As somebody who has probably made every mistake known when it comes to traveling, I thought I would share a little bit of my wisdom that I have picked up along the way. Traveling is amazing (there’s no doubt about that) and if you have wanderlust, then there’s nothing better than getting out and seeing the world! But when you’ve broken your arm in Thailand and you haven’t got travel insurance, or you’re traveling across Europe and haven’t got enough money to pay for your hostel, then things need to change! Here are a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way that I think you’ll appreciate.

Trying to see everything

Trying to see everything at once is one of the biggest rookie errors that you can make. I remember the first time I went to Italy, I had 5 days and the ambition to see everything, which ended in disaster. I ended up missing half of the places I had booked, and spent the whole time stressed out. Try and limit yourself to a few cities/ places wherever you are traveling so you can take the time to really appreciate where you are. One of the best places that I’ve ever been to is Lake Bled in Slovenia, it was so beautiful and scenic, and I honestly think that I enjoyed it so much because I took the time to relax and explore what it had to offer. Just remember, you don’t have to cram everything in!

Underestimating how much things cost

Everything is going to cost more than you expected, it’s so easy to forget about all of the little costs along the way (they really add up). Before you even go traveling, make sure that you save up enough money… and then save some more. It’s easy to set a budget but sticking to it is the hard bit! There’s no worse feeling than waking up from a fun night out and realizing that you’ve eaten into the next week’s budget!

Sticking by the book

If you treat your guide book as the gospel, then you’re never going to see more than what it has to offer. Don’t be afraid to go off track, speak to the locals, ask questions about the place and make your own memories. Some of the best experiences that I’ve had whilst traveling have been done off my own back, without a guidebook to follow. Use your guide book as a foundation, but don’t let it dictate the experience you have.

Not having the right documents

I can’t stress this enough, make sure that you get travel insurance! Having the right insurance can honestly save you so much money if the worst should happen. Whether you get hurt, lose your things or get robbed, travel insurance is really going to cushion the blow (take it from somebody who learned the hard way!). One thing that people usually forget is getting the right travel visas, without them you can’t enter certain countries, so make sure that you have them! If you ever fall in love with a country so much that you want to stay for a longer period of time, you’re also going to need a visa. For example, if you have British citizenship like me, and you want to go and live and work in the US for a year, you’re going to have to get a work visa (which isn’t easy, believe me).
Traveling requires a lot of saving, a lot of meticulous planning and a lot of patience (because so many things can and will go wrong), but it is one of the most life changing and fulfilling experiences, so above everything just make sure that you experience as much as you can and remember to take everything in!

About the Author:

Alice is an avid traveler, who loves good food, great company and far off destinations.