Travelling teaches you a lot. It broadens your horizons, and leaves you wiser. It is an enriching experience that shapes up your personality, and gives you a new lease of life. But how can one make the best out of their travels? A good traveller is well equipped with his geography, is able to adapt to different kinds of situations, has a keen sense of cultural diversity and knows all kinds of travel hacks.
To be a better traveller is to morph into a local from a tourist, and with these simple yet effective travelling tips you can be on your way to becoming the next Ibn Battuta or Michael Palin.
- Be geographically sound: The most basic thing you can do is improve your geography. Learning to read the map is a survival skill. It is also a great way to discover new places. If you’re planning a hiking trip, a good topographic map is the perfect tool. Getting well versed with the major mountain chains and river channels makes reading the map an easier task. Remember this rule while reading a map, the bolder the line on the map, the bigger the road!
- Atlas Guide: A fun approach to learning more is by getting a large atlas and familiarizing yourself with new places. The best atlases are the ones used by truck drivers. They often have page after page of extremely helpful data but at the expense of being a bit bulky. It usually costs more, but many consider them to be among the best road maps you can lay your hands on. They are available in many book stores, and if they aren’t in stock, you can surely buy it online.
- Research: Reading up and doing extensive research on the place you’re travelling to gives you a definite edge. Subscribe to travel magazines to increase your knowledge. There are plenty of good ones to cater your needs. Condé Nast Traveller is the insider’s guide to the outside world. The prestigious National Geographic gives you an insight of history, scenery and travelling to all ends of the earth. The in-depth details and engrossing pictures will make the places stick in your mind. Travel shows like Madventures and Departures are a few shows that inform, entertain, amuse and inspire you to travel.
- Get on the internet: Considering you spend a lot of time browsing on social networking sites, you might as well put it to good use. The internet is filled with forums for travel enthusiasts. Chat rooms help you get acquainted with people of similar interests and here you can exchange ideas, thoughts and even make a friend or two from another country. TravBuddy, TravellersPoint and TaukTravellers are a few online forums where fellow travellers can have discussions and engage with each other.
- Travel Companions: The two tools that will save you countless hours of headache and trouble is an up to date road atlas and a metal six inch ruler. Store them both in the glove compartment of your car. The metal ruler won’t get hot and warp, and the atlas will make a wonderful traveling companion.
But the most important and crucial skill is to take the plunge and travel. Only when you are thrown into the sea, will you learn to swim. Focus on having fun, keep a positive outlook and try to absorb as much as you can from your travels. At the end of it, you will feel enriched and come back home with a lot of fun stories to tell and experiences that will stay with you forever.