Some Travel Tips ( the do's and dont's!) with Manouchka

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

I sat down with my girl crush Manouchka for tips for the best traveling experience!

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Budget and plan

Do budget. Do plan. Don’t write off traveling altogether because “it’s too expensive.” Don’t go without properly saving for it.

Contrary to popular belief, traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve heard too many people say that they can’t afford it and while everyone handles their finances differently and has different obligations, you can have a grand time in a new place on a budget IF you budget and plan correctly. If there are specific places on your list of places to go, find out the cheapest times to go and how many lodging will be, but also be open to other places if they will be cheaper. Planning with others can be tricky but if you want to travel cheap, going with people will help keep overall costs low. Planning is an important part of preparing for a trip when coming up with a budget for it and sticking to it because it will allow you to properly anticipate costs for lodging, transportation (a commonly overlooked cost), food and activities. Once you find out how much the trip will cost based on planning, plan to save that much for the trip x1.5 or more. So if the trip should cost $400, save at least $600 or more for it. (The last thing you want is to be somewhere else and run out of money).

Do your research

Do your research prior to going. Don’t go unaware of what their culture and climate is like. Knowing the environment and culture of the place you are about to visit will help you plan better for your trip. It will also help you know more about the different activities you should do, the best times to do it, the areas that tourists should avoid, and how to stay safe in a different environment. As a black female traveler, safety is always a top concern for me. Finding out how safe a place is for a solo traveler is something that I ALWAYS do my research on. Its honestly just common sense. It is also important to be prepared for the weather they will have when you are there and to be aware of the culture of the locals so you refrain from doing anything that is offensive, politically incorrect or potentially illegal. Aside from that, I also look for different sites that I want to see, different things the place is known for, new foods to try and activities to do. Sometimes I get lucky and can do many different things and sometimes I can only do a few. It all depends on how much time I have. Another important thing to research is transportation. Depending on if you are staying in a central area or not, you may have to decide between renting a car or public transportation.

Get out your comfort zone

Do get out of your comfort zone. Do try new things. Do meet new people. Don’t stay to yourself the entire time

Traveling for me is all about learning more about the place I’m going and about myself. I go into every trip with an open mind and I try to get out my comfort zone as much as possible. I like to travel with friends but I also do a lot of traveling by myself. It’s a completely different experience when you are alone. It can be easy to just stay to yourself but I have found that it is the best time to do the most branching out. I went on my first solo trip in 2014. I met a lot of new people, some of which I still keep in touch with today, did a lot of crazy things and tried new things. Being open to new experiences is something that is very important to me. It’s easy to stay comfortable but that is not where personal growth is found. I always tell myself that until I’ve personally experienced or done something, I can’t have an opinion about it. Because of that, I’m open to trying (almost) anything at least once. I’ve since gone on about 17 other solo trips out of the 40 that I’ve taken. Traveling with friends and/or family is a different type of fun than traveling alone. I’ve been continuing to cross things off my bucket list and places off my must travel to list and not staying to myself has allowed me to see things I otherwise would’ve never seen and learn about the places I’ve gone from a local perspective.

Decide what your ultimate goal is

Do figure out what you want to gain and what your goal is. Do plan to do activities that are in line with your goals. Don’t get too caught up in your goal that you pass up other opportunities. There are many places that I’ve visited multiple times. When I go back to a place I’ve already been to, sometimes my goal stays the same and other times it changes a bit. My first time in Florida, I went to Miami with some good friends and we relaxed and partied most of the time. My next couple of times there, partying was definitely on the agenda, I mean its Miami, but I also made it a major point to visit different sites and to learn about the history of the different areas. With Spain, the first time I went to Seville and a few other surrounding areas and the primary goal was to learn about the culture and the history, to see different sites and to experience new things. The second time, I went to Madrid. While it was still a country I had already been to, it was a completely different city so I kept the same goal. I went on a lot of tours and did a lot of wandering about on my own. Overall, I decided what I wanted to get out of the experience and I found things to do that were in line with it. I feel like that is something very important if you want to make the most out of an experience.

Manouchka is a Haitian beauty with a bachelor's in business administration and global management. She also has her masters of business administration, management, and corporate and business law. Currently, she resides in OH for the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers where she on the dance team. Her life motto, " Make adjustments, not excuses"

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