Ever since I started college, I have been on a few trips nationally and internationally, so I decided to compile a short list of tips that could be useful for fellow travel bugs!
– Don’t be afraid of getting lost!
My favourite parts of my travels, especially in Denmark and the United States, were when I did not necessarily know where I was. In Denmark, I was walking around Copenhagen with my friend Peter who knows the city very well. Most of the time, I had no idea where I was or where we were going until he pointed something out. NYC and Chicago were another story. I usually knew I would find a subway station eventually so did not really care.
– Walk, walk, walk!
I don’t think we can really get the feel of a place if we spend our time in cars. Get down on the streets and walk with the locals. If you can bike, do that too!!
– Google Maps, CityMaps2Go, and actual maps might be your best friends.
In case you really don’t want to engage in the whole get lost shenanigans, get an actual map. You can usually find them in news stands and public transit stations. If you prefer something more digital, Google Maps is great because if you use its itinerary function, it does not require internet the whole way. All you have to do is launch the directions and then log off internet, you can save on battery this way. CityMaps2Go is also very useful. All you have to do is download the app and then the maps of the cities of your choice. You get 5 maps for free.
– Take loads of pictures.
You don’t have to have a DSLR to chronicle your travels, your phone will do. Take pictures of everything that seems interesting. And while selfies are cool, try to point the camera the other way from time to time.
– Put your camera down from time to time.
I know this is weird both coming from a photographer and from someone who just told you to take loads of pictures, but really, sometimes you have to put that camera down and actually look at the place. Each city or town I have been to has a special kind of energy. It has sounds, smells, colours, lights that demand to be heard, felt, and seen. Don’t deprave yourself from that by constantly hiding behind a camera. Photographs sure do capture a lot, but not everything!