7 Secrets To Actually Enjoy Your trip
WITHOUT stressing about the small stuff
Let’s Make Your Trips More Memorable.
Transform through travel:
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
Who Am I?
I’m Paris! I’m normally an introvert, but nothing gets me more excited and extroverted than traveling. I’m not talking about just going on a trip, either. I love the entire process: planning and executing to experience different cultures, histories, and food!. I’m also a history buff, fantasy book lover, and the type of person that can wander a store for hours. Just to feel the fabric. I love shopping!
How I got here
I’ve always wanted to travel abroad, but I didn’t get a chance until my sophomore year in college. Of course, I’d taken domestic trips but I really wanted to get out of the states. The chance to travel was actually a deciding factor in choosing my university.
Throughout my last three years at college, I studied abroad in France and traveled to about 5 different countries through scholarships and my own savings.
During that time, I worked as a mentor to other students who were looking to take advantage of my university’s travel programs as well. My love for travel and passion for planning travel experiences lead me to start Herstorical Travels.
Now, my goal is to be a mentor to you as you partake in everything that our world has to offer us.
My Best 7 Tips
I’ve put together a list of 7 things that I wish someone had told me sooner about planning better trips. Keep this list with you to remind you of the little things that can make any trip memorable and amazing.
Secret #1: Do What Excites You
I know it’s tempting to get right on TripAdvisor or Google and look up, “Best Things To Do In…” and call it a day. I challenge you to ask yourself:
- “What would I like to do on my vacation?”
- “What interests me?”
- “What do I like to eat?”
- “What do I want to learn about on my trip?”
These questions can’t be answered with a quick Google search. Planning a trip that you can look back on with pride and nostalgia means that you have to be honest with yourself about who you are. For example, if you don’t normally go to museums or even like history, then don’t visit a museum on vacation. No matter how famous it is. You’re going to be so bored and end up wandering around the museum without really appreciating it.
Obviously, you want to explore the local activities going on but don’t feel bad about wanting to do something that seems weird to your friends or family. This is the part where you take back control of your travel journey and stop worrying about what other people will think when/if you post pictures on social media. For one, they’re not paying for this trip. You are. For two, if they want to see a famous landmark or monument so bad, then they can plan their own trip!
Action Step: Write down 5 things that you’ve always wanted to do
Secret #2: Don’t Be Afraid To Go Solo
Solo traveling can be overwhelming for any traveler. Maybe you’re traveling alone to a new place for the first time or traveling for the first time alone in general. Regardless, I don’t want you to let the fear of traveling alone stop you. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that women have a much harder time traveling alone because we are taught that the world is too dangerous for us. We’re taught that we need someone to go with us.
Let me tell you that the first place that I traveled alone was to New Orleans. That was the most relaxing and freeing trip that I’ve ever taken. Every other trip has been a group trip or with one other person.
You may not have a problem with solo traveling and may just want to have a companion. That’s fine too. This section is for those of you who allow other people’s schedules, finances, or priorities to stop you from traveling. If someone can’t go with you, or your friend group is scattered to the winds like mines is, then travel alone. I’m for real. Go Alone.
Action Step: Pick 5 places that you would feel comfortable traveling to alone
Secret #3: A Travel Budget is Your Ticket to Freedom
Creating a travel budget is as important as planning the trip itself. Some people would say, “of course it is!”, but they don’t actually put this into action. It’s a common thing for people to plan a trip but forget that they have regular bills to pay when they get back home!
Traveling is not an excuse to throw financial caution to the wind and max out your credit card or spend money that’s for your bills. When you travel, I want you to be able to spend what you want without worrying about every single purchase that you make. I’ve felt that before. I’d ask myself:
“Do I have enough on this card?”
When I was planning my trips this way, I was so stressed about money that I didn’t enjoy my trip as much as I wanted. So, if you want to go on vacation, then you need to work a little overtime, do some food deliveries, etc. If you really want to take a longer trip, then you could even pick up a second job to save up.
Personally, I use the zero-based budget method in my personal and business finances. A zero-based budget simply means that every dollar is going towards an expense, an emergency fund, or a savings account. There shouldn’t be any money left just sitting there without a job to do. This way, you control your money, and your money doesn’t control you!.
Bottom line: If you want to be a traveler, then you have to budget. Every Time. How else will you be able to travel to beautiful cities across the world?!
Action Step: Make a zero-based budget that includes savings for your travel fund
Secret #4: All Tourist Attractions Aren’t Expensive
I know that it might seem like people are spending hundreds of dollars to see famous monuments, eat at popular restaurants, or get to the top of the hill with the Instagram-worthy view. The truth is that most tourist attractions for museums, walking tours, local activities, and more are pretty cheap compared to the experience that you get.
For example, take the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. You would think that a palace used by French royalty for centuries before being turned into a museum would have super expensive admission, right? As of this writing, this is the admission price: 17,00 € ($19.48).
Let’s say you wanted to go on a walking tour in New Orleans. There are history tours, haunted ghost tours, food and beverage tours, plantation tours, bus tours, boat tours, you name it! They all range between about $10 – 230. Most of these tours are about 1.5 – 2 hours, but the more costly ones are all day.
Booking these attractions comes much easier when you have a budget because, admittedly, they can add up. That’s why it’s so important to know what you like to do and what you want to explore on your vacation.
Action Step: List the destinations’ activities that you want to do and their prices
Secret #5: Things Will Go Wrong
I had to learn this one the hard way. I’d gotten so used to the way that I do things and, admittedly, the way that Americans do things that I forgot that some people do things differently.
A major reason to travel is to learn more about the world, and being patient is a part of that learning process. For example, if your flight is delayed or canceled, do not go off on the employees. Do not make a huge fuss about it because they have all of the power in that situation and can make or break your trip. Scream at them in your head and keep it pushin’.
Being patient will save you so much time and stress when traveling. Ask any experienced traveler about this and they’ll most likely tell you the same thing. You must be patient and just go with the flow because that tide is going whether you’re riding it or not!
Remember that you will get to where you need to go, be with the people that matter, and create amazing memories. Even if it takes a little longer than you expected!
Action step: Make a list of things that could go wrong and create solutions (bring more money, make another reservation, etc.)
Secret #6: Put Your Phone Down
Everyone tells us to do this, but I’m telling you, it actually helps. Social Media is a distraction that we really don’t need when we’re traveling because it takes us out of the moment. I’m not against taking pictures to upload later, but if you’re so into a TikTok video you can’t remember half of your day, then we have a problem.
In all honesty, what’s the point of paying your hard-earned coin to travel somewhere if you’re just going to do the same thing that you could do at home? Don’t be the person who’s so into their phone or talking on the phone that you miss learning about the city you’re in.
You don’t have to completely unplug, but try to put it away so that you can enjoy your trip. Every part of it.
Action Step: What are some ways that you can avoid being on your phone on vacation?
Secret #7: Write Down Your Thoughts
Journaling was one of the most helpful things that I did when traveling to Ghana for the first time. I was experiencing a new culture that seemed similar to my own African American culture, but that was vastly different at the same time. When I journaled each night, it gave me the time that I needed to self-reflect and comprehend what I was seeing and learning.
Now, I can re-read my tangents and remember what I was feeling each moment. Those pages are by far the best souvenir that I could have given myself as a traveler because pictures don’t always capture what you’re feeling.
This is coming from someone who doesn’t even journal on a regular basis, either! I challenge you to try it. Now that I’ve done it, I believe that there’s no greater gift or souvenir that travelers can give to themselves than their memories.
Action Step: Get a journal or notebook and just write out what you’ve experienced and how it made you feel or think.
Let’s Plan Your Next Adventure Together:
Now that you have some tools to help you stay focused and organized, it’s time to actually plan your trip! Read my blog post on How to Plan a Trip in 15 Steps to get started: