• 30 August 2019

Does the idea of travelling to a different country get you a little flustered? Not happy flustered, but nervous flustered? Don’t worry, you are not alone. There are countless people out there who get sweaty palms at the idea of boarding a plane to a strange new place – check out these stats if you want! It’s a perfectly natural response actually. However, we’re here to tell you that it is 100% possible to enjoy a stress-free travel experience in 2019.

Enjoying a relaxed afternoon
Enjoying a relaxed afternoon

At Expat Explore, we create impactful travel experiences that are rooted in unique and exclusive adventures around the world. We also take great pride in showing our travellers the joy of effortless travel. Here are 6 top tips from inside the Expat Explore camp to ensure that your next trip is anything but stressful:

Choose a cost-effective trip

You know what stresses out every single person on this planet? An over-extended budget. It is pretty difficult to enjoy yourself on holiday when you know you’re spending more than you can afford. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to keep costs low while you travel. This includes:

  • Travelling during shoulder season. If you choose to travel during the less crowded months of the year in between low and high season you will enjoy mild weather conditions, crowd-free destinations and lower travel prices. Because there are fewer travellers around in autumn and spring, most accommodation- and activity providers lower their prices. 
  • Booking plane tickets and accommodation early. When you book your plane tickets and accommodation well in advance, you’ll pay much lower rates. You could even cash in on last-minute deals! Travel providers like Expat Explore reward travellers who plan ahead by giving them excellent deals on tour packages when they plan ahead and get in line first.  
  • Eating where the locals eat. Once you arrive, you can always save some cash by eating where the locals eat. Steer clear or the tourist-trap restaurants along the high streets, and enjoy some simple fare at smaller eateries, or grab some street food on the go. It is much cheaper and also more authentic. 
  • Cashing in on tourist bundle deals. Cities like Cape Town in South Africa and Copenhagen in Denmark offer city passes that will give you access to public transport and a wide variety of tourist attractions during your stay. This is an excellent way to save on entry fees at places like museums, gardens and other places of interest. 
  • Travelling to lesser-known destinations. Sure, Paris is wonderful, Rome will take your breath away and London is a sight to see, but there are plenty of lesser-known destinations that are also incredibly beautiful and mesmerising to explore. Stay ahead of the curve by travelling to places that are not quite ‘famous’ yet and you’ll see how much money you save.

 HOT TIP: You may want to check out Turkey, Jordan and Bosnia-Herzegovina before everyone cottons on…

Travelling abroad with friends
Travelling abroad with friends

Give yourself time to plan

When you book a group tour with Expat Explore, our team is on hand to assist you with every aspect of your travel planning. This means you can give us a call when you need to book your visas, secure travel insurance and get all the rest of those travel must-haves in place. It always helps if you give yourself a little lead time to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s before you head into the great unknown, especially if it’s your first time. On the other hand, we’ve had people plan a trip in a matter of two weeks! It all depends on your comfort levels. 

READ MORE: My tour is booked! What’s next?

Planning a stress free tour
Planning a stress-free tour

Go in with an open mind

The whole point of travel is to experience something you’ve never experienced before. Discomfort occurs when you kick against the unknown. Go on tour with a wide-open mind – try the strange foods, join in on unusual excursions, ask the locals to share their stories. When you open yourself up, it shows. On group tours, a happy attitude will attract fellow passengers, and you are likely to return home with plenty of new friends from around the world. Not to mention all the memories you will make!

READ MORE: Language tips & tools to use when travelling to a foreign country!

Stopping to capture the moment
Stopping to capture the moment

Mind your Ps and Qs

A lot of people are a little scared of travelling because they’re not sure how they will be received in a different country. Will people be nice? Or will they be rude and standoffish towards foreigners? After all, it’s not exactly fun to feel unwelcome. One of the easiest ways to ensure that you will receive a warm welcome in a new country is to brush up on your courtesies. 

Read up on the politics of the countries you’ll be visiting so you can get an idea of what any sore points may be. Learn a little bit of the native language so you can speak to the locals in their own language. Check in with your travel provider to find out if there are any unusual courtesies you should extend. Some examples; in Greece, nodding your head is considered to be impolite. It’s better to say “yes” instead. In the Netherlands, it’s considered rude to shout a greeting. Each nation has its own preferences when it comes to language and greetings; it helps to know these things. 

READ MORE: Travel Etiquette: Golden rules to follow when you travel abroad

Enjoying the benefits of stress-free group travelling
Enjoying the benefits of stress-free group travelling

Cover your bases

Want to travel without too much worry? Two words: travel insurance. Having travel insurance in place is also one of the prerequisites when applying for a visa. When you book a trip with Expat Explore, you’ll notice that travel insurance is compulsory. Aside from covering medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while travelling, travel insurance is also mandatory if you wish to cross the borders of most European countries. 

READ MORE: Travel Insurance – A Closer Look

Having everything ready before the big adventure begins
Having everything ready before the big adventure begins

Don’t underestimate yourself

We have a way of surprising ourselves when we step outside of our comfort zones. You may think that you’d never have the guts to scale the Eiffel Tower, or sleep in a Bedouin tent in the middle of the desert, but who knows what hidden depths you will discover when you extend yourself a little bit? The only way to find out is to get out there and see what you’re made of. 

READ MORE: Are you afraid to travel? Read this…

The definition of travelling stress free
The definition of travelling stress-free

There you have it – six secrets to stress-free travel in 2019 and beyond. See? What did we tell you! When you take some time to tailor a cost-effective tour and give yourself enough time to plan, there is no reason to get stressed. Go in with an open mind, keep your manners in check, cover your bases, give yourself the benefit of the doubt, and get out there! There is so much world out there to explore and a group tour enhances your travel experience like no other. We believe it is simply #bettertogether.

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