The new year is almost upon us, and that is when most people start planning out their trips for the year. Many travelers like to plan out where they are going in advance, to try and find cheap flights or hotels, or to book before everything fills up. However, if you really want to get the most out of your next vacation, you should consider learning some new skills. The following skills can help to make your trip much better, or even give you more options on where to go.
First, you'll want to learn how to get somewhere on a discount. This means more than looking for cheap flights, or using your credit card rewards on a hotel. While these options are good, there are some even better ways to save money on your trip. For example, if you're willing to rough it a bit, you can stay in hostels or use couch surfing as cheap places to stay. Not every trip needs to consist of a stay at a 5-Star hotel, as long as you don't mind missing out on some amenities. Here are some other methods for traveling cheap that may help you out.
Learning to fly a plane is one of the more exhilarating skills you can pick up. Not only do you get to experience the fun of flying a plane around, but your travel options open up as you are no longer beholden to your local airlines. On top of that, if you rent a plane at your travel destination, you can get a bird's eye view of the place – giving you a view that only a few get to see. When you take flying lessons, you'll learn all about how to find replacement parts through businesses such as A.E.R.O, how to be safe while in the air, and how to talk to air traffic control towers. It is a lifelong skill that will definitely improve your travel planning.
If taking to the air is not your thing, then perhaps you'd like to dive underwater instead. However, unless you only want to skim the surface, you're going to need a certification before you can dive. This means a few weeks of training, so you'll want to plan this out in advance. Once you have your scuba diving license, you'll definitely want to put it to use, so consider traveling to one of the best scuba diving locations.
While one of the best ways to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in it, you should probably learn a little before you go. If you plan on visiting a country that doesn't speak English, you should brush up on that language to make getting around a little easier. You'll also enjoy your time there more if you are able to easily talk to the locals, and do things like order food or use public transit. To start learning the new language, there are online courses you can sign up for, free mobile apps, or consider taking a class at a local college.
Lastly, many of us rely on GPS systems to get around in our daily lives. It is now easier than ever to get directions to any place you need to go just by opening up your phone. While this is handy, you should try to avoid it while traveling. Learning to get around without a GPS is a useful skill, especially if you find yourself lost with a dead cell phone. Learn to read paper maps, how to find your way by looking at the sun, and how to navigate a new city's public transit. You'll get to truly experience the city, and never have to fear if you lose your phone.
Learning new skills is always a good idea, but it can be even more useful if you combine it with travel. Your options for where to travel expand, and the activities you can do while there also grow. But many of these skills take some time to learn, so you'll want to get going before you take your next trip. The above skills are a good place to start, but there are plenty of things that you can learn to make traveling more enjoyable – you just have to keep your eyes open.