Journalist, road safety advocate, and travel enthusiast James Deakin seems to be always outside—and having fun. Being constantly on the go has taught him how to make sure his trips are less overwhelming and more exciting. Here are his five tips.
One key aspect of being present is taking in the experience. “Have I really set aside time for my vacation where it has my full attention?” This is a question Deakin asks himself before going on a trip, especially with his family.
“Sometimes, we’re preoccupied with documenting everything that we forget to actually live in the moment. Allow yourself to experience, this makes a difference,” he adds.
The transport blogger admits that Marie Kondo is right that we need to simplify our lives.
“With travel, I’ve learned not to overpack or overthink. Although I recommend bringing the essentials—toiletries or a set of clothes—in my carry-on especially on long trips! Other than that, you’ll be fine,” he says.
Those who prefer quick getaways, Deakin recommends Bangkok and Taiwan, as both are near Manila, have delicious street food, and can be explored as much as one can without spending too much.
Enjoy your alone time on the plane
Maintaining a website 24/7, covering events, and managing his team are three jobs in one. This is why he savors the stillness on a long-haul trip.
Binge-watching on Netflix, writing a bit, catching up on podcasts are the top three things he does in-flight. “Take the 12-hour flight as your downtime. I’m not able to do these as much so this is my favorite time to relax.”
Pattern your sleep on the time zone of your destination
“One trick I’ve learned over the years is to time my sleep where I go, which has been helpful when I go to Europe, for example,” says Deakin.
If you’re arriving at night, try to keep yourself awake on the plane to set yourself up for a good solid rest after your flight, he advises. Doing this early on, Deakin says, lets the body adjust easily. Bonus tip! Stretch and hydrate. Bodies need balance too while on-the-go.
Open yourself to new experiences
“It has worked for me to have one or two anchor points that I need to do or want to achieve on a trip, and everything else is just adlib; see what happens!” the seasoned host shares.
He mentions Tokyo as an absolute favorite, where he went traveling with his kids (then ages 18, 14, and 11). “I wanted them to see a foreign city, take cues from the language, and figure out the train and bus systems. I saw how they handled getting around—where to go and what to eat—and that was definitely memorable for me,” he shares.
Another core memory was when Deakin went on a cross-country trip to Germany, France, Belgium, and Holland, and ended the trip to meet his dad again after 20 years. “It was an emotional one, but definitely one for the books,” he relates.
Bonus tip: Always bring a reliable credit card
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