The Star published an article, How to make travel more fun, on May 8, 2008. I reproduce the tips here, together with my own views.
- Decide what really makes your travel enjoyable before choosing your destination/s. What are you looking to get out of this trip? (If you ask this question on youngsters, I bet many would reply, “My friends want to go there, so I follow lor…”)
- Make sure to eat healthy and get plenty of sleep in the days leading up to your journey. (I fell sick the day before I left for
Baliin 2005! I wished AirAsia would allow me to change my departure date.)
- Put on a cheery face when conversing with hotel staff, airline agents and the like, even when problems arise. (People who travel in package tour are less likely to interact with hotel staff and airline agents. Tour guides usually handle all the problems.)
- Be ready to be adventurous. Try a food you normally wouldn’t eat, an activity you’ve never indulged in. (Fried insects, anyone? This blogger has tasted them in Chiang Mai.)
- Interact with the locals and ask about the best places to eat and coolest things to do. (Not just locals, but travelers from other countries. Again, people on package tour are less likely to do so.)
- Splurge on yourself now and then. (Can anyone give me a clue?)
- Follow your heart and do what you feel like. (Planning in advance is good, but be ready to change your itinerary. If you join a package tour you are out of luck.)
Given tips 3, 5 and 7, it’s no wonder that I would rather be a backpacker.