How to Get the Most Out of Your Travel Experience

Travel gets a lot of hype about its benefits for mental and physical health. It is true that traveling can improve your quality of life, but it’s also a complicated subject with many factors at play. Travel can be an expensive hobby, so many people struggle with it financially. Getting out of debt and saving up are important steps in enabling you to travel, but they’re not the only ones. You can get the most out of your travel experience by planning it carefully and making wise choices about what you do while you’re away.

When you’re planning a trip, you’re anticipating it for months before it actually happens. Studies have shown that anticipating experiential purchases, like travel, makes you happier than anticipating material goods. It’s no wonder that planning a vacation is so exciting!

The excitement of a trip helps you to relax, so you’re less likely to feel stressed or overwhelmed. This is a great way to take control of your mental health and well-being.

As you travel, you’ll encounter new cultures and ideas that can drastically shift your view of the world and how you interact with it. You can learn so much about a culture by observing how they live, from their daily rituals to how they celebrate life and mourn death. You can discover healthier lifestyle concepts, from Danish Hygge to Japanese Ikigai, by meeting people who practice these ways of living.

Traveling is a form of learning about history, and it’s an incredible way to make history come alive. Seeing the pyramids in person, standing in the DMZ in Korea and other historical sites gives you a sense of scale that reading about on a book or seeing on television can’t match. It’s also an incredibly powerful way to develop empathy for other countries and their people, as you see firsthand how they are affected by the conflicts going on in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world.

While you’re traveling, you may meet locals, fellow tourists and other travelers who have a love of travel just as much as you do. They can share their own experiences and recommendations with you, which can be a very valuable resource when planning your next trip. In addition, the sharing economy websites can connect you with locals who offer cheaper accommodation, quirky tour guides and rideshare options, or home-cooked meals at a fraction of what the big travel companies charge. Plus, they have insider knowledge about the best restaurants and hole-in-the-wall bars that are off the beaten path.