What To Expect While Traveling As A Millennial
By Sarah Freeman Junior Marketing Associate, Hospitality and Tourism Specialist
How many times are you scrolling on Facebook and come across an article that advertises affordable destinations, or why you should travel while you’re young? The tourism industry is growing in countries all around the world, and people like myself are taking advantage of it. This past summer I planned a two-and-a-half-week trip to travel through Italy and Spain with one of my coworkers. It was a last minute decision and we started planning the trip just 3 weeks before our departure – crazy right? I’m sure some people reading this are having anxiety just thinking about that. This was exhilarating and stressful all at once for me. Considering I’m a Libra, indecisiveness is something I struggle with every day. How can I plan a trip to a foreign country on limited time, but not be able to decide what I’m going to eat for breakfast? I’m still trying to figure that out myself… We ended up traveling to 7 different cities in Italy in 9 days, and spent the last 7 days in 3 different areas of Spain. I can’t begin to express how much fun we had, or all the different things we got to experience. What I can tell you is that your expectations are often not the reality of your trip. Here are 3 things you need to know before you depart on your vacation.
Don’t bother setting a budget – If you plan on only spending “X” amount of dollars a day while traveling abroad, think again. Once you are roaming around a beautiful country having the time of your life, the last thing you are going to worry about is money. Your mindset will quickly change to something along the lines of, “When am I ever going to be here again?” And you better believe you are going to order that $80 bottle of wine that pairs well with the scallops. I am 100% guilty of this. However, the best part is you won’t second guess your decision and you won’t regret it. These experiences are “once in a lifetime” so live it up, and don’t feel ashamed. #treatyourself
It’s not as dangerous as people make it out to be – As long as you’re smart that is. Don’t let your friends and family scare you about the dangers of traveling abroad. The world is dangerous but also beautiful, your outlook will affect your experience so be mindful of that. With all the recent terrorist attacks, people’s perception of traveling abroad have changed. But the way I see things is this: You have a better chance of getting into a car accident than being a target of a terrorist attack. Be aware of your surroundings and embrace them. In all 16 days of my trip I never once felt unsafe or nervous. If you make smart decisions the thought of something “bad” happening won’t even cross your mind.
Go with the flow - If you are the type of traveler who needs to have a planned agenda every day from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed, forget it. If things don’t go as planned, IT’S OK, I promise. I missed a train as well as one of my flights while in Europe over the summer and I didn’t miss out on anything I had planned to see and do. This is a case where your agenda for the day is going to change and your options are to be salty about it, or accept it and move on. In addition to this, once you are abroad you are going to talk with other visitors or locals who are going to make recommendations to you. Don’t let your planned schedule hinder your chances of traveling off the beaten path. Some of my favorite places and memories stem from this exact situation. Like taking a last-minute day trip to Capri, or holding a $5000 bottle of Barolo in a wine cellar in the heart of Rome. These will be the things you come home and brag to your friends about. Agendas and plans are good, but leave yourself time to explore. Like J.R.R. Tolkien said, “Not all those who wander are lost.”
Travel is a beautiful thing. Seeing the way people in different parts of the world live is something everyone should experience. Get out there and do it, embrace other cultures and make your world bigger. Just remember that your perceptions might not match the reality, and your plans WILL get skewed at one point or another. But this is all part of the experience, so take it as it comes and roll with it. “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions,” Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Sarah Freeman is a Junior Marketing Associate and world traveler specializing in hospitality and tourism. Connect with her on Linkedin here.