Advice to a first time traveler looking to get the most out of their trip

If you are new to traveling and you are in the process of planning your first big trip, you may very well have done your homework by reading all the right guidebooks, discovering hidden ‘must see’ gems in the travel forums and read the sage advice from experienced travelers now sharing their collective wisdom on respected travel blogs such as this one!

You will no doubt be itching to chase after your own authentic travel experiences, comparing your adventures to the ones you’ve read about and perhaps sometimes wondering why yours don’t match up.

I know that’s exactly what happened to me after I’d completed my first ‘proper’ travel experience of inter-railing around Europe for 6 weeks with 2 of my best girl friends over 10 years ago. It is not that we didn’t have a good time, it’s just that it wasn’t quite as I’d expected the experience to be. I asked myself questions like:

  • “Have we missed out on some of the key sights?”
  • “Are we not being sociable enough and meeting enough of our fellow travelers?”
  • “Have we done what x, y and z recommended?”
  • “Are we having fun yet?”

Despite all the advice you read about how to make the most of your journey – why you should make local friends on the road, why you should take your time when you travel, why you should shun the tourist spots, how to find the out-of-the-way secrets and all the sage advice from us more “experienced” travelers – my best advice to first time travelers would be this:

Your journey is just that; it is your personal journey.

Sure there are things you might do to make it more authentic, more adventurous or more like John’s, Jane’s or Rolf’s but when it comes to long term travel, I recommend setting your own purpose and going with an open mind.

Don’t worry what any of us more experienced travelers will think of your journey, or whether your experience is as good as anyone else’s; you are the best judge of whether you are having a great experience or not.

Posted by | Comments Off on Advice to a first time traveler looking to get the most out of their trip  | October 25, 2007
Category: Vagabonding Advice

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