5 Skills You Gain from Travelling
That Will Help You in Your Career

See also: Travel and Freelancing

Travelling can be an amazing experience, whether you are going to Iceland in September or Thailand in June. And even more so if you’re visiting a new country, city, or even continent for the first time.

Travelling presents many challenges that you may not be prepared to deal with, but these challenges also teach us many valuable skills we can take with us in our careers, regardless of what industry we’re in.

Here are five skills you learn from travelling that will help you advance your career wherever you go and whatever you do.

Man watching a plane take off from an airport waiting area.

1. Working with other people

You can't go through life expecting to get everything done on your own. Sometimes, you'll need to delegate tasks or work with other people.

Working with other people presents its own challenges, of course. For example, if someone else doesn't do his or her job well enough, it falls back on you to fix it. If someone doesn't have enough experience and requires a lot of hand-holding, there's a possibility he or she won't be able to contribute much at all in terms of knowledge. But working with others is also an opportunity for development: sometimes what looks like a problem is really an opportunity for growth and learning.

The key is being able to identify those situations when teamwork is necessary and how best to approach them, so everyone ends up doing their best work. The best part is when you are travelling, whether you are planning road trips with friends or just booking a place to stay, you will have to communicate and collaborate to make the best decision.

2. Planning your trip

Before jetting off, it’s a good idea to map out where you want to go and what activities you’d like to partake in. While backpacking across Europe or road tripping through Australia sounds fun, there are practical considerations—such as visas, travel documents, and currency exchange rates—that need to be planned for early on.

If it’s not worth going through all of these steps ahead of time, then maybe it's not worth going at all.

Having a detailed plan of action means fewer surprises on the road and more room for sightseeing when you arrive at your destination. It also helps with budgeting; instead of taking out money each day, save up, and get money changed before heading over to an expensive country. You'll pay less in fees, have less chance of being robbed, and won't spend hours at a foreign ATM trying to figure out how the heck it works.

All these skills will translate into real world experience, whereby you will be able to actually make more informed decisions over time.

3. Finding an accommodation

Finding accommodation is hard. Instead of staying at a hotel, consider getting an Airbnb (accommodation provided by regular people) or serviced apartment. These accommodations usually cost less, and they have more flexibility on check-in time. I’ve used Airbnb multiple times and never had an issue. It’s as convenient as hotels with better prices and better locations!

Another alternative is to stay with locals who have hospitality listings on sites like Airbnb or Couchsurfing. Yet, because they can be a little more complex it’s recommended to ask someone who has done it before to go with you. Some things to consider when choosing this option is the level of privacy needed and whether the host speaks English well enough for communication. Remember, there's always the chance of the place being dirty. If you want something a bit nicer and cleaner, look into places that offer shared apartments or serviced apartments.

Choosing an accommodation to travel is an incredibly analytical skill to take on. You will be more thoughtful and ask more questions. This in terms of work will make you more prone to organisational decision making.

4. Knowing what tourist attractions are worth visiting

Travelling can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. This is why it is essential to plan your travel itinerary ahead. You want to make sure that you know exactly what you want to accomplish from your trip and want to be able to achieve that in the given time and budget.

Moreover, making lists and ensuring that you are doing what you planned will help you feel more fulfilled at the end of the trip. You will also know exactly how and where you spent your money if you have an itinerary. This translates into the real world by making you better at organisation and prioritisation.

Prioritising is an essential skill in nearly all jobs, because if you don’t prioritise you will end up doing more than you are paid for and you will potentially burn out. This is how travel helps you become better at prioritising.

5. Knowing how to eat healthy on a budget

It’s not always easy to eat healthy when you’re on a budget. Fruits and vegetables tend to be more expensive than junk food, but if you make smart choices, there are plenty of affordable options.

Consider buying frozen veggies instead of fresh ones—not only do they often come with money-saving coupons (which can allow for savings of about 40 percent off), but they also last longer. Also, stock up on foods like beans, lentils, and whole grains; these are typically less expensive per serving than meat or cheese-based protein sources. Having them around makes it easier to prepare healthful meals in bulk and leftovers can be eaten throughout the week.

Buying ingredients on a budget is a skill all adults need. You need to be able to make a meal plan and be able to spend appropriately on your food. Your health is a big part of who you are so you have to ensure you are taking care of it. The better you get at budgeting your food, the better you get at making healthy decisions for your mind and body.

About the Author

Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.