Traveling can be one of the most amazing experiences that you ever have. The opportunity to meet people who have grown up in a completely different culture, to learn history and traditions from new lands, to discover exciting places and just to have fun, who could say no? Traveling doesn’t have to mean hopping from one place to the next in a short amount of time, you can cruise around a country, popping back to the places that interested you the most. Or you could compile a list of places you have been by hoping from home to somewhere new over a longer amount of time.
It’s never too late to travel either, if you don’t get the chance when you’re younger, then why not spend your retirement seeing the world? That way you don’t have to think about huge financial worries for the future. Plus, you’re definitely going to be of drinking age in even country you go to.
There are many countries that see age as a thing to be respected and celebrated – so why not put those places at the top of your list? Traveling when you’re older is so different than doing it in your gap year of college; you’re not just looking to party and drink your way through the trip, but want to try out the finer things experience the culture and enjoy your time being immersed in a new culture. And no one can say that you only have to go once – if you can spend half your life traveling, why wouldn’t you?
But when it comes to planning your travels, you need to think how you’re going to do it. Funding will play a big part in how you choose to travel – your transport and accommodation in particular. But some of the best ways to travel doesn’t include you needing tons of money before you set off.
The classic backpack adventure is so popular because of the opportunities it offers. You don’t need to have much funding when you decide to backpack; your luggage costs a cut due to you being able to class your backpack as a carry-on, and this route tends to lead you to stay in hostels over expensive hotels. Hostels allow you to meet people from all over the world that are doing the same thing you are.
Depending on the company, you could be in a communal dorm, a gender-specific dorm, or in a tent. Although if it’s like the tents in Rome, you have a bunk bed, lights, and charging ports. Plus the heat in the spring and summer really makes you grateful for the outdoors.
The downside is that you don’t have much space available to buy souvenirs and trinkets, and with minimal luggage space comes minimal wardrobe choices, so you need to pack smartly and choice items that are lightweight, can fold into small spaces, and are versatile for different occasions. Say goodbye to your luxury items like flat irons and your favourite boots.
Traveling in a group or with a couple of others is great. But you can find yourself compromising what you want to do for the sake of the group. Having the opportunity to go it alone can be scary, but it can also be so liberating. The independence and life lessons you gain through traveling on your own can easily be something you will never get anywhere else.
You can choose where to go, whether to stay for a little longer, where to eat and what to do. It doesn’t stop you from meeting new people and tagging along with them for a while, people need to socialize, but being alone for the most part can be fantastic.
Rather than jet-setting off all over Europe or Asia, why not explore your own country first? Or you can easily cross the border and explore in a different way. Road trips can lead you through towns and areas that you never normally would see, and it can give you a completely different view of that country. When you travel, you normally jump to main attractions or cities, places that are very centred around tourists, so getting off the beaten track and seeing the real life of that country can be amazing to experience. In countries like the US, the cultures differ hugely from state to state so that can be a great experience in itself.
If you want to stay out traveling, then working your way through the country might be a great option for you. This way you really have to immerse yourself nad get to know the culture. It works best if you speak the same language, at least partially, at first. But you can take this as an opportunity to learn. Teaching your native language always has a huge demand, so look into teaching. Or think about jobs where you can transfer around. Companies like Starbucks do internal transfers for employees, so you can easily barista your way around the country. If you are planning to work while you travel, remember that you need to secure the right visas first.
If you want to move quickly between destinations, or are going to one place and then home multiple times, then one of the best options is to fly. If cuts the journey time down can be so much more comfortable and reliant that the alternatives, and can be a lot cheaper. There was a story about two uni students who found that it was cheaper to meet in Barcelona, than for them to buy a train ticket to meet halfway.
You can also look into how much it is to hire a private jet if you feel like spending a little more for your luxury travel. Doing this does ensure your an ultimate travel experience, and it is on many people’s bucket list, so maybe you chose this for one leg of your journey and arrived in style at that destination.
If you don’t feel like flying everywhere, then you can always interrail places. There are so many routes mapped out in Europe that let you travel for a discounted price. It does mean that you can’t just suddenly decide to stay somewhere for longer, or to pop out to that little town for a couple of days first, but it does mean that you get to see more of the countries.
Interrailing is a great way of viewing the countries landscape, and as you pass through borders, you do sense a huge difference between countries like the Netherlands and Holland. It also means that you can move easily between cities throughout a continent.
Although this can fall under working as you travel, writing about your experiences can just be for you too. Documenting your travels is a great way to remember everything you do, and can be a way to make you seek out new things and pay more attention to detail. You can easily journal your travels in a physical notebook, but uploading them onto a travel blog can be a great way to share your experiences, as well as to gain idea of what to write next.
If you mention that your next stop is Phuket, then you will probably get suggestions on where is best to stay and eat and what sights you should go and see. Plus, if you have a decent following and give free advertising to the hotel you’re staying in, you might be able to get some special treatment or an upgrade – don’t expect anything though.
One of the best ways to travel is quite particular to whether you have any ancestral places linked to your family. Connecting to a world your ancestors knew, meeting people that you might be related to and learning more about the cultures that shaped your past family, can be amazing. Not only are you immersing yourself in a strange culture, but you are reconnecting with your roots. If you have visited before, perhaps when you were a child, and have extended family in other countries, take this as an opportunity to reconnect with them.
There are so many second and third generation people who have never visited their home land, or people who proudly proclaim their Italian or Irish heritage but have never stepped for on their home land soil. Go and experience it – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.