"the trusted voice of teens who travel"
November 7th, 2012
Travel. It can be fun and exciting, or stressful and nerve-wracking. It largely depends on what you make of it. It’s amazing, the difference that a good attitude can make in your travel experience. But even I, although I’d like to say that the only thing a good traveling experience depends on is a good attitude, will admit that sometimes, things come up that are outside of your control; things that can be very hard to handle well, things that were totally unexpected and thus totally unprepared for. So, here are some of my hard-earned traveling secrets for making the best of your awful travel experience.
1. Stay Calm
This may be the most important of all of my secrets. Don’t let anything get to you or upset you. Not the stress, not the travel, not staying up for twenty-four hours straight, not finding out that Starbucks is closed on Thurdays from one to four. Remain good-natured no matter what you do. This tip is not only for traveling, but for life in general. You’ll be amazed how much easier things will become for you when you learn to take life in your stride. When you find yourself stressed or upset during your traveling, take a moment to clear your mind. Close your eyes, breathe slowly. Think about why you’re upset at the moment, and do your best to understand the situation clearly.
2. Be nice
This one is another tip that will also be useful in everyday life, not just traveling. Be nice. Sounds simple, right? It can often be much harder than it sounds. But I mean it. Do your absolute best to be cheerful and pleasant in any situation. Don’t get angry. When other people are annoying, accept it and learn to ignore it. Lashing out with an equal or greater reaction is not acceptable, and it won’t help you at all.
3. Help out
Do what you can to be helpful. If you’re a traveling teen, your parents will always appreciate you asking whether you can help in some way. If you pitch in and help out whenever you can, your traveling experience will be much smoother. Always ask if you can help out, even when it may be something you’re squeamish about. Even if your help is not needed, asking is always appreciated. It will not only be a great help for your parents, it will be a valuable skill for you to learn as well. This carries over into lots of other parts of your life; your willingness to help out with things will help you get jobs, maintain relationships, and people will enjoy being around you.
4. Any landing you can walk away from…
When traveling, it would be nice if all of our plans worked out nicely, but most often, they don’t. That’s why traveling is an adventure; you never know what lies ahead. So it’s important while traveling to remember that the plan is more of a guideline and less of what’s actually going to happen. Learn not to become so obsessed with your picture-perfect plan that you lose what travel’s all about. Travel wouldn’t be an adventure if it wasn’t filled with close scrapes and last-minute frantic rushes through the airport. Accept these close scrapes instead of retroactively freaking out about them, and move on, being glad that you got by as well as you did.
5. Find the silver lining
In every dark cloud, there’s a silver lining. Do you know what that is? That’s when the sun shines behind a cloud, making the edges of the cloud shine when you look at it. Travel is like that too. When your vacation is crumbling all around you, when you missed the only plane flight back home, whatever calamity and doom befalls you during your adventures… look for the silver lining. There is always, always, always something good about your situation, no matter how bad it seems. Keep your head up. You’ll get through it. It might by extremely painful and cost you your life’s savings, but you’ll get through it. And remember, the worst adventures will be the ones longest remembered.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my five tips to not give up on travel! All of these come from my own traveling experience, and I hope they help you in yours. Until next time, get out there and keep traveling!