest to start with a local dish, it is a great way to learn about the culture of a place. You can get a sense of how the locals are by how they eat and socialize. Try new food or something totally new during your travels, especially something you wouldn’t be able to experience back home. This may be the transportation, food, nightlife, etc. By trying or doing something new, your trip gets a lot more interesting.

5. Be open and flexible

If you whine about every single thing, you may never be able to fully experience the joys of traveling. Contrary to what you may think, travel is not perfect and it is not always going to be comfortable. We may be able to curate the perfect Instagram feed, but we can unfortunately not curate the perfect trip. Sometimes, things go wrong. You may arrive to a hotel that is totally messy, or you may discover that your bag got delayed in transit and have very limited options. You must be able to roll with the punches at every given time.

When you travel, remember that a country is not designed to make you comfortable, it is designed to make it’s own people comfortable- Clifton Fadiman

6. Get adventurous

Put on your adventurous mask and get ready for the ride! No, really. You may be a couch potato at home but when you are abroad, shake it off, get up, get out there and experience what the city has to offer. A travel experience is only as good as the memories and adventures that you create. It is great to know your limits but do not let fear hold you back from having the absolute time of your life.

7. Kick it off with the locals (and other travelers!)

Travel is a great opportunity to meet new people, make new friends and immerse yourself in a new culture. When you travel, try to connect with the locals as much as you can. Sit and dine with them, stay in an AirBnB with a local, exchange stories and be welcoming. Some of the best travel experiences will come from the conversations you have with the people you meet and will really give your travel experience a boost.

8. Draw up a firecracker itinerary

Do some research and come up with a great itinerary as that definitely sets the tone for your travel experience. Give room for flexibility but also draw up a plan to ensure there is not a dull moment during your trip. A mix of popular touristy things to do and some off-the beat activities are great to start. You can use tripadvisor as a guide but always tailor the activities to you and what interests you. If you are a beach person, schedule lots of beach time but some room to do something out of the norm. You can use tripadvisor as a guide.

9. Take photos

Photos are great to relive memories. They are awesome souvenirs to take home with you. Sometimes when I look over my camera roll, I see some details I have captured in the frame that I didn’t even notice while I was there. Plus, photos are just amazing. Looking over photos after a trip is over really adds a layer of excitement to the experience, doesn’t it? God bless Nicéphore Niépce for inventing them.

So, these are some of the things that I do to ensure that I have a memorable travel experience. A travel experience is only as good as what you make it. While some cities carry their own magic effortlessly, some others have to be discovered carefully. So, next time you go on a trip, do something different, step out of your comfort zone, be free-spirited, open and adventurous and you’ll come back with a lot of stories to tell and a heart full of travel joys.
Did I miss anything? Tell me some of the things that you do to ensure you have a really great travel experience. I’ll love to hear your thoughts.
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I’ll talk to you next Friday

Until next time,

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  1. Absolutely. I agree with you Tina. Do not expect your travel destination to be like home. If you want it to be like home, stay at home. Great point. Thanks.

  2. Great advice! I definitely think a trip is what you make of it and how you view it when you are there.

  3. Useful tips! I especially agree with #2! Not everyone is your travel buddy. Who you travel with can make or break your experience.

  4. I absolutely agree with point one, if you don’t have sleepless nights, maybe you should pick another destination (okay just kidding). I traveled solo for the first time last month and it was the best decision I ever made because I didn’t have to cajole anyone to go anywhere I wanted to go or give the person reasons why they needed to see a thing or visit a place. And yes, bond with the locals, make new friends, take lots of photos. Don’t overplan your trip, you might have an itinerary which is great but you could do without it sometimes. Take notes, you never know when the information will be handy and lots of research about your destination is key.

  5. Great tips Ufuoma! I agree, if you’re not totally excited about the place you’re going then why go there on holiday? I think hitting it off with the locals (just like you did in Havana) and trying new things are so great when it comes to making travel memories. And of course, being open minded. xx
    Coco Bella Blog

  6. You named all my tips!! My top 2 are definitely having a good travel buddy and being open and flexible. “We may be able to curate the perfect Instagram feed, but we can unfortunately not curate the perfect trip” – Facts!.

    A lot of times we expect so much out of our trips but are completely unwilling to do what it takes to achieve those things, or we get annoyed when things don’t go exactly the way we want. We are human, and that’s okay but it’s necessary to understand that you can’t always get what you want, and sometimes being okay with that makes for even better experiences.

  7. Being excited about the destination is so important! I used to be really hesitant to book long-haul flights to far-away places for only two-week trips. So I ended up on a string of somewhat disappointing trips to various places closer to home that weren’t my dream destinations. They were fun vacations, and I don’t regret doing them, but when I finally decided to go where I REALLY wanted to go I noticed the difference instantly.

  8. Well articulated. For me, I generally start with reading a book by famous author from the country, refer to good book. Before Vietnam, watched a whole bunch of Hollywood war movies. They sure make the connection. What was the ethereal looking dish from fort point?

  9. Totally agree with all of your tips, especially choosing a travel partner and doing your research! Travel is the best education and the greatest gift in life, IMO. I think we can all learn a thing or two from this post! Great photos as well!

  10. Totally agree, and yes a countries purpose is to make its own citizens comfortable and safe, not to be everything some tourist wants it to be.

  11. Agree with this wholeheartedly. I sometimes feel a bit anxious trying new things in an unfamiliar place, but it almost always turns out to be amazing!Just need to get over that first hurdle of doubt! Great post 🙂

  12. Thanks for this post! I really like the suggestions to be adventurous and to try something new! I think we all make the mistake sometimes of expecting things to be like home or of being afraid to try new things. Doing a bit of research not only helps you decide what activities you want to do, but also if the destination fits your travel style.

  13. Thanks for this post! I really like that you make a point to say be adventurous and try something new! I think we all make the mistake sometimes of expecting things “to be like home” or not being open to trying new things! And doing a bit of research will help decide not only on activities, but also if that destination is a good fit for your travel style!

  14. Agree with many of your comments, especially doing your research to inspire your visit and getting in touch with locals – both add immeasurably to any travel experience in my view.

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