The joys of traveling can only be experienced when one is with the right attitude, mindset and preparation.

Most people travel unconsciously, just like they do any other activity throughout the day.

They simply get from A to B, do what everyone else does there, sometimes nothing different from what they’re doing at their place, have the same bad habits, don’t feel well, complain about the weather, how long stuff takes, how tired they are, how annoying something is, etc.

Such kind of traveling is exhausting, it leads to nothing good. And if it’s an experience filled with pressure and anxiety, you’re better off staying at home.

But when you travel, you can also open yourself for the novelty and excitement, try new things, accept anything that doesn’t happen according to the plan, try to eat well, be active and stay healthy at the same time, and even improve yourself and learn many things while doing all that.

It can be great for your spiritual and mental health if you give it a chance.

Here are some travel tips to help you make the most of your next trip:

1. Have a reason.

To do something right, you need to know why you’re doing it. Otherwise, you won’t have a direction to follow and can easily lose motivation to be in control.

So why are you traveling this time?

Some bad reasons are to escape reality, because it’s your only time of the year when you have the chance to travel (meaning you’re stuck in a job and have no freedom), can get a ticket at a huge discount (meaning money is the main factor here, not the destination or having a good time once you get there), etc.

But your reasons can be one or more of the following too:

  • To spend quality time with a loved one – in which case you’ll make the person feel good, do different things together, will take walks, talk about life, explore a city, laugh and just be with each other;
  • To get to know a city – maybe you’ve heard so much about a city that seems to be exactly what you like that you want to get lost in it. In this case, you’ll go there by yourself or with a friend or a few, will go sightseeing, visit every important destination, try the local cuisine, get a map and look at it, catch the train and go to another part and explore the area, etc;
  • To learn a foreign language – what better way to learn Spanish, for example, than to be there for a week or a few and talk to locals as much as you can;
  • To do some creative work – you may be a freelance writer, English teacher, web designer or programmer, and working remotely gives you the chance to do it from anywhere. If there are too many distractions at home, why not go somewhere else where no one would bother you, to work on a new, exciting project? Be sure that wherever you go, there will be other freelancers and online business owners, waiting to connect with like-minded people.

Whatever your reason is, be clear about it. That will give you a purpose, and that’s how everything in life should be done.

2. Pack light.

pack light when you travel

People always take 2-5 times the luggage they actually use and need. Don’t make that mistake again.

Be a minimalist, go for the essentials only.

Before you put something in your suitcase, ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Also, keep in mind you can get new things there.

Travel light as belongings need to be carried and taken care of, and that’s not why you’re going away, after all.

Read also: 12 Self-Improvement Tips You Should Follow

3. Have a destination, but be open to changes and opportunities on the way.

Know where you’re going, that gives you some kind of comfort. But when you get there and know your way around, visit other places nearby. Then, climb a mountain in the same country, or get a cheap ticket to the one near it if you want.

You may see other offers, like trips for a day to an island somewhere there, or else.

Do that!

4. Make a plan, but expect anything to happen and be okay with whatever happens.

Take control of the things you can, and let the rest be.

Other people’s mood, bad food in a restaurant, a flight delay, an administrative error in the hotel and something different in your hotel room – all these are outer factors and there’s no need to react to that negatively.

Keep it cool. Know that you’ve done what you needed to, but some things just don’t depend on you.

Nothing is as bad as it seems. Be okay with whatever happens, don’t be rude to the staff if they forget anything.

5. Do your research.

travel, map

I suggest you study the destination before you get there. It will give you an idea of what to expect, you can make a rough plan on what to do there, and it’s fun.

Read about the city and country, check out forums too.

6. Be present.

When you get there, don’t fall into the trap of planning every next step (and thus living in the future), or comparing that trip to another one you’ve had before, or to what others have told you about their travels (and thus live in the past).

Instead, wherever you are, be there.

If you’re in a desert and it’s the hottest you’ve ever seen, know it’s not a daily occurrence and you’ll be talking about it for years, so enjoy what is.

When hiking and things are way too exhausting than people warned you, don’t complain to others, remember that you took the decision to do it, you’re moving and getting fit, you’re in the nature. So there are plenty of reasons to smile about.

When in a boring museum, let go of what you expected this place to be, and try to take a deeper look at the artwork there. Ask the guide, if there’s one, about the artist or inventor and what made him come up with this. These stories are quire inspiring and fascinating.

So my point is, travel consciously. At any moment, get back to the present and pay attention to what’s around you. It’s not your daily surroundings, so now’s the time to truly experience it.

Keep these travel tips in mind on your next adventure, and you can learn and grow while visiting great places.