choices, choices, choices. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, so do not wait to live your life until retirement. Your life is not a measure of what others think you should do. If you have the chance, then take that leap. My favorite thing in the world, is not a thing. It is an experience, to constantly grow as a human being, to explore new places, and learn about different cultures, to speak new languages and dialects. That is my hobby. It is not really an expensive hobby as I grew up poor, I learned to make the most of every dollar. I am very economical and set budgets when traveling or backpacking. One can spend $3000 on a 1 week resort stay, or one can spend half of that for 1 month traveling!
What cities and towns to explore and for how long, which mode of transportation to take, etcetera. The most stressful, yet the most exciting part (well one notch down from actually exploring those places), is the planning phase!
I always go through multiple itineraries and rough drafts of my trip before finalizing. Having done this many times though, I want to share some tips. This is for general traveling across the world no matter where you choose to go, but I will focus slightly more on solo female traveling.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH: I personally love Lonely Planet, some other books and internet forums, other travelers’ blogs, and youtube videos of personal experiences. Being a female, I do prefer to hear from other female’s experiences, especially safety related. Other than that, male or female, I like to take ideas from different sources but ultimately come up with my own unique itinerary that I am happy with!
- Plan your itinerary: For longer trips of >1 month, you will probably have extensive planning to do. Another option is, “to wing it.” I like spontaneity, but I need to know where I am staying and have the plane tickets booked ahead of time, merely for less cost than last minute airline tickets. Bus and train tickets, those can be purchased last minute without too much increase in cost. Far as what I am going to do in those places, I do some research about history and culture, and may have couple focal points of interest to visit or activities to do. The rest, is still unwritten…plans may change after I get somewhere, and I may decide to try different things. That is why I love hostels, and even air bnb, as you make friends easily with other travelers or locals and can get ideas and even go explore new places together!
- Finalize your itinerary: …but be flexible. One of the greatest joys of traveling is the unknown. That may scare some people, but a true traveler in malleable to changing plans and can adapt to new places and situations. It builds character.
Ok..back to planning.