Traveling anywhere has its ups and downs, but if you can set aside your expectations and throw caution to the wind, you just might enjoy an experience you never knew was possible. After all, the more you travel, the better you get at it.
For many travelers, the best travel plan gives them a basic idea of where they’re going and what they want to do and see with the flexibility to adapt to changes that occur on their trip. So, this post is for all those travelers who want to expand how they travel and try traveling a little differently.
The following are 4 travel risks that we should all consider at one point or another in our lives. Sound crazy? Well, it is – a little, but how many of us have become extreme travel planners who don’t allow for the day to take us where it will?
There are two sides to each of these risks: one that can be considered good and other that can be considered not-so-good. It all just depends on your perspective and how you like to travel.
1. Travel without a plan
Sometimes, it’s best to let life take you where it wants you to go. While many travelers rely heavily on their trip plans, others see them as a hindrance to real experiences.
Taking off on a whim and without a plan gives a traveler immense flexibility – since nothing is pre-booked you can change your plans as you like. You may miss out on the deals that you could have gotten if you’d planned ahead, but with a little luck you could snag an unexpected deal you wouldn’t have had a chance at otherwise.
Plus, if you hear about something you just have to see or do, you can do it because you aren’t expected to be anywhere else just now.
2. Trust in the kindness of strangers
Think about this: travelers who stay in the prescribed tourist zones are isolating themselves to the exact areas where the highest proportion of scam artists, pickpockets, and petty thieves operate on a daily basis.
Those dodgy characters are operating at a distinct advantage – they know the area well: the through alleys and side streets, where the security and lighting is less than adequate at night, and more. This is their playground and you’re on the visiting team.
Get out of the tourist zones and trust your instincts about people and you’re far more likely to find some great ‘regular’ people who are happy to tell you their favorite restaurant or special thing to see. They may even become a fabulous friend.
3. Go somewhere ‘dangerous’
Super cautious travelers may let the travel warnings and alerts scare them away from seeing some really great places. Kenya is a natural wonder and the Nairobi National Park in East Africa offers some of the best opportunities to view and photograph big game. The flipside is the fact that the political climate is uneasy and rates of violent crime are high.
Travel is about leaving your normal life behind and embracing something new, and it’s important to remember that danger comes in all types and sizes: street violence is very different from perilous weather conditions after all. And many would argue there is no part of the world that’s not worth visiting for some reason.
Do a little research to know your risks. Buy your travel insurance, use your money belt, backup your travel documents and travel medical portfolio and get going.
4. Eat and drink locally
Regional dishes created by local chefs typically feature fresh ingredients that give a traveler excellent exposure to the local flavors. Even back home, you just can’t beat a local dish prepared by someone who is familiar with the regional flavors and knows how to make them taste really great. Think about it: local people like to eat well too.
If you’re eating in a hurry, choose the food truck with a long line of business-clad folks – this is usually a good sign that the food is delicious, quick, and safe. If you’d prefer a restaurant, start walking around the time that most people are gathering for a meal and follow those that seem to know the area well – if the restaurant they visit is packed, it’s probably a good meal.
Avoid anything obviously raw or not fresh, of course, and make sure your travel medical kit is properly stocked and enjoy a great global flavor.
Bonus! Eating and drinking the local stuff is also a great way to keep trip expenses low.