How to thrive with group travel.

How to thrive with group travel.

I wrote an earlier blog post about choosing your travel partners wisely.  Travelers may not always be able to select their travel partners with group travel.  However, there are ways to ensure your journey is pleasant and that you thrive with group travel.

Recognize your individuality.  No two people are alike. While there may be majority decisions or even unanimous decisions, all travelers have different needs.  For some travel group members, the desire is for escape, while it might be an adventure for others.  The reasons for travel are far too many, so embrace yours.

Be respectful of group members.  Even though your travel needs may be different than others, respect their needs.  Acknowledge their thoughts and ideas but state your own opinion.  If the group plans work for you, join in, and if they don’t, politely decline.

Be mindful of the advantages as well as the disadvantages.  For many, group travels can be a way to save money or provide a feeling of safety. However, it can also infringe on your privacy. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages ahead of time will prepare you for the realities of group travel.

Embrace similar interests.  Most group travels begin with a goal or interest that everyone shares.  Taking part in group tours or events with like-minded people can be exhilarating.  Sharing an experience with friends or family is much more enriching than telling them about it.

Know your travel goal.  Does the group travel involve a trip or a vacation?  For many, a trip usually has a purpose, while a vacation is about the experience.  If you consider the group travels a trip, you most likely will have a plan in mind.  If the travel involves a vacation, usually it entails rest or relaxation. Knowing your expectations from the group travel experience allows for travel that won’t disappoint.

Have you been able to thrive in group travel experiences? How? I’d like to know.

Travel preparation

Travel preparation

You can never be too prepared for travel.  There are plenty of things to consider before you travel to make your travel experience a much more pleasant one.  I discussed a few ways of travel preparation in a prior blog post. Here are a few more ideas to think about before you travel.

Cell coverage

When traveling internationally, mobile phone charges can be an unexpected expense.  Remember to turn off cell service roaming before you leave the country to avoid roaming charges.  If you try to do this in an international destination, you may be charged for the time trying to complete the effort.  Try to arrange for a global cell service plan with your carrier before you leave the country.  You can often use a phone for dollars a day rather than dollars a call if you choose an international package for the duration of your time out of the country.

Notify credit card companies

Without prior approval, using your credit card in another country can be problematic. Your card can be flagged for fraud, and you may not be able to use it.  To prevent this, notify your credit card company before you travel to avoid the inconvenience and embarrassment of having your credit card declined.  Additionally, getting in touch with your credit card company from another country and verifying yourself will be a hassle you can avoid.

Currency exchange

Try to have some local currency before you enter the country.  Currency conversion fees can differ where you choose to convert your money.  Also, converting before you leave on your trip will give you an idea of the exchange rate, so you know before you go.  If you plan to take local transportation, having local currency can be helpful. Knowing and understanding foreign currency also prevents you from being taken advantage of as an unaware tourist.

ATM fees

Using an ATM in a different country can be expensive with built-in foreign conversion fees and daily changing exchange rates.  Research what bank or system your bank card or credit card is affiliated with before you go so you can avoid unnecessary expenses.

Carry small currency

Having local or foreign currency in small denominations can be a lifesaver when you arrive at an international destination.  Some businesses and people will prefer the US or other foreign currency rather due to instability with their currency.  It is also safer to have cash in small denominations than trying to get the correct change back in your own or foreign currency.

Have you had any unexpected hiccups with forgetting to plan for international travel? I’d like to know.

How I packed for a weekend trip in a carry-on.

How I packed for a weekend trip in a carry-on.

Packing well for travel is a skill that comes from practice. Recently I traveled on a weekend trip that included a wedding and was able to do this with only a carry-on. Travelers can consider a few things that will make their packing easier and improve their ability not to overpack and fit in just a small bag or suitcase.

Check the weather for your destination. As I discussed in a previous post, pack for the realities of your destination, not what you expect it will be. Therefore, think in layers. Weather is not always predictable. When packing for a warm, sunny destination, consider the cool evenings by the beach or weather changes that can cool considerably as the day progresses. Similarly, when thinking of cold destinations, remember that you can become overheated if dressed too warmly.

Limit your footwear. For travel to any destination, you can almost always limit footwear to three pairs of shoes. Consider one set of footwear for walking, one for evenings out, and flat footwear. These three pairs of shoes will cover almost all types of travel itineraries. Your initial traveling outfit should include one of those three types, which means you will only need to pack two pairs of shoes.

Plan your travel. If you organize your trip, you will know what activities you plan and can pack accordingly. Think of how many changes of outfits you will need. How many times will you go to lunch or dinner? Will your plans call for business casual or comfort? In most cases, one pair of bottoms can be made unique with a different top or jacket.

Try different packing techniques. Rolling items rather than packing flat can allow for more things to fit into your carry-on. However, your outfits may need to be ready to wear and will not be suitable for rolling. Think of what items will be best rolled, such as jeans and tee shirts, or folded flat such as dresses or suit jackets.

Pack in advance. Packing in advance allows you to consider what you are packing rather than rushing to pack at the last minute. Preparation also will enable you to determine better if you are over packing or packing according to plans. It also limits forgetting items you will need, such as pajamas, socks, workout wear, or underwear. Advance packing helps in packing light.

Are you able to pack for a weekend with just a carry-on? What’s your secret, or what prevents you from packing light? I’d like to know.

Travel takes you out of your comfort zone.

Travel takes you out of your comfort zone.

One of the most significant and most understated values in travel is that it takes you out of your comfort zone.  Since Covid, I have tried a few things and recently realized that trying new things has been my way of getting the experiences that travel once provided.  Here are a few overlooked ways to help recognize how travel inspires us.

Like traveling to new destinations, trying new things is a way to challenge ourselves and our comfort level.  Especially for those who love travel for the sense of adventure, experiencing new skills without taking a trip can be rewarding in its own way. When you try something new and reach your goal, it can create a sense of self-awareness, similar to the travel experience.

Travel is usually a way to leave our stresses at home and a time to escape our realities, if only for a few days.  Many of us have had no choice but to be confined due to the pandemic; the ability to get away is no longer an option.  For many travelers, journeys have had to be internal with a journey of the mind.  If you have found a renewed interest in mindfulness and meditation, the lack of travel might be why.

Travel creates a more open mind. Travelers tend to be more self-aware and respecting of other people’s values, and it creates more respect for new cultures, people, and experiences.  Traveling allows us to learn and interact with different people and places, making us recognize our shared humanity. It enhances our ability to be more tolerant of differences and become more broad-minded.

Travel helps you to embrace your passions and find value and new meaning in your life. As a traveler, you learn to trust your instincts and follow your path. It allows you to focus on yourself and put your enjoyment first and build your self-confidence.

Traveling teaches you the difference between price and value.  Frequent travelers are more conscious and consider the experiences they will have over the price they will pay.  Consequently, their value of travel becomes more defined, and the more inexpensive option may not always be the best choice for them.

Have you stepped out of your comfort zone lately? How? I’d like to know.

Why do people love travel?

Why do people love travel?

There is no right or wrong answer to why people love to travel. Everyone has reasons for travel and preferences that are unique and individual to them. If you’ve never thought of why you love or want to travel, here are a few ideas that you might find fit your desire for travel.

It could be the desire to do something different. Many people travel to escape the sameness of everyday life. They may want to explore new places or new challenges that they don’t encounter in their daily lives. Once you overcome a challenge, you become inspired and confident to confront new challenges, and so the urge to travel becomes a constant companion.

Maybe it’s a need to relax and recharge. Traveling to a different place can give you a sense of escape that allows you to relax more than you would at home. Being in a different environment will enable you to disconnect from your regular worries and activities. For some travelers, their urge to travel is a way to get away from their everyday lives.

Travel can be a way to spend quality time with others. For many travelers, a vacation is a way to get their friends and family together to build better relationships and bonds. Being in a different environment allows people to connect without the distraction of daily life. Additionally, it’s a way to reconnect with friends and family when you don’t live in the same area or country.

Some travelers desire to meet new people. Travel can be an excellent opportunity to make and foster new friendships with fellow travelers or locals. Once you create relationships, you may experience the possibilities of exploring new people, journeying, or visiting them as a unique chance for travel.

Traveling can be a way to learn and evolve. Many travelers love to experience the unfamiliar and gain new skills or knowledge. Learning a new culture or language can be an entire course in discovering how other people live, their history, or their cuisine. These types of travelers often find new ways of seeing and doing things. Additionally, this type of practical learning tends to be more effective than reading or theoretical knowledge.

What is your reason for travel? Did I mention it? I’d like to know.

Pin It on Pinterest