Travel is undertaken for many reasons--tourism, educational opportunities, work, business, weddings and other celebrations, or visiting family and friends. Domestic travel, travel within one's own country, poses different opportunities and challenges than international travel, or travel outside of one's country of residence. To embark upon international travel one needs a passport and sometimes a visa or other documents, which are of paramount importance in safely leaving and returning to one's country. It may also involve acquainting one's self with unfamiliar customs and/or an unfamiliar language. Proper research before undertaking any travel, domestic or international, can make the experience easier, safer and more pleasurable.
Guidebooks, the internet, and tourism centers are three places to gather information about a travel destination. Guidebooks are available from several publishers and are written on just about every location imaginable. All three of these resources can help you find information on transportation, accommodations, sightseeing opportunities, language and customs. Finding information about transportation to and from a destination is easier now than ever, thanks to websites which compare airline rates, train ticket rates, and rental car rates.
Whether visiting a destination for work or pleasure, travel is most enjoyable when a little time is left for sightseeing or enjoying the location. Another good way to learn about a place is to talk with a traveler who has been there, or someone who lives there. Many travelers agree that meeting local people and sightseeing "off the beaten path" is one of the most rewarding aspects of travel. However, it's best to look into language barriers and safety issues before wandering too far off the beaten path--in some places guided tours may be the best option.
Travel involves not only getting to where one is going and gaining an understanding of the destination, but being properly prepared for it when one arrives. Again, prior research is the best way to determine how to pack for a trip. Having the right clothing and equipment can make or break a travel experience. So can the right attitude--as the adage goes, even the best laid plans often go astray, so being flexible and mentally prepared for change can turn what may seem like a mishap into an opportunity for adventure.