Tips for the aspiring traveller

ireland

Me and the man in Ireland, near Waterford

Since announcing my travel plans for next year, I have been talking to countless friends and family who have all either just finished their gap year or are about to embark upon it – some were even messaging me excitedly from the side of the world to share their tips and recommendations. I’m so pleased I know so many people who have been travelling and in the same areas I plan on visiting because that means that outside of the guidebooks, there is a wealth of information for me to pick through from real-live experiences had by people who know and understand my tastes. I can judge the recommendations based on the tastes and preferences of my friends and family which helps me understand better which parts I’d be happy to skip and which places I simply must visit.

Throughout all this talk, I keep getting given tips on things to look out for and ways to approach travelling, all of which are very welcome and are a big help as I plan my route around South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. I found some of these tips so helpful that I wanted to share them with my readers, some of whom I know are also planning their travels and others who are just in the daydream stages. I feel that these tips, from experienced travellers who have learnt first-hand, are valuable to anyone planning a trip – whether a weekend break to Paris, a two-week holiday in Greece or backpacking around America.

ireland 1

Hiking amongst the heather in Ireland

Here’s the top tips I have been given by fellow travellers:

  1. Throw yourself into absolutely every experience. Never say no, unless you don’t want to, get out of your comfort zone andΒ push your boundaries by doing things that you wouldn’t normally do at home.
  2. Don’t obsess over money – yes you need to budget and make sure you spend wisely, but don’t let that prevent you from doing the above and enjoying yourself. Spend wisely the rest of the time so you can splash out on an elephant trek or white-water rafting experience.
  3. Don’t let your travel buddy dictate your experience. If you’re with a friend or in a couple, don’t be afraid to say no to some activities and go off and do your own thing, don’t be afraid to explore opposite sides of the country and meet up later. Likewise, don’t limit your experience by spending all your time with one person, get out and meet people at every opportunity.
  4. Solo travellers must not be afraid of being lonely or not meeting anyone. Everywhere you go you will meet like-minded individuals and make friends, many of them also travelling alone.
  5. Use your time the way YOU want to. You cannot be on the go 24-7 for months on end, you need some downtime to really appreciate and enjoy the country you are in. But just like staff in overworked offices at home, you can get burned out on the road too and it is important to have days of lazing by the pool as well.
  6. Try everything – similar to number one – but Β in terms of food. Don’t shy away from local cuisine, it is a huge part of the experience and a little spice never killed anyone.
  7. When preparing for your trip, don’t plan every detail, give yourself a guide of where you would like to go and what you would like to do, with an estimate of how long you will spend in each area – but be prepared to drop it all if an opportunity arises – don’t be afraid to go off the map.
  8. Shop around for flights, accommodation and activities – there is always somewhere cheaper and be prepared to barter to get the price you think is right.
  9. Capture every moment with photo, video, blogging, any form you want – even just in your mind’s eye. Just make sure you remember everything and everyone.
  10. When packing, get all your clothes and money together. Then half the clothes and double the money to keep going as long as possible.

Have you got any more top tips you would like to share with me or other travellers? Share them below in a comment.

10 responses to “Tips for the aspiring traveller

  1. Great tips and can understand why they’re so useful to you and other travellers! I have no plans as of yet but I’m opening myself up to new experiences this year because I feel like I’ve finally got my anxiety under slight control. Me and my boyfriend are hoping to visit the Lake District in September for my birthday which looks beautiful and me and a blogging friend are starting to make plans to visit New York in the next few years! Which is something I wouldn’t have even been able to think about without panicking a few months ago! All these blogs I’ve found, particularly yours, have helped me realise there is so much more out there and instead of being scared of the big wide world, I’m finally at a point where I want to try and embrace it instead πŸ™‚ xxx

    • Thanks lovely πŸ™‚ I’m so glad that myself and other bloggers have helped you, but the biggest part of the work in overcoming this has come from you. I’m so pleased for you that you are able to start planning trips again and The Lake District sounds like a lovely start – hopefully the more you ease yourself in to travelling again, the less it will cause you to worry. You will have an amazing time in New York and it will be so worth it when you touch down! I’m so excited for you πŸ™‚ xxx

  2. Great advice. I spent two years in Australia and visited NZ and Thailand on the way home. Let me know if you need any help with nice hostels or places to see. Wish I could go again! πŸ™‚ xx

    • Thanks Sara – oooh will definitely be tapping you up for advice, am currently trying to plan the Thailand stretch so if you have any suggestions for places to stop? I’m planning on travelling all over so any suggestions are welcome πŸ™‚ xx

  3. That’s so awesome that you’ve got some real life ‘guides’ to go off!! πŸ™‚ I live in NZ so if you wanna ask me anything, I can try to help. I don’t know much about the South Island, but can definitely try and help with the North Island πŸ™‚

    • It really does help – so many of them have helped me by telling me where is good to stay and how much time I need in each place. Ahh that’s fantastic – any recommendations of places to visit and things to do there would be most welcome πŸ™‚ xx

      • The east coast particularly around Tauranga has nice beaches. The west coast generally has black sand. Auckland Harbour is the main shopping city, and is a nice harbour. Uhm Queenstown in the South Island would probably be our most touristy city. The south island in general is really pretty nature wise!! Rotorua is a cool place if you wanna do things like a giant swing over a cliff or ride a zorb ball (if they still exist)… that’s if you can get past the smell of sulfur haha. That’s all I can think of at the moment. But will definitely let you know some more when I think of some πŸ˜€

      • That all sounds amazing!! thank you so much πŸ™‚

  4. Brilliant post and some great tips, thank you for sharing πŸ™‚ I have always wanted to travel and want to save some money to go one day. There’s so many places to visit and so little time πŸ˜› xx

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