Fear of missing out (FOMO) is the anxiety of being left out of the fun others are having – often heightened by Instagram envy. It sounds like a bad thing, but if you manage it well, you can channel some of that anxiety towards opening your mind to new and better ways of traveling.
A virtue of smart travelers
The desire for rewarding experiences makes us more discerning because we’ll be motivated to spend our limited travel time in the most fruitful way possible. The focus shifts from touch-and-go experiences to deeper ones that give you richer memories to cherish and share.
Photo: Ryan McGuire (https://gratisography.com)
Top planning tips for FOMO travelers
A little bit of planning goes a long way towards making sure you get the most out of your trip.
- Make lists. Start with a list of activity categories. Examples are: things to do, food to try, people to meet. If you have a particular area of interest – such as architecture – have it as a separate category. Next, list specific activities you want to do in each category. Bonus: Prioritize the items in each category.
- Aim for a varied itinerary. Using your lists, you can make sure you don’t miss out on any category.
- Group your activities by location. For example, if you’re a foodie, and your pursuits of the must-eats brings you to different locations in the city, work in some things to do and places to go in that same zone you’re going to eat in. One good way is to use map apps and pin each activity, using different colors for different categories of activity.
- Leave room for serendipity. Allocate time for aimless wandering or people watching. This allows you to get a deeper feel of that neighbourhood and shaves time off unnecessary commuting. Think less fatigue, more experience.
- Get local insights. When you travel, don’t shy away from making conversations with shopkeepers or taxi drivers – you’d be surprised how forthcoming they can be with their local insights and suggestions. Sometimes they even vet your lists and give you better options!
- Focus on quality of experience. Remember the bonus in our first tip? Prioritizing your lists lets you allocate more time to the stuff you’re more interested in. Go for deep experiences to learn more and make memories you can take home with. The other activities can be more touch-and-go, or skipped if you don’t have time.
Do you have other travel FOMO tips and experiences to share? What’s worked for you? We’d love to hear them in the comments.
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