Nobody wants to spend a holiday budget on travelling and return home disappointed. We all know too well the stories starting with ‘everything what could go wrong went wrong’. Naturally, there are holidays that we remember forever and those that we wish to forget as soon as possible. Many people get discouraged with such a lottery whether the trip is enjoyable or a total disaster. While it is impossible to make ALL trips perfect it is still worthy to remember about basic things in order to avoid disappointments and make your trip stress-free.
You get tired
One of the basic things connected to travels is tiredness, kind of obvious thing but often neglected in travel plans. The moment you decide to start your adventure is probably full of visions of blue sky, crystal water and sunny beach. Being tired is at the end of your worries list. On the one hand that’s good: if you thought only about rough things related to travels you would stay at home rather than go anywhere. On the other hand, however, you get easily confused with your flight schedule and time zones, and as a result you have no idea how tired you become by the time of your arrival. I’m not saying that you are always able to secure your comfort while travelling and often you desire new adventures and even some challenges related to moving around. BUT between the travel ‘trouble free‘ and ‘full of troubles‘ there is a considerable difference.
First, you need to be careful if you have never travelled long distance before your first trip. It is hard to imagine how your body will react to it. After crossing 6 time zones you may feel exhausted or you may feel great (I would bet the first one is more probable than anything else). It’s all up to your body condition and personal characteristic. I will publish a separate blogpost on the importance of the general fitness in travels but my experience shows that it is crucial to take into consideration you own characteristics while planning a lifetime travel. Not an opinion of the travel agent. Not the best advice of your friends who often never went anywhere. No. What matters is your current condition and the state of YOUR health.
I fully agree with one of the Tweets published by @GoTravel saying: ‘Don’t plan a full schedule the day after flying in; take time to adjust to your new surroundings & time zone’ (cheers guys!). Equally important is a reasonable time gap for plane switch. Remember that it gets really hectic if you missed your trans-Atlantic plane. And believe me: these things can really piss you off. And can turn your travel experience into a nightmare.
You (sometimes) get sick
Yes, you can experience some minor health problems while travelling. Medicines taken from home often fail to cure you as the bacteria and viruses heavily depends on the climate. I’m not talking about the chronic disease that you should think about in advance. I rather think of stomach flu, bacterial infection or food poisoning. These are usually easy to treat but also a can ruin your holiday if you don’t get a suitable medicine. While it is always smart to take sticking plaster, bandage and disinfectant with you to deal with minor injuries, taking dozens of pils against frequent in your normal setting diseases makes no sense.
I remember a stomach flu I caught in Egypt and a local medicine that helped me. This sort of disease happen to the majority of the tourists so the local pharmacies and drug stores are well prepared to help. In some exotic countries, you can even buy a proper medicine without knowing the local language! Particular regions of the world have their own specific threats. Therefore, it is always important to check if the area you are going to visit is a risk zone and if so what the health risks are. It is absolutely essential to get immunized long in advance before the trip to the exotic countries. There is a very useful article on immunization on the Lonely Planet website. I just want you to bare in mind this is very important.
You are exposed to rough climate
Long distance travels imply dramatic changes of the climate: starting with the humidity, through the sun exposure, ending with extremely high and low temperatures. This is why we travel for, don’t we? To get amazed with diversity and to feel the exotic heat. A perfect picture of white beach or rough desert seam to be fascinating while sitting on your couch but it might be much less so in +40 degrees heat, in strong wind and send everywhere including your eyes and ears, when you are sweating and (probably) swearing all the time. There is nothing wrong in extreme conditions experienced during travels but you need to be prepared for it.
At the stage of planning you need to purchase some smart equipment in order to deal with the climate extremities, like: sunglasses with very high UV filter, light clothes to cover and protect your body from drying in the desert, very warm sleeping bag to survive low temperatures, etc. You need to consider your travel keeping the climate conditions in mind. This is true that (almost!) everywhere you go you will meet local people who live in extreme climates and are able to survive. However, their adjustment is usually a result of a long time exposure to the rough climate that you don’t have being on site for a week. So don’t neglect the necessity to deal with the climate challenges by buying necessary stuff.
You need to get back to routine
After you get back home it might be difficult to get used to your everyday routine again. If you experienced a fascinating trip that increased the level of adrenaline in your blood getting back home will be painful. Unless you have a tough and stressful job you might sense a sort of emptiness. Exotic places are usually full of colors, flavors, smells and totally new things while our daily life is most of the time predictable and straight. Or on the contrary: If the travel was turbulent you will shout: ‘Home, sweet home!’, when you enter your your old familiar interior. In any case: the travel usually destroys previous routine and it’s up to you whether you want to ‘get back to normal‘.
And this is the whole beauty of travelling!
Once you may get back to your routine over time this is not always the case. One travel can change your life. So, take it into consideration and if you’re not ready, don’t go. Just don’t. It’s useless. But if you do want to change your ordinary life into a dazzling existence then don’t wait. And GO!
…and the very last thing: