A love of adventure and a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone are essential qualities for world travelers. A curiosity about different cultures, languages, and people is also a motivating factor. People who travel often are resourceful and can find solutions when problems arise. Some people are hardwired for excitement, and traveling may be a way to tap into that. Whether it’s zip-lining over the jungle canopy in Peru, successfully navigating the maze-like streets of Venice, or bartering for the best price in the traditional markets of Marrakech, there is something deeply satisfying about doing things that are difficult or outside of your comfort zone while travelling.
A good way to get the most out of your travel experience is to book well in advance. Many of the most popular attractions are very busy during the high season and crowded with tourists, so planning ahead can help you avoid this. It’s also a good idea to try and visit places during their “shoulder seasons” when crowds are smaller and prices are lower.
You should always be prepared for unforeseen problems while travelling, so packing a few basic first aid items can be a good idea. As well as this, it’s a good idea to register with the embassy in the country you are visiting before you leave home. This is particularly important if you are travelling to countries that are known for crime or political unrest. In addition, making sure that loved ones back home know your itinerary can be helpful in reducing feelings of homesickness or loneliness.
Taking care of your health while travelling is essential. This means protecting yourself from the sun and heat, practicing hand hygiene, avoiding dodgy food and drink, and learning to listen to your body. If you feel ill or uncomfortable, seek medical attention immediately.
In addition to providing Penn students and alumni with an opportunity to explore the globe, world travel is a great way to develop leadership skills. For this reason, a number of student organizations host overseas trips. Some examples include the Penn International Business Student Association, Penn Orientation Trips, and the Women in Global Leadership Program. Additionally, Penn’s dedicated World Travel Inc team works with higher education programs to coordinate group travel. For more information on this service, please see the Group Travel and Events Dashboard or contact the Penn Travel team directly.