Every adventure is five parts work, one part fun. All of the work we put in to making our fantastic ideas for travel realities in itself makes the trip daunting, but there’s a few tricks we can all employ to make sure your next excursion isn’t just successful - it’ll also be memorable. Not memorable like spilling your mojito on yourself at the club in Panama (like I did) and not having another shirt, more like being ready with the spare to keep the night going! Instead of leaving the quality of the time you spend on vacation up to chance, use these six quick tips to ensure you’re soaking up every drop of fun.
1. Turn Off Your Cellphone
Whenever possible. This is the advice coming from someone born in 1995: the tech bubble literally burst in my face at six years old. What followed was a decade of GameBoy, Xbox, World of Warcraft and Doodle Jump, to name a few. I loved reading as a child, but even having Moby Dick and Hounds of the Baskervilles under my belt at the tender age of fourteen couldn’t insulate me from the power of pretty lights and multiplayer mode. Give the world a chance to amaze you, and by all means, take pictures. But once the memory is captured on camera, allow your own brain, family, and whoever else to capture that same fleeting wonder.
2. Drink More (Fresh) Water
One of the leading causes of minute-to-minute difficulty on the trail and on the road is dehydration. Headaches, stomach pains, other random pains, and lack of mental clarity can all be directly linked to a lack of H2O. What’s more, if you’re in a country known for poor drinking water, PLAN AHEAD by bringing your own portable water filter. You can check out some good ones here.
3. Don’t Go It Alone
This is especially true if you’re planning a trip to some place a little more on the wild side. Backpacking through Europe at twenty with my best friend let me realize two of the greatest truths of travel: like good beer, memories are always better shared, and unless your willing to forgo that enjoyment, you’ll need someone to help you stumble home. Of course, it’s more than a case study in partying. You shouldn’t isolate yourself when it comes to experiencing what wonders are out there. Don’t be afraid to reach out, smile, and introduce yourself. You might even make a new best friend.
4. Make a Checklist
Having literally every item accounted for sounds extreme, but when you’re the master and commander of your own good time, it means you’re also in charge of all the stuff that goes with it. Nobody wants to be the guy who forgot the sunscreen on Spring Break. So make the list, check it twice, then get back to the beach.
5. Pack Neat, Pack Light
If possible, keeping to fewer bags and less repeated items can not only save you time and money at the airport (both ways), but your head will actually seem smaller. Don’t clutter yourself with repeat items if you only need one. Let’s say your going to the Carribbean for a week; instead of five dress shirts and ten t-shirts, pick your favorite button-down and four or five comfortable items. That way, you’ll have a suitcase you can repack with relative ease, and room for a souvenir or two!
6. Don’t Bring It If You’re Not Willing to Risk It
Whether it’s your wedding ring, your favorite piece of jewelry, or your like me and lug an expensive camera everywhere, be prepared to be the only taking care of it. At all times, your possessions should be on a checklist that you keep in your head or (like me) in your pocket. When the stuff that matters is accounted for, nothing goes missing. When nothing goes missing, you can get back to the stuff that really matters.
Do you have more tips for how to make a good adventure great? What about ideas for more #JungleStrength articles? Tell us in the comments below!