Photograph — Travel+Leisure

If you think you have to be completely fearless to go travelling, you might actually be missing out on a lot. You don’t have to be ‘brave’ as such; you just need to take the first step and go. However, if you can put any worries or anxiety aside, you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more and experience things you wouldn’t otherwise have been able to (or even know about in some cases).

There are two main reasons to travel. The first is to relax and unwind. The second is to experience as much as possible. Although these two things tend to contradict one another, it is possible to do it all – but to experience more, you need to be more fearless. Here are some of the secrets that intrepid travellers have that help them make the most of their trip.

Have a sense of purpose 

It’s great to just go somewhere and see what happens, but this can also mean that you don’t get to do a lot of things that you might have wanted to because you didn’t have the time or you couldn’t find what you were looking for. This is why it can be better to travel with a sense of purpose; you’ll be more fearless if you do.

When you have a plan in place as to what you will do while you’re away from home, you’ll know what you want to do next, and this helps allay any fears and anxieties you might have about travelling; you won’t get lost or confused. You might want to visit a certain place, like the Rockefeller Center, or see a particular event, like the Northern Lights. Even if you only have one set idea of what you want to do and the rest of your trip is played by ear, you’ll still be much more fearless.

Get ready 

Sometimes the reason you might not be feeling altogether brave about an upcoming trip is that you don’t feel prepared for it. If you have a number of things to put in place before you go, if you need to finish a particular work project, if you have something to pack, and so on, it can seem as though there is too much to do, and you don’t feel ready to leave when the time comes – naturally, this can lead to anxiety.

The key is to prepare well in advance. As soon as you know that you’re going away, work backwards from that date and make a plan. What day or days will you pack? When will you organize a house sitter or dog sitter? When will you let your boss know you’re taking some time off? List out all the things you have to do and when they all need to be done, and you’ll feel much more in control and prepared, and your vacation will be much more fun.

Plan it out

For many people, spontaneity is an important part of any trip, but for those who are worried about missing out or unsure about what to do, planning might be the best option. When you plan out your vacation, you’ll be absolutely fearless because you’ll know what decisions to make and what you’re doing day by day.

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