How to Fully Enjoy Your Experience Abroad

What If We Blog - Nice Beach - Aug 13

For the past couple of months, I have been doing a lot of international traveling and have learned a thing or two along the way. I am, by no means, a professional in this topic but I just thought I’d share some ways that will help you make the most of your travels, whether it be international or domestic.

This is a very special post because I collaborated with none other than, Emily from Coat and Coffee. I knew I HAD to collaborate with her because of her great posts on all things travel-related, so I am honored to have her featured on my blog. We came up with 10 ways to fully enjoy your experience abroad. Some of these tips, however, can be taken into consideration for not only international travel, but traveling domestically, or even just taking a trip for the weekend close to home. So if you would like to know how to fully enjoy your travels, keep reading…

Disconnect

I have a hard time with this myself being that I am always on some sort of social media but instead of Snapping or Instagramming every moment, put your phone down and truly enjoy the experience without having to digitally “capture” every second of it.

Travel with those you love
This may be an obvious one because why would you travel with someone you don’t like, right? LOL. For me, because I like to do a lot of walking around when I’m in a different place I’ve never been before, I want to travel with someone that doesn’t mind walking or doing adventurous things and staying active. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people and your trip will be a blast, no matter where you go.

Research the language, culture, etc. of the place you are traveling to before you go.
It may seem silly to learn a different language if you are only traveling to a place for a week or less but when you try to communicate with the locals in their native language they really appreciate that, even if you may sound silly while doing so! Speaking the language while also learning a little bit about the place you are going to, really helps to embrace the feeling of being a “local” while you are there.

Step outside of your comfort zone
What is something you wouldn’t normally do? Scared of heights? For me being in deep bodies of water makes me a bit nervous. I recently traveled to Nice, France and got pressured by my boyfriend to go cliff-jumping off 10+ foot cliffs. It’s not something I would normally do while on vacation, but I’m so happy I got out of my comfort zone and tried something new!

Don’t over plan

99.9% of the time if you have a day full of activities planned out, it won’t go as smoothly as you had imagined. I’ve made the mistake of planning out too many activities during a trip before and sometimes it gets frustrating when things don’t go to plan, instead just take it easy and day by day. You are on vacation after all!

The following is from http://www.coatandcoffee.com

Pack Light
You don’t want all that bulky stuff from home holding you back do you? Okay that might just be a metaphor, but seriously consider packing a light carry on only. This is the time to bust out with your best basic pieces that go with everything. Packing light can be a life saver on time and space abroad. You will fully enjoy your time abroad ten times more without all that junk in your suitcase that you might not even get around to wearing. If you have anxiety about letting go and you’re wondering how the heck you’re going to pack ‘light’, check out How I Packed Only a Carry On For Two Weeks in Europe.

Buy Experiences and Skip the Trinkets
I know it’s easy to give in to the temptation to buy that ‘I Love Paris’ mug or key chain, but fight the urge! The feeling of a new item is only temporary, and more than likely small trinkets will just end up in the junk pile of your future yard sale. Instead, consider taking a cooking class in Italy or going shark diving in South Africa. These experiences are definitely more expensive, but little spending here and there can add up as well. Psychologists have also found that experiences make us happier than new goods in the long run. So save your money for those experiences, and try something new while abroad!

Less is More
A lot of cultures around the world, and especially in Europe, tend to take on a less is more approach to fashion and beauty. Don’t be scared to save some room in your suitcase by ditching your eye-shadow palettes or skimping on some bras. Go bra less for a day or skip your makeup routine all together! It will feel super liberating and this experience is completely free. Embracing the ‘less is more’ mentality of other countries might even change your perspective on beauty. Have fun with your new look and never take yourself too seriously.

What Calories?
Dear fellow travelers, it is a known fact that calories don’t count abroad. My motto: if I can’t read the back of the package, then it doesn’t count. Don’t be afraid to take a break from your normal routine while abroad. How many times do you get to visit or live in a foreign country? It’s definitely a once in a lifetime experience (literally, as many people don’t often return to the same place). A few too many Parisian croissants can easily be worked off with morning walks to the Louvre. So indulge in those pasta dishes and tapas plates, because you only live once and it’s as simple as that.

Take a Weekend Trip
It’s insanely easy to country hop these days and especially if you’re in Europe. Rent a car and cross some other countries off your bucket list! You can also easily drive from the city to the beach in countries that boarder the sea like Portugal, Italy, or France. Lots of countries have lightning fast trains as well, which make it easy to travel to and from.ย Taking a trip or two elsewhere can be a nice vacation from your vacation, and you’ll get to experience a different culture. Definitely take advantage of your time abroad by visiting another city or country!

I hope these tips will help you when going on your next vacation wherever it may be! Huge thank you to Emily for collabing with me, she has a wealth of travel-related knowledge so it was great to pick her brain on the subject. Make sure to check out her blog at Coat and Coffee and stop by her Instagram to say hello!

What’s a travel tip you have that you feel helps you get the most out of your vacation? Would love to hear about it below.

All my love,

Estrella
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16 thoughts on “How to Fully Enjoy Your Experience Abroad

  1. coatandcoffee says:

    Yay! So glad to have been a part of this! Thank you again for collaborating and coming up with this editorial. It’s amazing how much you can learn while traveling. You’re getting such a great experience living in a different country, and I hope you share more about your Italian life! Would love to read it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a great rest of your week Estrella!

    -Emily http://www.coatandcoffee.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Monika says:

    I found this post via Coat and Coffee and these are all great tips! I sometimes feel obligated to buy trinkets for my family and close friends but I agree that experiences are the better way to go. I’ve gotten better with time about disconnecting from social when I’m travelling and it’s done wonders to help me live in the moment more.

    -M
    http://violetroots.com/blog

    Liked by 1 person

    • lacasabloga says:

      thank you for reading this post! It’s really the simple things like that(disconnecting) that people don’t think about that honestly make a trip feel so much more personal and special. And Emily did make a great point with the experiences vs trinkets. Hope these help with your next trip ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

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