Have you always wanted to travel to every nook of the world, but have been afraid you can’t really afford it? Have you always been a bit hesitant to simply head out, and see what the world has to offer? Do you have an ever-expanding bucket list of places you would like to visit? Do you dream of riding a gondola in Venice, of strolling along the hills of Sicily, or basking in the glorious sun in the Mediterranean?
Traveling is good for the soul, they say, and that is certainly no understatement. It can boost your health, improve your focus, clear your mind and open up your heart. Learning about new cultures, meeting new people, learning new languages and getting to see the world will recharge your batteries and keep you going for months after you come back home.
In order to start you off on your explorations, here are a few tips and tricks to get you started. Mind you, we are mostly talking about exploring Europe here, but you can adapt any of these hacks to suit your overseas travels as well.
The planning stage
Even if you find it boring, you need to do your research properly, if you are to have the best time possible. Draft a clear itinerary, check up on the transportation options, as well as the accommodation. This way, you will avoid any surprises down the line. Also make sure to travel only through reputable travel agencies, such as Sunway, to make sure you have the best experience possible.
Next, make notes. In your phone or on paper, but have everything you need to know written down. Check out local restaurant recommendations, inform yourself about free entrances to museums and galleries, etc. You can often find a great deal on the spot, but being informed beforehand can also save you a lot of money and a lot of hassle. By finding great local places to eat, you will be able to avoid the touristy spots that often overcharge.
Explore like a pro
Again, make a list of all the most important sites you wish to visit. Mark them on a map if need be. However, while you should by no means miss out on any of the famous historical landmarks, make sure you give yourself time to wonder aimlessly. This is how you can get to know a particular town or city for what it really is.
You should also make it a point to ask the locals for great recommendations. Be it a show or a play, they can give you the best tips.
Book the best accommodation
If you have decided not to book anything in advance, again, ask for recommendations on the spot. You might find a great hostel which does not pay for Google adverts, and have the time of your life. There is only so much advertising space out there, and much more accommodation options available.
If you are booking in advance, make sure to research properly. Don’t just go for the first place you find, nor the first site you find it on. With apps like Trivago and Booking, and of course Airbnb, you can find amazing deals. Make sure you check the reviews as well, as they can tell you a lot about your chosen rooms.
Try to get an all-inclusive pass
Many European cities offer city passes, which can get you into museums, different exhibitions and historical landmarks, and can even be used in the public transportation system as well. One of these passes in often much more affordable than a single ticket, so make sure to check them out. You will also probably gain access to places you didn’t even know about.
They also often include discounts and other perks, so make sure to find out if one is available at your chosen destination.
Before heading out, make sure you have packed everything, but pack light, and spare some room in your suitcases. Bring a map and a dictionary, and check what your mobile operator charges for calls and messages. Use Wi-Fi whenever you can. Bring a hat and a pair of sunglasses, but most importantly, pack your sense of adventure and open up you heart, mind and spirit to the magic of travel.