What classifies as a long trip really does vary from person to person, but anything over a month seems to fall into this category. This is the line where a holiday spills over into full-blown travelling. And there is no doubt that the two things are very different. Whereas a holiday tends to follow an itinerary with everything booked in advance, longer trips are often less defined and are subject to change. While a holiday conjures up images of lying on a sandy beach with a cocktail in hand, travelling makes you think of a backpack on your shoulders and the world at your feet. Of course, it is not going to be all plain sailing, so here is some advice if you are planning a long trip.
Be Flexible with Your Plans
One of the great joys of long-term travel is not knowing exactly where you will be from one week to the next. Though you may have some places that you would like to go in mind, try not to stick too rigidly to your plans. Most of the best adventures that you have in life are spontaneous. Listen to the advice that you get on the road from fellow travellers and be prepared to adapt your plans. Since pretty much all of us carry a smartphone around these days, it is easy enough to book accommodation and travel while you go along.
Watch Your Budget
If you have never been on a long trip before, it takes a little bit of time before you adapt to sticking closely to a budget. Try to keep track of your spending and work out if there are any corners you can cut. Research destinations before you get there and try to get advice from people who have already been if possible. Check online at websites like DontPayFull.com to see if there are discounts that you can get. If you are staying in hostels, try to do your own cooking from time to time so you don’t spend too much on eating out. There is plenty of budget travel advice out there so try to read as much as you can.
Avoid Suffering From Travel Fatigue
Believe it or not, travelling around can become pretty tedious if you are doing the same thing day in, day out. If you are going around Europe, you may end up never wanting to see another church or cathedral again! Try to keep your activities as varied as possible, and don’t do things just because everyone else does. Don’t feel bad for taking a day off from time to time. We all need to recharge our batteries and the act of travelling can become pretty exhausting after a while.
Throw Yourself into the Culture
The whole point of travel is that you are encountering situations that you never would back home. Don’t be afraid to have a go at speaking the local language as people will really appreciate it, and it may end up opening some doors for you. Many of us have the natural instinct to shy away from situations that may cause embarrassment, but overcoming this is your ticket to some unforgettable experiences. Rather than staying with your travel companion all the time or people with a similar culture to yourself, try meeting local people as this is the only way that you will be able to get a fuller picture of the place you are in.
Stay Healthy While Travelling
Many people find that their health deteriorates while they are travelling for a long period of time. A combination of drinking too much, not getting enough exercise and eating your body weight in junk food can really catch up with you! Try to stick to some sort of fitness plan, even if you can’t get as much exercise as you would like. Walking or cycling around a city instead of taking public transport is a healthy option that also gives you a better impression of the place. Also, try to eat fresh fruit as a snack when you are making long journeys.
Take Advantage of Modern Technology
Many of us now take all our pictures on smartphones, so make sure you don’t lose any by backing up your photos using iCloud or OneDrive. Download some apps to make travelling easier such as Duolingo to learn the local language, and Maps.Me so you can use maps while you are offline. You have so much power at your fingertips so remember to take advantage of it.