Archive for April 21, 2010

Make the Most of Your Travel Time

 by Andy Hayes

Travel is the perfect tool to look inside yourself, get some perspective, as well as to look out on the world and see it for its diverse value. It doesn’t matter how far you go, though, but whether you enjoy a truly authentic experience. Here are a few tips that will have you raving about your destination.

Look Up. Funny how stretching your neck just an inch or two upwards can totally change your perspective and viewpoint on a place. Admire the architecture, the color of the sky. What do you see?

Go with Your Gut. Guidebooks are written by one or two people so they’re a pretty filtered lens onto a destination. Plus they aren’t you so how can they know what you like or don’t like. So take the opinions and recommendations of others with a grain of salt. Make your own decisions.

Practice Serendipity. In a similar vein to the previous suggestion, a little serendipity on a vacation goes a long way. Leave everything behind – the guidebooks and the maps – and see what the universe brings you for the day. It is a free and powerful feeling knowing that serendipity is your guide, not a lousy guidebook author.

Go Local. Either with some planning on social media before you go, or by just being open to meeting some like-minded souls in your new destination, hanging out with locals is a great way to experience the real place. Often locals can tell you the in places and must-see experiences that just aren’t captured by tourists.

Travel is about the places themselves, not just the latest big tourist attraction, so try some of these changes and see the true places, not just what the brochure says.

Andy Hayes is the managing editor of Sharing Travel Experiences, a travel lifestyle magazine offering a unique travel concierge service as well as other resources to help travelers travel more.