Making It Count: Tips for Creating a Memorable Trip

We never get as much time to travel as we’d like. Out of all the regrets I’ve ever heard people express, not traveling enough has to be the most common.

This isn't too surprising. For all the excitement surrounding travel it is still seen as a luxury activity. This means that people generally only do it after all other responsibilities have been taken care of. So, bills, kids, and other life duties can easily get in the way of a trip abroad.

This is why it's important to make any trips you do have as memorable as possible. But, this can lead to a lot of planning and anxiety when setting up a trip.

Questions like: What should I see?, Where should I go? Is X better than Y?

While many people can be obsessive about planning a memorable trip, it's actually easier than it appears. There are also a few surprising changes I often suggest to many people looking to create a memorable trip. Here’s how:

Do Your Research

This is an obvious tip. No matter where you go, whether on a work trip or a vacation, you'll need to do your homework on where you're going. But, the devil is in the details.

Depending on how long you’re going to visit a place for, and what your interests are, will change what you'll need to research. For example, when I was going on an all-inclusive activities desert tour in Dubai, all I needed to research was how to get to the meetup point and back home.

But, when I was traveling to L.A. for my own sightseeing trip of the city, I had to plan everything from taxi costs, to the order in which I wanted to see the sights to streamline commuting. \

So, as a general rule, know what the cost of travel and food is, what your accommodation is located, and how to get to the key places you want to see. Also check out any common scams that might be common to tourists to better protect yourself from opportunists.

Technology is Your Friend

TripAdvisor, Couchsurfing, Lonely Planet, and Airbnb -- these are just a few of the long list of amazing apps that you can download to your smartphone. These can help you do everything from book cheap flights and accommodation, to helping you meet people and plan an itinerary.

Technology has made it easier, safer, and more efficient than ever to travel. This is especially true if you're a solo traveler.

So, before you go away, be sure to download a few of the above apps to make sure you get the most out of your trip. Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor are particularly recommended as they highlight key places to see and put you in touch with tour groups and agencies.

Choose the Unique Options

When I was in Vietnam, I had a difficult choice to make. I could either have gone to see the Cu Chi Tunnels from the Vietnam war, or Halong Bay to see the limestone caves. Both were things I wanted to do. But, I went with the Cu Chi Tunnel tour. Why?

Because it's the only place in the world I could have seen them. There are other places I can visit to tour limestone caves. I went with the most unique option. This is a particularly important tip for making your trip as memorable as possible, especially for shorter trips. So, be sure to prioritise the more novel and unique sites and activities when traveling , no matter where you go.

Capture As Much As Possible on Camera

It’s become a bit taboo to have your camera out and to take selfies. But trust me, as someone with experience traveling through different countries and cultures, you'll be glad you did. It's amazing how much your memory of trips can fade, and how great photos and videos are as a memory aid.

They also act as great mementos to show your friend and family once you return home.

Invest in Guided Tours

This is another great tip for those who are short on time. Guided tours cost a little more than exploring alone. For some, it can also remove the mystery and fun of exploring alone. But, it does guarantee a fast and efficient way of seeing all the highlights of the places you're going. We have taken a tour bus in Toronto with a guided tour. Tours can be found and organized by almost any resorts, hotel, or hostel. They usually will pick you up at these locations directly too.

So, if times a factor, consider investing in a guided tour. Alternatively, you can follow the tip below.

Link Up With a Local

Through apps like Couchsurfing, it's easy to connect with locals from any country or city in the world. It goes without saying that locals can offer a more genuine experience of their city or country. The best part is many are happy to do it, free of charge. You can simply repay the favor if they're ever in your hometown.

This gives you a cost-friendly, easy and unique experience in a different country with someone who knows the best places to go.

Keep It Short and Sweet

A common myth of going abroad is that you have to spend a lot of time to take in everything noteworthy. This is particularly emphasized with long-haul trips. But, when creating memorable trips, the opposite is true.

When I went to visit Sydney in Australia for five days (yep, five days!) people almost lined up to tell me it wasn't enough time. The results?

On day four I was sitting by the Sydney Opera House, bored. I had done everything I needed. The same was true when I was backpacking through Europe. Three days was enough in each city.

So, when you're looking to create a memorable trip, just remember you don't always need to spend weeks in a place to do so.

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