Travel can be a stressful and difficult experience. While the destination is often a joy to reach, the journey itself isn’t always easy; whether it’s travel anxiety, dealing with constant delays or changes to the schedule, or having to worry about a disruptive passenger on your flight or your train, there are a lot of ways travel can go wrong for you. Improving your travel experience isn’t entirely within your power, but there are things you can do to try and make things a little easier. Here are some surprising tips and tricks for a better travel experience.
Watch a comedy movie on the plane to sleep better
It’s true – watching a comedy movie, or a movie with comedy elements like a rom-com, can really help you to sleep! A study conducted by the online casino site Betway found that watching a comedy film right before bed is one of the best ways to improve the quality of your sleep, and you’ll spend less time awake during your sleep cycle as well. Managing to get enough sleep during your journey will make it much easier for you to enjoy yourself when you get to your destination!
Keep a towel with you at all times
If you’ve ever read Douglas Adams’ sci-fi comedy masterpiece The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (or engaged with any of its associated media), then you’ll know just how important it is to know where your towel is located. When you’re travelling, you should always keep a towel with you; after all, you never know when you’re going to need one. Drying off after a rain shower, mopping up an accidental spillage, or just chilling on the beach are all occasions when you’ll be glad you’ve got your towel.
Visit chain restaurants when you’re travelling
Some people will tell you that when you’re travelling, you should only sample the local cuisine, staying away from chain restaurants or familiar sights like Subway or Costa Coffee. The fact is, though, that these things can often provide much-needed comfort if you’re feeling homesick, and sometimes, you want something that you know is going to be good rather than taking a gamble. Don’t be ashamed to walk right into a KFC outlet in Japan and ask for some fried chicken. Hey, if it’s Christmas, doing so is positively festive!
Strike up a conversation with a local
f people around you seem friendly and you’re well-versed enough in the local language, then why not approach someone and start up a conversation? Make sure to read their body language throughout your interaction with them. If they start seeming like they’re not having fun or enjoying the conversation anymore, it’s a good idea to move on, but as long as they’re happy to indulge you, then you could learn a lot about local customs, the language, and the place you find yourself in.
No, we’re not being mean. Getting lost when you travel can be a life-changing experience, and it’s one everyone should have every once in a while. Just let yourself wander off the beaten path (assuming you know it’s safe to do so, of course) and explore. Don’t stick rigidly to a travel itinerary; while doing so might help you to see everything you’ve come to see, you might be stopping yourself from discovering something truly transcendental.
Stay near a university
As mentioned over on travel blog The Sabbatical Guide, it can be a great idea to stay near a university if you can. University towns are usually pretty safe; they’re full to the brim with students, who tend to be welcoming and friendly folk, and you’ll also find lots of cheap places to eat, since students are also often not the richest people in the world. Plus, you get the benefit of soaking up campus culture, which feels historic and intellectual without feeling exclusive.
Don’t do anything without knowing what it’ll cost
Quite often, wily locals will prey on tourists by getting them to sign up for things like cab rides or photo opportunities, then spring unexpected costs on them as a way to make a little cash. Don’t ever sign up for doing anything unless you know how much it’s going to cost you. While getting lost can be a good thing, losing control of your money and loosening the purse strings can be bad, and you don’t want to end up with no money to make your way home at the end of your trip.
Photocopy your documents
You might think that all you need to do when you travel is remember a single copy of your important documents, but this simply isn’t the case. Many places, like airports or official government departments, might ask you for photocopies of your passport or your driver’s licence, for instance, so it’s important to ensure that you have those documents if you’re asked for them. Prepare them before you leave so that you’re not caught unawares.
Try some local attractions
We don’t just mean museums or other tourist traps here. When we say “local attractions”, we mean that you should go along to events that are publicised to locals as much as to tourists. Why not go and see a live band in the local area, or check our some cool museums, for instance? Try a fair or a fete that you’ve found while you’re exploring. These can often be the places where you have the most life-changing, unforgettable experiences, rather than the museums and other tourist attractions, which can sometimes feel a little staged.