We all have that one friend who is always jet-setting around the world. While they are out exploring new cultures and meeting fascinating people, we’re stuck at home scrolling through our Instagram feed. It can feel like a little bit of envy sets in every time we see their latest post from their vacation. But the days of just sitting on your couch and dreaming about traveling might be over because world traveler James Meeker has shared his top five tips to make sure that not only do you get to travel, but also have an amazing experience while doing so.
1. Book the Trip.
Plan your trips a year in advance. As soon as you can, get your time off approved, book the flight and hotel. Pay them off. That way you’re committed. If you don’t plan, you’ll never go. Go big! Go further than you wanted to. Try Hawaii if you first thought of California. Go to Bali if you thought Hawaii. Go to Paris instead of New York. Seriously, go to Paris. (tell me if you need ideas in Paris).
2. 1 Bag, No More.
I traveled across Europe for 10 weeks with 1 bag. Pack as little as possible. You don’t need more than 1 pair of sneakers and 1 pair of casual/dressy shoes. If you travel longer than a week, yes, you’ll do laundry, so what. Or you can have the hotel do it. Don’t overthink it. Most people will never see you again. Who cares if you wore that 2 days ago?
3. Look for the Unusual.
The next time you find yourself in a new city, don’t get caught up in the routine of touristy attractions. There is something uniquely satisfying about finding that unusual place or hidden gem that no one else knows about. It could be a small café with locally grown produce, an off the path bush trek leading to a secluded waterfall, aa little known kangaroo sanctuary where you can hold a joey – whatever it may be, take some time to explore beyond what’s expected! You never know when you might stumble upon your favorite spot.
4. Do things you normally wouldn’t do.
When you’re on vacation, don’t do your usual routine. Start doing things that are outside of your comfort zone! It may take a bit of courage and commitment at first but it will pay off in ten folds. You’ll have a story to tell for years to come about how you learned something new or did something different. Whether it’s trying new food or taking up a new sport, try something different when traveling to keep yourself engaged.
5. Learn to make the most of your phone’s camera.
If you’re looking for a way to get the most out of your travels, consider leaving the big bulky camera at home. All of my photos on Instagram have been taken with my phone. Educate yourself on the best techniques in your phone’s camera features. They’ll really pay off when you get the right shot. Learn to frame a photo, get the right angle, which direction the light is, etc… All these will make your travel easier, more spontaneous and fun.
If you’re looking to plan that next trip soon, check out James’ Instagram for travel inspiration. His feed features all the amazing places, culture and food he’s experienced across the world. Follow him on Instagram @globallyjames to find more of his daily adventures and travels.