When you wait to travel, you are actually depriving yourself of the opportunity to get the best deals and other benefits for your adventure. Hundreds, if not thousands of friends, families, and travel enthusiasts will all have recommendations of what to and not to do, see, experience! But why base your trip on what others think you should do? Ex., waiting on our girlfriend to book her flight; only to end up booking the more expensive option, because the cheaper rate expired! Or, you take aunty’s recommendation on the best hotel to stay at but when you get there you realize that your taste and hers have a few decades of difference; budget, luxe or not.
Want to know a secret? The key to traveling, solo or group, is to not follow the trails paved by others. No two people experience things the same way. If it has been done before, why not opt in for the road less traveled? When we rely on Yelp, TripAdvisor or Zagat, we end up booking checklists rather than bucket-lists. Now don’t get me wrong, wanting to see the wonders of the world are great, but imagine experiencing it from an unexplored approach.
How you ask? Simply get lost with purpose, on purpose…letting the wind take you where GPS cannot imagine!
- Take trains, buses, bikes – even walk to your destinations. You get a better hands-on view of the locale.
- No GPS allowed! Don’t focus on “getting there,” rather relish in “being there” wherever there may be. Instead of using your phone’s location apps, put your camera to work. Capture the moments and memories of “there and now.”
- Explore the neighborhood. Stroll through the areas that are adjacent and within close proximity of your accommodations. Visit the markets, shops, and eateries. Tip: Look for mom and pop spots where the locals crowd instead of Zagat recommendations.
- Get social! Use apps like WAYN, HelloTel, Trover, Steller, Heylets, which allows you to get social with fellow travelers and enthusiasts.
- Be open to the experience. Delight yourself in following the allure of your intuition. Be optimistic about to see your journey as the natives do. Tip: Please remember to be safe. As a tourist/visitor – your are a prime target for scams, pickpocketing, and in rare cases assault. So always remember that safety is a priority.
When I went to Tijuana, Mexico a few years ago, I had an amazing time and experience. We went by tour bus from Los Angeles, California. The ride to the border was very relaxing and full of agriculture and oceanic sceneries. I was part of an expedition that was touring various Alternative Medicine facilities for terminal cancer patients (I was gathering intel for my client).
I learned about raw juicing, how much cancer loves sugar, and how much life exists in stage 4 cancer patients. A few of us (including a man struck with stage 4 cancer) managed to sneak away to a quaint mom-and-pop shop, located immediately across from one of our stops. Obviously, the natives spoke very little English, but the cuisine was genuinely authentic, smack-your-momma good.” And the view…the Pacific Ocean sat right in their backyard. For $5 each US; what an abundance of fresh, home-cooked Mexican cuisine.
“I will never forget the excitement on the shop owner’s faces when we paid? I promise you, it’s like that $15 paid their bills and more for months! We sat, ate and chatted. For someone who had months to live, this gentleman was living it up to the fullest, stopping to enjoy the simplistic splendors of life – many take for granted! Travel was his last hoorah…and he had no time or desire to wait to experience it!
When she’s not traveling the world, she enjoys planting the seeds of growth and prosperity for small businesses and entrepreneurs. She’s an accredited Travel Designer, who specializes in curating unique, Caribbean and Luxury ventures. She's a travel marketing expert, who loves to make her passions her paycheck while teaching women to do the same.