Once in awhile I get a guest post submission about travel on the “other side of 30.” As much as I’d like to believe that my twenties will last forever, I know they won’t. So I’ll take any advice I can get.
Travel teaches strange lessons.
- Don’t purchase (and drink) Arak poured out of gasoline jugs in Bali…
- Don’t hitch hike in the back of a pick up with drunk Irishmen…
- Don’t go to LA… ever… for any reason.
Plus many others.
Of course, these are†extremely
biased personal lessons. Below are five simple tips gleaned from over a decade of traveling.
Tip 1: Travel Slowwwwww
Since you’re young and have zero responsibilities, well… other than waiting tables at the Outback Steak House… take your time traveling.
Slow travel is a great way to save money, live like a king, and immerse yourself in the local culture.
My husband, gosh now I really sound like an ‘ol hag, and I are living in a three-bedroom apartment in Quito, Ecuador with a jaw dropping view of the city.
The price… $30 per night!
Yep, it’s a screaming deal that includes everything… utilities, water, internet, garbage, etc. Also, we have a full kitchen and are saving a bundle cooking all our meals.
Photo credit: Trekity
Tip 2: Skip Europe
Europe is expensive and mainly known for it’s historical architecture, wine and food… all things you won’t really appreciate until your 40s anyway.
Instead head to South East Asia where the beer flows like wine… Central America where the volcanoes and surf are incredible… or India and Nepal… where you can find accommodations cheaper than food… seriously.
Also these areas provide excellent and cheap opportunities for outdoor adventures.
For example, you can hike the Annapurna Circuite in Nepal which doesn’t require a guide or entrance fees. There are guest houses ($0-10) and restaurants ($5) all along the way so you don’t have to carry food or camping gear. For a 20-day hike in the gorgeous Himalayan Mountains plan for $400-500.
Photo credit: Trekity
Tip 3: Overland It
Flying is fast and easy, but it’s also really expensive.
Overland trips (by car, bus or train) are a great way to get a feel for what life is like off the tourist trail and on average is about a third less expensive than flying.
India has arguably the most impressive railway system out of any large country which even provide sleeper beds. Note, pay the extra rupees for a bed… it’s well worth it.
While the Americas don’t have the best railways, the roads are in pretty good shape for buses.
And who can beat the mini-buses in Thailand that blare love balads over cult classic 80s movies such as Terminator. The odd mixture really works.
Tip 4: Stay In Touch
The first time you travel and the longer you’re away from home, there’s a chance you might get home sick. The great news is that technology has made staying in contact with friends and family is super easy.
There are internet cafes in just about any city with a tourist and many travelers are opting to bring their own phones and compact laptops. With Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and lord knows whatelse, you can easily connect back home.
If you happen to visit an internet cafe offering international calls, go for the Skype call instead… it’s much cheaper.
Photo credit: Rachel Strohm
Tip 5: Get Involved
I hate to admit, but much of my 20 something travel was a bit selfish. Bar crawls every night, beach bumming, and basically being a useless tourist.
Which there’s nothing wrong with… however, now I try to get a little more involved by challenging myself when I travel.
Long term trekking, volunteering, learning a new language or skill, etc.
Getting out and doing something is much more rewarding and a great way to learn more about the local culture.
Photo credit: christophercjensen
Your 20s are a great time to travel and explore the world. Have fun and make the most of it!