PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Occasionally we get the urge to just get up and go but planning a vacation is the most integral part of taking a vacation. It gives you a timeframe to better plan your vacation and it is friendlier to your wallet.
PAYMENT OPTIONS. When traveling, I like to have a good mixture of funds. A good mixture of cash (local currency), an EMV Travel Card. (A credit and a debit card) In most parts of the world, cash is still king. If you have the time, change foreign currency at your local bank and avoid airport foreign exchanges at all costs. (The exchange rates are low and the fees are high) I prefer the use of credit cards because their liability for loss far exceeds that of my debit card in the case of theft. I use the Bank of America Travel Rewards card because it’s one of the few travel cards without an annual fee and it allows me to use the points accumulated for statement credits for travel-related purchases. For my debit card, I use Charles Schwab Visa Debit. There is no monthly fee once you open a brokerage account as well. The idea of not being charged to use international ATM’s is the best in the world. Also by going to the ATM in small increments, you reduce the need to carry a lot of cash and also the risk of losing that cash all at once.
SERENDIPITY. Vacations are to relax. We all get the urge to sightsee or wanting to do everything in a particular country but we cannot so save one day to relax. I’ve spent days at a time sunbathing while drinking coconuts. It’s a calm you can appreciate and it’s more beneficial to your mind and body in the long run.
PACKING. When packing for a vacation, your packing list changes based on destination, however, I keep a few things handy. A nice tuxedo (You never know when you will be invited to formal dinner when traveling) dark color pants (They are more versatile and can last longer than the lighter counterparts) and my laptop because like most of you I’m always working. We all pack differently but if you’re new to packing, here is a helpful video that might come in handy. Enjoy.
Vagabrothers Packing Tips
TIME MANAGEMENT. In my haste to see the world, I often try to fit as many destinations in my compact schedule. Like earlier this year when I tried to fit 5 countries in a 7-day trip. This for obvious reasons wasn’t my smartest idea. Although I managed to make it to all the destinations. It was a really taxing experience, one I would avoid doing in the future.
"Not all those who wander, are lost." J.R.R Tolkien
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. After spending a week in Tenerife, I decided to book a day trip to Zurich, before heading back to London. I researched everything I could do in Zurich in the 15 hours of downtime I had. Unfortunately, due to inclement weather, that 15 hours quickly turned into one, an hour which was spent getting from one terminal to a next. I never calculate delays in my planning; now I do.
"The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see." G.K Chesterton
PERCEPTION IS KEY. When we look at certain parts of the world, all we know is what we see on the news. In my experience in traveling, I’ve never visited a place and found it to be anything like I heard of, so I urge you get out there and do the same.
"Travel brings power and love back into your life" Rumi
LEARN A LANGUAGE. One of the things I learned from my trip to Paris was to learn the local language. I was told that everyone in Paris speaks English but once there, I quickly learned that wasn’t the case. I then made it my business to learn a bit of French and still learning to this day. Now I approach all my trips with learning the language as the most integral part of it all.
"Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow" Anita Desai
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