I love to travel. When I can get a chance to, I’m already packing my bags and looking forward to it. Some of those trips have been some of my best experiences in life, others not so much.

These trips were subpar, not because they were not amazing locations, but because, in retrospect, there are things I wish I had done to make the trip much more enjoyable.

Having learned from that trip, I always ensure I have my list of things I always do when I travel close by. Yes, I have a list of things I always do when I travel.

As trivial as it may sound, having a list of things I always do when I travel has made it possible for me to keep track and have some of the most memorable trips of my life.

There is so much to travel than pretty Instagram posts and tourist highlights. While some of these destinations are famous because of their tourist attractions, I’ve found that exploring other elements of location works better in getting an all-round enjoyable trip.

It’s part of my list of things I always do when I travel. In my years of avid travel, I have picked several of these tips, and now I travel like a boss.

Traveling is an art, and as such, must be done with serious intent; otherwise, you may end up stressing on your trip, or worse, not enjoying the trip at all.

When you want to go camping with friends or visit a historical monument with your spouse, here are some of the things I always do when I travel,

  • Plan 

The number one on the list of things I always do when I travel is planned. I don’t think you could ever overstate the importance of planning.

It’s the difference between a fantastic trip and a negatively memorable one. Before you set off, plan, plan, and plan. When you think you’ve completed your planning, plan again.

Plan where you want to visit, what you want to do, the sights you’d like to see, and even the food you would eat. Get all that complicated stuff out of the way so that you can thoroughly relish your trip and avoid any inconvenience that limited planning can bring.

  • Check for festivals and holidays

If you’re going to visit a place, you might as well immerse yourself in the full culture and get the best of that world. One of the favourite things I always do when I travel is checking if any event is happening around my visit period.

Whether its La Tamborrada in Spain or the Chinese New Year, participating in some of these events can add a lot of flavour to your trip.

However, if you are on a budget or wouldn’t like to participate in any festivals while you’re there, it’s still a good idea to check beforehand so that you can know where to avoid or when to schedule your trip as accommodation and transportation can be on the high side during these festivals.

  • Get local MAPS

Things I always do when I travel, number 3, get local maps. This is important, especially for first-time travelers. Even if you’re not a first-time traveler, chances are there are some places you have never visited.

It’s not unheard of to get lost while touring, and a lot of the time, there are no guides.

When there are guides, they may not be available for some reason; otherwise, you wouldn’t have gotten lost in the first place.

That’s why it’s essential to get a map, preferably local ones, so that you can navigate your way around the city.

You could download offline maps of the area, or pick some up at your hotel that you can use to do simple tasks like visiting the tourist site or find your way back to your hotel

  • Talk to locals 

It can be tempting to remain in your lodging when you’re not visiting tourist sites or doing other stuff in your itinerary, but there’s no better way to connect to a place than through its people.

Talking to locals is a big part of things I always do when I travel. By talking to the locals, you can learn cultural differences, certain aspects of a new language, or even find out some of the best spots in town.

I’ve found that locals open up more to you when you are friendly and genuine, they can show you around, teach you a few things and tell you the stories no travel blog could ever.

Remember to keep safety at the back of your mind, avoid shady conversations with people you don’t know, and always meet up with locals in open places.

  • Use public transportation

I don’t drive that much, especially when I’m on trips. One of the best ways to get the full travel experience to make use of public transportation.

It’s one of the best ways to get to know the locals, take note of neighborhoods, and find the best spots in town. It could be scary at first, communicating in the local language, checking schedules, or missing stops, but it will be some of the best experiences you’ll have on the trip.

As long as you make sure to hold a map, stay alert and aware of your personal effects at all times.

  • Visit Local Markets and Shops

Some people travel for the sole purpose of picking up beautiful souvenirs along the way. I feel like your trip is not complete until you pick up something from your destination, which is why I would be lying if I didn’t add visiting markets as a part of things I always do when I travel.

Travelling provides a rare opportunity to see how things are done in different parts of the world. If you genuinely want to see true diversity, visit local markets.

Apart from getting some fantastic mementos of your adventures, you get to know the city for what it is.

Tourist destinations can be airbrushed; in the market, though, you see the city in all its glory, you see people strive to make a living, relate with one another and contribute to the society.

The next time you visit a destination, check out the local markets to see how life is, and pick up something beautiful, you’ll cherish as a reminder of your wonderful time for years.

  • Check out the nightlife 

In all my years of travel, I have come to realize that each destination has its unique nightlife. Whether you’re the party type or you’d rather watch a movie and sleep when the sun sets, different energy envelopes the city.

Whether its live jazz music, cafes or street dancing, various destinations has their peculiar interests and flavor. Get dressed and check out whatever fun awaits.

  • Record Memories

Finally, the joy of travel lies in memories. If there’s only one activity on my list of things I do when I travel, it would be recording moments. For me, recording these memories to relive some of your favorite moments whenever you want.

Although it’s not bad either, recording your memories goes beyond posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Keep a diary, record videos, and take photos that help you reminisce some of your favorite experience with your travel buddies.

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