How to Elevate Your Travel Skills to Enrich Your Next Vacation

travel planning

Written by Zach Lazzari on

Zach Lazzari is a freelance writer, fly fisherman, and explorer. He lives on the road full-time, chasing fish and wild places with his dog, Shale. Follow his journey at and @zachlazzari on Instagram.

    How to Elevate Your Travel Skills to Enrich Your Next Vacation

    Do you want a deeper travel experience? Consider learning new skills and hobbies to become a better traveler.

    The past year has been a tricky one for travelers, with most of us stuck at home for the duration of the pandemic. But hope lurks around the corner as vaccines are distributed around the world—travel will be back and better than ever before we know it. Instead of just daydreaming about your next adventure while you await that day, consider developing your travel skills while you’re at home. After all, planning is critical when it comes to traveling. Discovering new hobbies and streamlining your planning and gear will open a world of opportunity while teaching you how to be a better traveler.


    Discover New Hobbies from the Comfort of Home

    Learning a new hobby while traveling is always a good idea, but as we’re waiting for travel to resume after the pandemic, you can start researching different activities online while you’re still at home. Start by thinking about activities that might interest you, whether that’s fly fishing, rock climbing, or scuba diving, then start searching online to learn everything you can about those activities. You can even Google adventure tour operators who specialize in those activities around the globe, as some of them might even offer online lessons to help you prepare while you’re still at home. In discovering these new hobbies, you might be inspired to book a trip you never dreamed of before.

    If you’re not interested in outdoorsy, active hobbies, consider learning a new language, diving deep into the history and culture of a place you want to visit, or taking cooking classes to investigate a new cuisine. Online learning has never been easier, so leverage those opportunities to enrich your knowledge base to help you be a better traveler.


    Practice Your New Hobbies Before You Hit the Road

    After finding new hobbies that you love, it’s time to practice those skills at home. Learn to adapt your new hobbies to areas near home as a means of practice for future trips. Casting a fly fishing rod in a grassy park, for example, will prepare you for the moment when a bonefish crosses your path on a river. You can also practice scuba diving or snorkeling in a pool before heading out for the wide blue sea. And even if you can’t practice specific skills for your newly acquired hobby, you can still train in the gym to up your fitness levels after a year of spending time at home.


    Traveling with Gear

    After developing new hobbies, especially ones that require extra gear, your bags might become a bit heavier. Some people travel the globe with big equipment like whitewater kayaks or snowboards to accommodate their hobbies, while others pack smaller gear like paddles, fishing tackle, special clothing, tents, or rock-climbing equipment. Adding all these items to your packing routine will undoubtedly require you to rethink your strategy. While you’re at home, start planning ahead to think about how you’ll stay organized. Compression sacks like the Pack-It Isolate Compression Cube Set will make soft goods fit in tighter spaces, while packing cubes like the Pack-It Reveal Cube Set help to organize and separate gear into categories. Get yourself a heavy-duty bag like the Cargo Hauler Wheeled Duffel 130L for checked baggage and a small lightweight duffel for a carry-on. Keep your carry-on stuffed with the most valuable items like cameras, electronics, high-end equipment, and other hard to replace items—it’s safer to have these things close to your side while flying.  


    Now that you have a new hobby or two and a streamlined packing process for travel, it’s time to have some fun. Break out the map and start marking destinations where you can put these new skills to the test.