1. Take risks
Bungee jumping isn’t for everyone, and nor is leaping from a perfectly good plane. But you don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie (or even do anything remotely dangerous) to take a few risks while travelling.
You could skip the Eiffel Tower in favour of a few lesser-known sights, or simply avoid Paris altogether and check out a sleepy backwater that gets far fewer visitors.
Sure, there’s a risk that you might be disappointed when you arrive, but the potential rewards are worth it. You might find a perfect café, get a beautiful view all to yourself, or wind up meeting the person of your dreams. For better or worse, stories get more interesting when you leave the beaten track.
Pixabay / CC0
2. Try something new every day
The bad thing about staying at home is that routine sets in, and it gets increasingly difficult to spice up daily life. That’s why people go to Zumba classes.
When you’re travelling, though, you’re exposed to new sights, smells, flavours and experiences all the time. Make it a rule that you’ll try something new every day, and at least if you do end up back at Zumba, you’ll have a nice spring in your step.
3. Make connections
Sterile jet planes and touristy resort hotels make it easy to whizz around the world without really ever meeting local people. Tear yourself away from the pool for an hour or two and try to make connections, whether it's with your Airbnb host or a trader at the local market.
You’ll be surprised by how much you can discover; there are friendly, welcoming people all over the world, and they’re often just as keen to learn from strangers as you are.
Pixabay / CC0
4. Tread lightly
“Leave only footprints,” says the old mantra. That’s easier said than done when you have to drink bottled water to avoid getting a stomach bug. Swig from disposable bottles for a few months and you’ll create a nasty pile of plastic waste, which will stay in your holiday destination long after you’ve departed (around 500 years, according to most estimates).
We’re not saying that you should drink straight from the tap in New Delhi in a bid to save the planet (definitely don’t do that), but it’s good to remember that as a visitor, you can have a disproportionately high impact on the environment. Tread as lightly as you can, and think carefully about what you’re leaving behind.