However, if you want your travels to also be an effective exercise in self-improvement, these are some top tips you need to consider...


1. Choose Where to Visit & Find Things to Do

There is a lot to be said for taking a flexible and improvisational approach to arranging activities while you travel. However, you should try and avoid making things up as you go entirely.

Having some kind of plan or schedule will help you to ensure that you have something to do every day. You can still leave yourself plenty of time to go exploring and discover some of the hidden gems that your travel destination has to offer.

Popular activities include:

There are a variety of places you can check before you go on vacation, in order to make an itinerary. In the pre-internet days, the best sources of information were travel guides.

Of course, searching through a physical book feels like a surprisingly dated way of doing things by today’s standards. Searching through digital information is easier, but travel guides are generally good quality sources, as websites can be very variable.

Wherever you decide where to get your information, try and find out about the kind of sights and attractions to be found near to where you will be staying. You can then make plans to cover at least some of the time you will be there.

Set aside time for exploring, and to discover some attractions on your own, but make sure you have enough planned to be sure of a memorable time away.

You might also want to consider group experiences like tours.


2. Learn the Language

One of the biggest advantages of being a native English speaker is that the language is widely spoken around the world.

English has more or less become the de facto international language. However, not everyone speaks English. Not only are there practical considerations but languages and cultures are intimately linked.

If you really want to not only experience but understand another culture, you need to learn the language. The good news is that, while learning a language is challenging, there are many ways of going about it.

Using a remote learning service like Superprof languages who have hundreds of online language tutors available means that you can learn before you leave - and continue learning while you are traveling.


3. Budget Beforehand

In order to make sure that you can focus on having the best holiday experience possible, without getting hung up on the kind of stresses that we all get more than enough of in our day to day lives anyway, you should make sure that you work out your finances beforehand.

By making a detailed plan before you leave of how you will spend your money, you will be effectively eliminating one of the most common sources of holiday stress.

Going on holiday can quickly get expensive, especially if you aren’t paying close attention to how you are spending your money. Having a plan for your spending ahead of time will make it much easier for you to reign in the spending and use the money you do have as efficiently as possible.

There’s nothing wrong with spoiling yourself; in fact, that is very much the point of a vacation. However, you don’t want to be near the end of your holiday, only to begin dreading the return home because you’ve spent all your money.

View some essential tips how to travel on a budget.


4. Interact with Locals for Information

No matter how good your guidebook, and there are some really thorough and easy to use guidebooks out there, even the best of these can’t come close to the value of local knowledge.

The local people who live their lives in the place you are visiting will naturally have the best grasp of which areas are most worth visiting, and which are best avoided.

For most holiday destinations, you will be able to arrange for a local guide to meet you and to show you around your destination. This is the best way of ensuring an organic and authentic experience while you are away and will also help you to steer well clear of the inevitable tourist traps.


5. Seek Out Authentic Cuisine

If you want to truly experience the true character of a place and its people, you will need to make sure that you seek out some authentic cuisine.

You will regret it later if you spend the time and money necessary to travel across the globe, only to end up eating the same food you would if you were at home. Equally, you don’t want to waste time sampling what you think is an example of authentic local cuisine, only to discover that it is nothing of the sort.

Finding authentic cuisine when traveling usually isn’t too difficult. The only places where you need to be careful are in cities and other tourist hotspots, where there is likely a much greater pressure on businesses to deliver sales rather than authenticity. As you would expect, rural areas are better for traditional cuisines.


With the right preparation beforehand and the right attitude once you have set off, it is easy to make your next travel adventure a worthwhile experience.