Updated: Nov 10
How awesome would it be if all you needed to do was answer 4 questions and you would be prepared for international travel? It's your lucky day, check out the post below!
1. What do you want out of your trip?
This is a very important first step. Each country has its own known and hidden gems. What you need to ask yourself is what you’re traveling for? You could be traveling to explore the culture. Then you would want to go to countries like Morocco and Turkey that have culture shocks and let you dive into a new culture instantly. You might want an outdoor focused trip. Hiking, trekking, climbing, and camping are in abundance at countries like Iceland or Peru. OR maybe you just want to explore new cities around the world and will go experience Paris or London. Don’t worry, I’m not leaving out those that just want to party. I promise Barcelona or Prague will quench that thirst. Regardless of what you want, this question needs to be answered to be able to decide where to go.
2. How do I get there?
This is an easier question. For my budget travelers out there, have open dates when you can travel. Why?? Because this will allow you to find insane flight deals. Go log onto ScottsCheapFlights and sign up. It’s FREE. If you like what you see then you can pay for the premium and get all the deals. It’s one incredible website. I was able to get a round trip flight to Scotland for $507 from my home city of Dallas! Usually they go for around $1200. If you pay for the premium you are able to choose what cities are close to you and that’s all you need. Just check your emails and be ready to buy your flight within a day or two. I know it sounds spontaneous, but if you’re already going to buy a flight you might as well wait for a deal. Other websites to use are skyscanner, momondo, and google flights. These don’t have as good of deals, but let you compare all the airlines at once.
3. Where do I stay?
I hope you’re getting exciting! You’re halfway there. There’s only a few options and depending on where and when you’re going, there might be only one. I’m going to start with my favorite way to travel and that is through hostels. Yes, they are safe and extremely easy to book. For those who don’t know, hostels are basically hotels where you book by bed, instead of by room. You typically share rooms with other travelers and is a perfect way to meet people from around the world. Go download the Hostelworld App on your phone. You can book all of your hostels straight off of the app along with reading thousands of reviews for most of the hostels before you choose. If hostels are not your thing, you can move towards AirBnb. This is another really good option when trying to be in the city without having to spend all your money on a hotel. If neither of these work for you and you want a hotel, then go for it. Hotels.com is a great place to start. Lastly, for the adventure traveler, camping is a very fun way to travel. It saves lots of money and can really make you experience the nature in that country. The best way to do this and still stay clean while exploring the countries is by staying at a camp site. In most places, they will include a place to shower and use the toilet.
4. Why am I traveling?
Back onto the importance of what you want out of traveling. Regardless of your intentions, realize how fortunate you are to be able to experience international travel. I say this because traveling can be tough. Especially backpacking for an extended period of time. It’s VERY rewarding, but you need to know in advance that things will go wrong and that’s part of it. If you wanted everything to be perfect, you’d be planning for a resort in Mexico instead of traveling the world. Your attitude is everything. I know this sounds cheesey, but keeping a positive attitude through the ups and downs of traveling will make your experience so much better. You are in charge of your trip! You and you alone can make it into endless memories you will never forget.