There are tons of articles and posts out there telling you all about the best and the right ways to travel. Articles telling you when to visit certain cities, how to save money booking flights, what places you should skip, and so on.
Read enough of them, and you'll probably come to the conclusion that you should be spending as little money as possible and packing as much into a trip as you possibly can.
Well, stop reading those articles.
There's no right or wrong way to travel and these travel guilty pleasures shouldn't make you feel guilty at all.
Many tip-centric articles out there about travel budgeting will tell you to rent apartments or stay in budget-friendly hotels or hostels (because it's just a place to sleep, after all). But if you're the type of person who LOVES a good luxury hotel, you shouldn't feel guilty for booking one. We all need a comfortable place to relax once in a while. Even though I consider myself to be a value traveler, I splurge on luxury digs at least once or twice on longer trips. It just makes sense to treat yourself.
I often find myself traveling solo, and I don't always want to go sit in a nice restaurant on my own. Other times I'm just tired and don't feel like going through a multi-hour dinner experience. In these cases, I usually look for some good takeout. Just because you're traveling doesn't mean you have to eat every single meal out. Sure, it's good to experience local food when you're on the road, but guess what? The locals eat takeout too.
If you're an independent traveler, you might tend to veer away from guided tours and excursions. But you don't need to completely write them off; sometimes a guided day trip can be the easiest, most affordable option to visit a destination that you want to see. You can be an independent traveler and still go on guided trips - no need to feel guilty about it.
Yes, most souvenir shops are incredibly kitschy, and in some parts of the world you'll get hounded again and again to buy things. But if you actually WANT that Turkish rug or that original piece of native artwork, then go for it! Souvenirs eventually become representations of your memories of a specific trip, and can make for some great talking points in a house or apartment.
Traveling can be tough work. You stuff yourself into plane seats, train seats, bus seats, and walk your feet off in new cities. If you want to take a break for a full-body massage or spend a day at the spa, you should go for it. We all need pampering sometimes even when traveling.
Lastly, I think many travelers suffer from a fear of missing out when they are away from home. They feel like they are wasting their precious vacation time if they're not doing or seeing something new at all times. But constantly being on the go can be incredibly draining. If you get to a point in your trip where all you want to do is curl up in bed and watch a movie, do it. Slowing down while traveling is not a defeat and certainly isn't something to feel guilty about. The churches and walking tours and food will all still be there tomorrow. But if you wear yourself out, you won't be able to enjoy any of it.
Do YOU indulge in any other guilty pleasures when you travel? What are they?
Graduate student by day and avid traveler and blogger by night (and on weekends and during holidays), Amanda is just a small-town Ohio girl trying to balance a "normal" life with a desire to discover the world beyond her Midwest bubble. Amanda's adventurous nature and inability to say "no" have led her to some pretty amazing adventures all around the world. But she has no desire to stop exploring anytime soon. Read Amanda's blog, A Dangerous Business, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.
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