Starting to Travel | Becoming the Best Traveler You Can Be

Getting a feeling of wanderlust? Want to start exploring new places? Learn what it takes to start with Exploration Always.


Best Travel Photography So Far. Exploration Always
My Favorite Travel Photography So Far

Whether it’s because you've been stuck at home for a year or just because, it's never too late to start traveling. Many people in the United States have never left their home state, let alone the country. While this isn’t something to frown upon, it does mean that you could be missing out on all the world has to offer. If you want to begin your explorer career, there’s a few things to know and take into consideration.


Budget

Yes, I have said that traveling (more specifically international travel) doesn’t have to be expensive, there are still some things that you need to keep in mind in terms of your budget. Flights will likely be the biggest single cost of any trip. Unless you're flying Ryanair from Europe, it will be hard to find flights for under $100. The biggest two factors for flight prices are date (day of week and time of year) and airports. Flying to and from larger hub airports can significantly decrease prices. A direct flight from New York to Barcelona will be quite a bit cheaper than Wilmington to Barcelona. There are exceptions, mainly the amount of travel time you're willing to put up with. Your flight will always be cheaper if it’s more inconvenient. It’s an unfortunate truth of the airline industry but if you know how to book, you can take advantage of this. Flying Tuesday through Thursday will always be the cheapest but Saturday flights are often cheaper than Friday, Monday, Sunday flights. Spend time researching different flight options and it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the cheapest option.


You must also consider your food, accommodation, and activity budget. Big cities will have cheaper activities and more street food options, but accommodation prices could offset this. It’s the exact opposite with smaller locations but again, there may be less options. Finding free activities or activities that involve food can be a great way to combine and minimize costs.


Finally, you need to know what you should bring. For the most part, this simply involves looking at weather patterns and things to do nearby. Hotter climates are easier and cheaper to pack for, but you may want to bring more incase your clothes are sweaty or you want to go swimming. Colder climates can be more expensive due to heavier clothes/gear, but you wont need to bring as much.


Tourist Traps

Tourist trap is a term used to describe a place or activity that is mainly done by tourists in which they spend a significant amount of money. While I personally avoid these, they are not necessarily bad, especially for a beginner traveler. Many people describe cities like Paris, New York, and Venice as tourist traps. They are likely to be filled with foreigners and cost more, but they are easy to navigate and have lots of options. While I don’t want to stay in these places for long, there are obviously places and things to do that are on the bucket list of every traveler. The Eiffel Tower, Times Square, Hollywood, London Eye, and Bangkok Skybar all are tourist traps, you kinda have to experience them at least once just to know. Learn more about these spots by clicking here.



View of Prague, Czechia. Exploration Always
View of Prague, Czechia


Vacation or Trip?

I will go into more details in a later article, but you need to know what type of experience you are looking for. Do you want to get away and relax? That’s perfectly fine, and even I like to have experiences like this from time to time. Resorts and hotels are perfect for this. They are a great place for anyone who doesn’t want to spend the time or money finding extra activities and navigating new places. Vacation spots are great places to relax, enjoy the beach, go shopping, and have a stress free experience.

Some of the best vacation spots include:

  • Cancun, Mexico

  • Milan, Italy

  • Bahamas

  • Bali, Indonesia

  • Dubai, UAE

  • Marrakech, Morocco

  • Mykonos, Greece

While a trip can definitely include some elements of a vacation, they tend to involve a little more exploration and activeness. Seeing new cities, exploring the cultures, finding intense activities, and experiencing as much as you can is what I would consider to be a trip. Some of the best places for your next trip include:

  • New Orleans, USA

  • Tokyo, Japan

  • Helsinki, Finland

  • Havana, Cuba

  • Cape Town, South Africa

  • Chiang Mai, Thailand

  • Zanzibar, Tanzania

  • Yellowstone, USA

  • Lima, Peru


Planning

Creating a plan ahead of time is a must for any new traveler. Making a schedule can help you reduce costs, stay entertained, and remain stress free. For those who are new to travel, not knowing your surroundings can be scary and create a feeling that could diminish your experience. While you certainly don’t have to plan everything, having a general guideline and sticking to it can help adjust new travelers to being outside their comfort zone. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take risks and that you can’t go off schedule, but for rookies, it is a useful tool. Flights and accommodations can be made up to a year in advance and many tours and activities can be booked a few weeks/months in advance. There are certain things you cannot prebook, especially when in places that are not as internet dependent. Here is a great example of an general travel outline that you can use.


Day 1:

- Flight from AIR to PRT

- Check in at hotel


Day 2:

- Breakfast at hotel

- Walk around city

- Lunch

- Activity

- Rest at hotel

- Dinner


Day 3:

- Breakfast at hotel

- Tour activity

- Lunch on tour

- Swimming

- Dinner

- Pub Crawl


Day 4:

- Check out

- Flight from PRT to AIR


Just because there are certain things under certain days, doesn’t mean you have to do them in a certain order. Additionally each day doesn’t have to go in order. But there may be two activities that you want to do but cannot do them on the same day due to time restraints.


Be Open Minded:

This is true for both domestic and international travel. Going in with certain ideas or frame of mind is perfectly find, but don’t be stubborn on opening up and having a change in opinion. Many people can experience culture shock when visiting new places and that’s ok. You may not want to experience those cultural differences but don’t be disrespectful of those who live that way of life. Chances are you can have a good time no matter where you go and all you need to do is be willing to experience what you came to see.


Moving Forward:

After you begin your journey, you will start to wonder what’s next. Craving the next experience it both a perk and a downside to being a traveler. Try only focusing on one trip at a time and don’t get caught up trying to figure out how you can do everything at once. Something I recommend is doing something different than your previous trip each time to travel. For example, I went to Thailand and explored nature, cities, and villages with a group of travelers. Afterwards, I went solo backpacking across Europe through many cities and cultural centers. This winter, I will be going to Northern Scandinavia to experience the Northern Lights, do some outdoor activities (skiing, hiking, ice climbing) and will either be going solo or with one or two friends. Although each experience has some similarities, they are different in enough ways to where I would be motivated to experience as much as I can and so I won’t get a sense of deja vu. But again, it’s your experience and your journey and I don’t have all the answers. My recommendations may not be right for you, or I could be spot on. It depends on what kind of person you are. All I know is that the world is a big place and I would regret not experiencing as much of it as I can.