When seasoned Cruise travelers plan their vacations they can truly make their Cruise adventures look effortless. But the truth is, the journey can get bumpy. You could get lost, an airline could delay your flight, a language barrier could leave you frustrated and confused, and so much more! It’s the handling of these moments that separates frequent travelers from people who simply take trips.
The explorer Sir Richard Burton once said, “The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” And we agree completely!
Traveling can breathe a newness and awareness into your life that other experiences fail to achieve. The key is finding a way to truly connect to the experience, and by mastering these seven skills, you’ll be on your way to traveling like a pro.
#1. Sketch a simple Game Plan
Successful Cruise travelers know where they’re going and what they’re doing once they get there.
All seasoned travelers will have at least a blueprint of how they want their trip to go especially if flying in early or staying late to explore a city before or after their Cruise. They spent a little time researching transportation systems, they know the distance to and from surrounding cities (Google maps is great for this) and they’ve read thoroughly the materials sent from their Travel Agent and Cruiseline- they are in the know!
More importantly, there is no rigid planning or strictness to their pre, post or cruise itinerary as they know that unforeseen things can happen to derail plans. The trick is to have a confident knowledge of what their trip looks like and then be mentally prepared to go with the flow!
#2. Befriend Locals
Don’t be afraid to mix, mingle & befriend locals. They have the inside scoop on where to go and what to do better then anyone!
The successful traveler knows that to find the golden nuggets and hidden gems in a city, you most likely won’t find it in a guidebook. Unlike most tourists, they keep their heads out of the books and introduce themselves to locals because they know that most locals will be thrilled to share their favorite dining places, time wasters and the most interesting things in town to do and see right now. They’ll strike up conversations with locals and gleam the gems of the city LONG before the average traveler. (If you’ve ever watched any of Rick Steves videos you’ll know he’s an expert at this and it makes his trips that much more fascinating!)
They will also read Nancy and Shawn’s blog posts reviewing the Cruise itinerary they are about to do because they are jam-packed with “insider tips” from when they did it! 🙂 They also know that Shawn & Nancy take copious notes onboard for their clients; including what sightseeing or excursions were the best to make a particular port stop more special, they’d talk to other passengers to get the scoop on any regrets or what they would do again if they came back and SO much more.
#3. Capture the Memories in Print
At the end of your day, take time to reflect and make notes about your experiences– like we do. OK you don’t have to get as detailed, but you get the drift!
Keep a notebook and pen at your bed stand, that way you won’t forget to Jot down a few notes about your day. Looked back over our notes just a few weeks later (as we prepare them for our newsletter which you can sign up for free HERE) we were surprised at some things we almost forgot!
It just goes to show memories do fade QUICKLY 🙂 so capture it on paper so you can reflect & enjoy those happy vacations down the road. You’ll be glad you did!
#4. Surrendering to the Experience
Be open-minded and immerse yourself in the culture and traditions around you.
It’s no surprise that people do things differently in other parts of the world. Yet it’s amazing how often tourists will complain about an unfamiliar experience or custom they witnessed in a foreign land. Successful travelers know that these mishaps and misunderstandings are necessary to fully immerse yourself in another country. They practice patience and accept the fact that some situations are out of their control. When they look at the bigger picture, they realize that life’s teachable moments are often buried among trials and tribulations.
#5. Packing with Precision
Filling your suitcase with well-picked, versatile essentials is key.
Leave your “extra shoes” and “just in case” items at home. Seriously! You’ll be doing yourself a BIG favor. Highly successful Cruise travelers travel with ease- the less weight they carry, the happier they will be! Pack a weeks worth of clothes no matter how many weeks you will be gone. Try packing light-weight, flexible outfits and two pairs of versatile shoes.
#6. Be Present
Put down the camera and soak it all in.
It’s a common theme around the world. A tourist enters Bagan in Myanmar, snaps 50 pictures without taking a breathe and then heads back to their hotel for a nap. A successful traveler would have sat down, observed the ancient intricacies of the temples, and taken a moment to appreciate the surroundings. Snapping a photo is fine, but real travelers know that you miss things looking through the lens of a camera. It’s important to inhale (have a beer) & to live in the moment!
#7. Practice Spontaneity
Sometimes you just need to take a leap of faith and book that Cruise!
There will always be dozens of reasons not to take a Cruise. From money, to work, or family obligations, it’s understandable why people get stressed when it comes to planning a Cruise vacation. But the pro cruiser knows that embracing spontaneity is what can make a vacation truly unforgettable. Sometimes you just have to book it and see what happens.
Highly successful Cruisers also embrace a new term you may have heard on TV called YOLO (we had to look it up too 🙂 ) it means “You Only Live Once”. It’s a good one to remember!!
Many of you that read our newsletter already have LOTS of experience cruising, so if you have a good tip to add to the above, please let us know. Either way, we hope you got some good ideas from these 7 habits of highly successful Cruise Travelers.
We appreciate you!
Nancy & Shawn
Your Trusted Cruise Experts!
P.S. If you’re a first time Cruiser probably the BIGGEST habit to know that Highly Successful Cruisers ALWAYS do is they book their Cruises with reputable Travel Agents like us… as we talk about here by doing that you’ll get a better deal then by booking with a Cruiseline direct, you’ll be getting the Expert service that’s already built into the cost of your Cruise, you’ll save TONS of time, etc.!