The Wanderlust Gene: Do you have it?

We’ve all heard the stories about people packing up their entire lives and moving across the planet to experience something brand new, sometimes in a country they’ve never set foot in before. And then we all know those people that would be terrified at the thought of that. Those people that have lived in the same house their entire lives and vacation in the same spot every year. So, what makes one person itch to get away while others are content staying in the same spot for all of their lives? Science may have finally figured out the obsession behind it: the wanderlust gene.

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1. What is Wanderlust?

Wanderlust. This German word, which means “a strong desire to travel”, has a lot more to it than a silly name. It’s the urge you get to whisk off somewhere new every few months. It’s the desire to feel the wind in your hair and the sand in your toes. It’s what drives you to research new destinations and maybe keep the TV set to the Travel Channel at all times. If you have wanderlust, you want to see every part of the world before you leave it. You want to explore cities and beaches, experience new and exciting cultures and meet friends you haven’t met yet. And it’s not just a mere desire. It’s a compulsion to travel and a thirst that can’t be quenched no matter how many spots on the globe you visit. No, wanderlust is not just a silly word. It’s a way of life.

Top Don’ts When Taking a Cruise, and a Few Do’s!

Cruising is one of the best ways to travel. You see different sights without unpacking and re-packing, you get all the food and entertainment you could ever desire and the views are unbeatable. But, if you’ve never been on a cruise before, it can be daunting for a newbie to figure out the rules of the ocean. We’re here to help with our list of things NOT to do on your cruise.

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1. Don’t forget the sunscreen

Even if you’re taking a cruise to Alaska, the sun is still brutal out on the open ocean. Don’t ruin your vacation by forgetting the sunscreen and having to deal with painful burns the second half of your trip!

 

2. Don’t shop in port shops

Port shops are tourist traps designed to lure you away from your money. They look inviting and have all sorts of useless souvenirs that may look beautiful, but aren’t worth the cost. A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

 

3. Don’t limit your eating options

Cruises are floating resorts, so there is a wide variety of cuisines to sample. Don’t run to the buffet for every meal. Try one of sit down restaurants or splurge and have an evening in one of the specialty restaurants on board for a true culinary treat.

 

4. Don’t use the elevators, if you can

Most cruise ships only have two banks of elevators, one at the front of the ship and one at the rear. Because of those limited elevator options, you can imagine they get a bit crowded and waits can be long. So, if you’re able-bodied, work off some of that extra food you’re eating and take the stairs when feasible.

Packing Smart

With airlines all over the world increasing baggage fees and decreasing carry-on sizes, it’s prudent for frequent travelers to learn how to pack wisely. Unless you want to shell out tons of money for extra baggage weight on your next flight, take a look at these smart ways to pack that will not only save you money but time, as well.

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1. Pack Only The Clothes You Need

Like with most things in life, a little planning can go a long way. Take a few minutes to plan out your trip and the activities you’re hoping to enjoy each day. Then plan an outfit to match those activities. Bonus points if you can reuse outfits for similar activities on different days. And to make reusing outfits easier, try to keep all of your clothes color-coordinated so you can mix and match when you need more versatility. Then lay everything out on your bed to see if your clothes match or if you’ve missed any essentials. When possible, choose the kinds of fabrics that won’t wrinkle much so you don’t have to spend time ironing when you get to your hotel.

Why Travel Makes You Awesome

It’s no surprise that traveling is good for the soul, but did you know that it’s also good for your character? People with wanderlust all agree that canvassing the world has changed them for the better. There’s no greater way to become a more well-rounded, compassionate, cultured person than to travel the world. If you don’t believe that traveling can change your life, read on to learn how sightseeing in some new countries can transform you into a better version of yourself.

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1. You become more gregarious

Even the most introverted of travelers learn to tap into their social side when they’re across the globe. When you’re in a new country around new people, you learn that you almost have to talk to strangers. You’ll need directions sometimes, or want a local’s recommendation and you have two choices: be tight lipped and waste time and money or start talking to the locals to get their help and guidance. You’ll find that you have more in common with people than you would have previously imagined and you may be surprised at how friendly other country’s citizens are! Some of the best friendships have come from striking up conversations in the oddest of places.

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2. More adaptable to changing plans

Travelers know better than anyone that they should always expect the unexpected. Flights get canceled, tours run late, you get lost, etc. The first few times these things happen, you may panic and stress yourself out. You can’t plan every detail, as much as you may try. But, seasoned explorers soon learn to roll with the punches and enjoy the experience sans the extra stress. Frequent travelers know that sometimes getting lost leads to a more beautiful path or that those dreaded delays can create new friendships. And that stress-free, laid back attitude can translate to a better perspective and more success in other areas of life, too.

Travel Services Worth Paying For

If you’re a frequent traveler, you know that there are countless programs and services that you can drop money on that claim to make your life easier when globetrotting. You could easily shell out thousands of dollars on travel services that you don’t really need or will never truly use enough to justify the cost. To help you decide which services are worth your hard-earned cash, we’ve compiled a list of the top 4 services that we think can’t be beaten!

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1. Global Entry

If you often fly internationally, there is no better service than Global Entry. This program allows you to breeze through some of the more aggravating aspects of flying internationally and it’s a must-have if you are impatient and dread waiting in lines. Nothing is worse than getting off a long flight only to fill out the annoying customs paperwork and then stand in the long customs line for 2 hours afterward. Believe us, the cost of global entry is worth every penny just for being able to skip to the front of that tedious line! There’s also no waiting for customs to open if you took a red-eye flight. If you have Global Entry, you can go through the automated kiosks while everyone else waits until opening time. You also get to breeze through security bottlenecks since global entry members get routed through TSA pre-check; so if you’re paying for that already, you might as well upgrade to global entry. And despite global entry being a U.S. based program, they partner with many airports that offer expedited arrival for pass-holders so there’s minimal wait time once you arrive at your destination. The Global Entry applications are valid for 5 years so there are no yearly annoyances that come with this program, and you can even get reimbursed for the application fee if you are an American Express customer or have the CitiPrestige card.