The 9 Travel Habits You Need to Break Immediately

Stuffing Your Suitcase

How to kick it: Everyone is guilty of over packing from time to time. When you’re headed into a new situation or location, the temptation to toss tons of extra items in your suitcase is real. As your mind fills with “what ifs” so does your bag. Cut the clutter by putting together outfits before you pack them. Toss things you can’t wear or use more than once, and focus on basics that you can mix and match.

Being Drunk and Disorderly

How to kick it: I can give you tons of reasons why getting too drunk while traveling is a bad idea, starting with the fact that it’s downright dangerous, not to mention one of the quickest ways to blow your budget. Kick this habit by sticking to a reasonable amount of drinks and avoiding cheesy brewery/distillery tours!

Obsessing Over Instagram

 How to kick it: Obsessing over social media; we all do it. Travel and social media go hand in hand, and the urge to share our adventures with the world is strong. By all means, ‘gram to your heart’s desire, but remember to live in the moment as well. The pressure to take the perfect picture should never dictate where you go or what you do while you’re there. Also, the number of “likes” on your posts isn’t a reflection of your experience, so please don’t waste time worrying about it!

Being a Cheapskate

How to kick it: Constantly worrying about money is the quickest way to ruin your travel experience.  It’s natural to stress about over-spending. I was so concerned about blowing my budget abroad that I spent the first few weeks of my travels eating Ramen for lunch and dinner! The best way to kick this is to plan travel that you can afford. Even if it means only going for a weekend or picking a destination closer to home, planning affordable, realistic adventures means you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your experience instead of panicking over each extra penny you spend.

 Procrastinating

How to Kick it: While procrastination is only a minor annoyance in some aspects of life, it’s a killer when it comes to travel plans. Each time you put off traveling until “another time” you  close a door and miss an opportunity. The secret to actually traveling is realizing that there will never be a perfect time to go. Waiting until you lose 10 pounds or have more money or less responsibility only brings you one step closer to never actually going. Drop the procrastination, make a plan and just go. You’ll thank yourself!

Adventure Envy

How to Kick it: Social media gives us an amazing window into the lives of others. While I love perusing other travel accounts and getting inspiration from my friends and other bloggers, too much time spent ogling the lives of other people leaves me feeling inadequate. The best way to combat this is to remember that travel is not, nor will it ever be a competition, and a snapshot of someone else’s travels is just that; a snapshot, not the entire story. Feel confident in your experience, and don’t compare it to someone else’s.

Cramming your Checklist

How to kick it: I have a type A personality. I also am a creative person who is easily distracted. Typically, these two conflicting attributes would be enough to drive someone crazy. I get though life relatively sane by making tons of lists. Most people organize their travels with “to do”, packing and “to see” lists. While I’m all about planning out your travels in advance, I’ve struggled first hand with cramming my checklist and forgetting to enjoy my time. By stressing about getting from one spot on your checklist to the next, you miss out on organic experiences. By all means, be organized with your planning, but don’t forget to leave some time to just live a little, too.

Missing a Mindful Mindset

How to kick it: An important part of travel that’s often overlooked is immersing yourself in another culture. This isn’t always easy, fun or comfortable, but it is one of the most important ways in which travel helps you grow as a person. Even if you physically travel across the world, if you aren’t mindful and open to experiencing another culture, you won’t gain much. Photo ops and touristic spots are great in their own way, but be mindful of the culture and customs around you.

Forgetting to Unplug

How to kick it: Before you jump to conclusions, let me be the first to tell you I don’t advocate leaving your phone behind-ever. I do, however urge you to leave it in your bag for at least a couple of minutes each day. Wanting to capture every second of your adventure is normal, but beware of accidentally experiencing your own life through the screen of your phone or camera. Just this year, I rode a ferris wheel in the heart of Amsterdam. The views of the city were spectacular, and I couldn’t stop myself from taking pictures and video the entire time. It was only after I’d gotten off that I realized I’d viewed the entire thing though the screen on my phone. Remember to unplug and experience your adventures firsthand!

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