9 Things to Do to Be a Wise Traveler in 2016

New year, new goals to accomplish. Congratulations! You survived 2015: failed a hundred times, got back on your feet a hundred more and have accomplished numerous goals. In 2016, create a bucket list you’ll remember for a lifetime.

In this day and age, we long for a work-life balance. Gone are the times where hard-working employees weren’t provided enough time off to enjoy their lives and the culture of other countries. Nowadays, employees as young as 20 are now able to explore the world with little to no limitations.

Don’t let your travel dreams be stuck where they are—let them go beyond your limits. Become a better explorer and fulfill your wanderlust in 2016!

Women traveling, credit-Jovago.com

Women traveling, credit-Jovago.com

Regardless if you’re a first-time traveler or a frequent traveler, feed your desire to land your feet in the best destinations around the world. Here are the best tips and advice to help you move forward on your upcoming trip and become a wiser traveler.

#1: Plan and list your goals this 2016. Traveling isn’t an easy thing to do, let alone squeezing in days off from work (or school). You need to think practically and realistically. Sure, it’s easy to consider a nice getaway in the Maldives or live like a Parisian for a short while. However, it may be hard to make these dreams a reality.

Make a fresh start. You have to list all your goals this year: career goals, financial goals, travel bucket list, etc., to help you prioritize and balance your personal life. Plan your trips wisely. Sure, traveling around Europe is your ultimate goal, but if it requires you to go into debt to cover all the expenses, then that isn’t smart. Maybe it’s ideal and more realistic to achieve this dream in the future.

#2: Spend wisely. Traveling isn’t only for the rich, but it certainly isn’t cheap. There are affordable deals and discounts out there, but other aspects of traveling are a bit on the pricey side.

In order to have enough money for your travel expenses, you need to track and budget your spending. Cut down on unnecessary indulgences and luxuries, such as going to the cinema every weekend, frequently dining out, taking a cab or using a car when you can walk. If you want to travel, you need to save.

#3: Save. Save. Save! Budgeting is essential if you’re eager to travel. For beginners and for those who haven’t yet, start your adventure and travel locally. Not only will it give you a sense of accomplishment, a stunning view and an experience that’s definitely noteworthy in the memory book, but it’s also cheap.

Cut costs. Resist from spontaneous splurges and skip going out to lunch; prepare and bring your own meals to work. Have a separate savings account for your travel adventure, or budget your savings wisely for extra money. Figure out and find ways to travel on a limited budget.

#4: Manage your time. Time is significant for travelers. It’s as important as your budget and vital as early as in the planning stages, especially if you’re working. You simply can’t just go on a spontaneous trip to Argentina or Puerto Rico without informing your boss and leaving your coworkers in the lurch with your unfinished work and projects.

Work out your vacation leave, take note of your holidays and how long you want to stay in your destination. Manage your time wisely and be flexible.

#5: Read and research. We’re in the digital age, so take advantage of it. There are plenty of travel blogs and travel hackers who write about their experiences, adventures, advice, tips and tricks to help fellow travelers as well.

Search for great deals and discounts on airfare, accommodations and travel packages. Although be careful when you do this, for there’s also a growing number of scammers that take advantage of other people online. In addition, follow or join various travel groups for updates or promotions regarding airfares, lodging, etc.

#6: Travel light. One of the mistakes beginner travelers often commit is packing too much than what they need. A 7-day trip doesn’t necessarily mean 7 sets of daytime and nighttime apparel.

If you don’t mind paying for extra baggage, then go on and pack as much as you like, but that’s not being a wise traveler. Pack only the basics and necessities. Keep this in mind, especially women. 7 different pairs of shoes/sandals just isn’t practical.

#7: Learn the culture. Traveling to a place without putting interest into the culture and traditions is meaningless. It’s like locking yourself in a beachside rental and not going to the beach to experience the waves and fine sand.

vietnam-641629_960_720What’s the easiest and most exciting way to delve into a country’s culture? Try the food! Ask where to go to sample the local cuisine. If it means going to theme parks, national parks, museums or the like, then make your way there. If it’s festivals, events and other celebrations/activities, then join the fun. You’ll make your adventure more memorable.

#8: Have an open mind. Each destination is different and just because it’s not the same with what you’re used to, it doesn’t mean it’s bad.

tibet-952688_960_720Although you may not get to ride in a comfortable vehicle like the one you frequently use, be open to ride other modes of transportation and don’t complain and compare it to what you’re accustomed to. Their food may be the complete opposite to yours, but those exotic foods are a must-try. Their values and principles may be different to what you know, but have and keep an open mind.

#10: Just do it. Let go of all your worries and take a chance. Don’t overthink, just do it and go where your heart takes you!

About Chie Suarez: Chie Suarez hails from the PH. Though she found her passion for travelling quite late, she enjoys it to the fullest with her family and dog. She also writes for KIMS Beach Hideaway, which offers beachside lodges in Australia.

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