For the perfect trip to take place, there is really only one variable which you have complete control over – YOU.
Thus, the first tips will deal with attitude and state of mind. Granted, by the time we go on vacation our batteries are practically depleted and often we’re on the verge of emotional fatigue but the value of deep breathing and taking a moment before reacting to something unpleasant is massively underrated.
Back up all your important documents
Before you depart do a bit of groundwork for your peace of mind. I like to load them on the computer in addition to an external drive. There is a software named Backblaze is awesome. Like a private bank vault, even if your computer/hard drive is stolen or lost, your photos and files are safe.
Relax, be patient and find the funny in every situation
Delays in flights can get you red in-the-face furious…why not see the funny side instead?
There’s nothing much you can do about the situation and stressing out will just get you sick and tired. A sense of humor and an openess to your travelmates could turn a difficult situation into a fun adventure.
Anything you are hesitant about taking, don’t take it. Pare your luggage down to what you will REALLY need. Remember, underwear can be washed by hand as can socks and dry overnight. Think comfort, ease of wear and be practical about providing for weather conditions.
Have a stash of extra cash and protect your money
Just in case there are no working ATM machines where you are or you lost or had your money stolen, it’s good to have a stash of of cash in a secret place. A money belt worn on the body under clothing, inside the boot or shoe inserts, inside socks. There are places that won’t take a credit card, like most street bazaars and then some others that will but charge you up the nose for the priviledge.
Also you can make sure that the Visa or Amex you use doesn’t incurr conversion charges overseas. I know my Platinum Amex, Gold preffered Amex and Venture card by Captial One do not. And in fact, the Platinum travel related expense and the Venture is also amazing at building travel points after the intial bonus 30,000-50,000 (depending on the promotion).
Get lost on purpose and leave your fears behind
I am a female and a slight one at that. I can attest that my most amazing adventures happened when I just wandered around in places others thought coud be dangerous (they weren’t in the least), spoke to the locals, laughed, felt the atmosphere and color and grew enormously from the experience. If you stick to your comfort zone you’ll limit the scope of your experiences. Fly!