Millennial Travelers May Encounter 6 Little Things That'll Upgrade Your Entire Trip

by Kristin Corpuz

There are many reasons to fall head-over-heels in love with traveling. You have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new environment, you're able to try things you've never done before, and you can add a few stamps to your passport. (I can't be the only one who feels a little sense of accomplishment when that fresh stamp sinks into my passport.) But if you're a millennial who loves to travel like me, while those are the big things that make a trip special, there are a ton of little things that can happen on a trip that make it even better.

Getting a surprise upgrade on your hotel room or flight, accidentally finding a really picturesque spot to stay on a last-minute trip, and stumbling upon a really cute store that has the perfect souvenirs to take home to your family and friends all go a long way in making a trip even more special and memorable.

I'm a frequent traveler myself, and oftentimes, details of trips start to blur together. I remember the big things, of course (Who can forget spending a day at an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand?) but oftentimes, the more minute details, like the hotels and plane rides, are forgettable. When these six little things happen, though, it makes a world of difference in how I remember the trip. (If you're travel-obsessed like me, you probably love all of these things, too.)

When You Score A Flight Or Hotel Upgrade

I'm the kind of traveler who pinches pennies as much as I can when it comes to flights and hotels, so I'm used to flying economy and sleeping in a small hotel room (split with my travel companions, of course). But an amazing surprise is whenever I score an upgrade on my accommodations because it's a cherry on top of an already amazing trip.

Some highlights of my surprise travel upgrades thus far have included getting a corner top-floor room with a view of the lagoon at O:LV Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and flying business class from San Francisco to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific. Both were totally unplanned and such a pleasant surprise.

When Your Accommodations Are Surprisingly Instagrammable

As I mentioned above, I often book travel accommodations out of necessity and ease, so I don't always take photographic qualities into account. I love when I book a spot that has beautiful, Instagram-worthy qualities when I wasn't planning on grabbing pics.

When my boyfriend and I booked a last-minute trip to Killington, Vermont to go snowboarding this past winter, we booked a room at The Trailside Inn via Airbnb, because it was affordable and had availability. We didn't really look at the pictures before booking, but were so pleasantly surprised to find that it was a gorgeous bed and breakfast in a perfectly picturesque Vermont backdrop.

When You Stumble Upon An Incredible Store By Accident

One of my favorite parts of traveling is being able to take a piece of my destination home with me. Some people like collecting magnets, while other people may take home shot glasses. I'm a bit of a jewelry collector, and I always keep an eye out for bracelets or necklaces that I can add to my collection.

All of my travel jewelry purchases have been from stumbling upon cute boutiques or artisan stores that sell jewelry made by locals. In the above picture, I purchased the coin necklaces from a woman's stand at a street fair in Hvar, Croatia, the pineapple from the pineapple plantation in São Miguel, Azores, Portugal, and the crystal from Turquesa, which I found by accident when I was walking around Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

When You Make Lifelong Friends Through Your Travels

When I went on a Sunsail sailing trip around Croatia last year, the three women on the boat with me were complete strangers. We could have not been each other's cup of tea, but amazingly, I still keep in touch with all three of them to this day.

I love that traveling is a beautiful way to meet people via a common interest. I've found that many travelers are great about building a solid community, and it makes a difference to feel like you have support when you're on the road.

When You Have The Opportunity To Experience Something New

I know that traveling is all about being able to experience new things and immersing yourself in a totally different environment, but sometimes, I like pick my trips based on comfort and ease. But when I enter a trip with that mindset and get to experience something exciting, it makes the whole trip.

I went to Thailand with my parents just for fun because my mom raved about going there when she was younger, and we took most of the trip easy. But when we decided to visit Elephant Nature Park on a whim, it became the highlight of the whole trip.

When You Capture The Perfect Shot

Let's be real: A huge part of traveling is the photos that you take and share with your family and friends. Though it takes a lot of effort to get the perfect shot, once you do, it feels absolutely incredible to capture that moment and have it live on forever.

To get this picture at the tugboat in Curaçao, I had to go underwater and swim down multiple times, but I'm ecstatic with the result. Your feed always thrives when you're able to get a ton of beautiful pictures on your travels, and in my opinion, even if it takes a lot of time and work, it's totally worth it.