If you’ve never caught the travel bug, it’s only a matter of time. Even the most stay at home anti-social members of society who spend their evenings sat under the stairs wearing tin foil hats and listening to podcasts on who really shot bigfoot or whether JFK really was filmed in the woods (I may have gotten those things mixed up) soon perk up and start to reminisce the moment anybody mentions a shared travel destination.
The point is that if you’ve only ever left town once for a six hour round trip to … well, somewhere roughly three hours away … you’ll have more opinions on where you went and what you saw than you will have opinions on almost anything else in life. Humans are storytellers. Our ancestors sat around campfires and told stories of monsters to keep the children close at night and stories of great battles to seed their dreams. Of course, the monsters in those stories probably originate in running scared the first time our species encountered a chicken, and tales of great seafaring battles were probably based on nothing more than fisticuffs with a neighbouring tribe over the ownership of a local pond. But we do love a good story, and that’s what travel gives us.
First, we must discuss keeping safe out there. To this end, we advise carrying the number of your embassy at all times (in case of passport theft) and having the details of legal backup in case you need it (for a multitude of reasons – for example, see lawyers in New York who deal with personal injury).
Research day and night
No, we don’t mean spend your days and nights researching your travel destination. But DO research the differences in touristy daytime attractions and night-time things to do. There’s very little point in visiting Vegas to get some sleep. There’s very little point in planning to see a medieval German village if what you really want is beer and dancing. See? Make sure you get the right mix.
Whether the weather counts
Knowing what you want in terms of day-time and night-time activities is one thing, but have you checked online reviews for the kinds of weather you can expect? Seasonal weather is a much-overlooked aspect of travelling (speaking as someone who landed in Oslo, Norway, wearing jeans and a t-shirt in minus 25 degrees Celsius, I can promise you that temperature can change a lot over even short flights).