Practice Traveling Before You Leave

Practice traveling in your own region before you go.

Practice traveling can be one of the best ways to prepare for a great trip. What I mean is that you go out into your neighborhood and surrounding area and do many of the things you do on a regular trip.

This can be a Godsend to those that have never traveled. You can go out and try new things with little risk, returning to the safety of home at night.

Plus if you are traveling as a couple for the very first time, it gives you the opportunity to work out the little things that goes into a relationship on the road. Traveling closely with someone can be one of the hardest things one can do with another human being. Several people, who are in the know, say it’s harder than marriage.

Eat a meal outside in the fresh air.  A prelude to travel.

Time to practice traveling

First thing to do is try an adventure at home

  • There is no need to spend a lot of money or go very far. Start at home and keep it simple.

  • For instance eat a meal in a different room or outside it possible.

  • Cook some exotic meal, something you’ve never had before.

  • Sleep in another room or on the couch.

  • The idea here is not to be silly, but to disrupt the things you do and the way you live. Disruption is one of the most difficult things to get used to when traveling. So practice traveling; it's easier.

  • If you’re going camping, go camp in the backyard (if available) or in the living room. Get used to setting up and using the equipment.

  • Go to someone else’s backyard or a nearby campground and do it for real.

Traveling with less can be more.

Try a little Deprivation Therapy at home.

    Our culture is one of excess, and one can learn to live and travel on less.

  • Unless you’re on a big cruise or visit an expensive resort, travel can often be uncomfortable and protracted.

  • You need to toughen up a little bit. Get in travel shape.

  • Instead of letting it being a problem, make it into an adventure.

  • For instance, turn off the electricity to the house one evening per week, light some candles and eat a Thai meal together in the semi-darkness.

  • Take lots of walks and see what’s in your neighborhood.

Next thing in practice traveling is a local adventure.

  • Visiting friends and staying overnight is an idea

  • Invite them over to your place for the same thing.

  • Ask anybody for directions.

  • Ask somebody an open question such as, “Do you know of a good restaurant nearby?” See what they say. It’s a great skill when traveling in another country.

  • Every week, go to dinner at a new place that you’ve never been to before.

    Visit an ethnic restaurant near your home.

  • Look for an ethnic restaurant to visit, and ask them questions about their cuisine. Likewise, these places are great sources for information on the country you wish to visit. Ask them about the best places to visit in their native land. You will get lots of fantastic tips.

  • For instance, I visited a Chilean restaurant before going to Chile. Best idea I’ve had for a long time. I got tons of tips. When I got there I got a free tour of the port of Valparaiso, Chile by an uncle of one of the cooks...

Find out if there are any ethnic neighborhoods in your area.

  • Go down there and take a walk.

  • Go to their grocery stores and check out the different ethnic foods and other items there.

  • Go shopping in an ethnic clothing boutique.

  • Go as a tourist, but also try to go as a local.

  • Ask the locals for help in visiting their wonderful neighborhood and see what happens. You’ll be surprised.

Buy a guidebook for your area and practice traveling.

  • Be a tourist in your own locality.

  • Do all the “touristy” things that you’d do if you were visiting a new place somewhere else.

      Visit a museum near your home.

    • Visit your local museums, amusement parks, and other entertainment venues.

    • Go to a high school or college play.

    • Attend a local concert. This is something you should do when you’re abroad.

    • Take in a nearby sports event.

    • Check your local newspaper for things to do in your area. Do the same when you visit London.

    • Ride bicycles a few miles to a friend’s house. Find out where local bike trails are.

    • Visit your local tourist bureau just like you would in a foreign country. Obtain maps, brochures and other tourist literature. Practice going to going through the material and deciding what you want to do.

    • Take a boat ride, or better yet take a ferry across the river or lake.

    • Go to a state or county fair, a favorite of mine.

    Practice traveling skills and test out any travel equipment.

    • Take a car trip and practice finding hotels and motels to stay for the night.

    • Ask the people at the front desk tips on what to do in the area. Ask if there are any safety issues you should be aware of. Ask where there is a good place to shop.

    • Asked them about the history of the place. Find out what they think. Be a good guest.

    • See if your suitcase or travel pack is working correctly.

    • Did you pack too much, too little? What did you forget?

    • The problem usually isn’t that you packed to little, but you packed too much. Pick up your luggage and walk around a city block.

    • You will quickly learn to pack less.

    Verify that credit cards and bank cards operate correctly in an ATM.

    • Now’s the time to make sure your emergency backup works, not at midnight in Portugal like I did.

    • Make sure that the four number pin works correctly. (All pins for these cards must be exactly four numbers to be usable throughout the world.)

    More importantly learn to have fun and leave your troubles behind. Travel is not supposed to be work; it’s supposed to be fun.

    Learn to relax, explore and have a great time. Practice traveling.

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