Young Adventures: 5 Tips for Young Travelers
Hope. Fear. Excitement. When I decided to pack my things and go on my first two-month adventure, I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t well traveled, a big sign hung over my head that said, “I have no idea what I’m doing!” There were so many firsts and so many hiccups.
Now, with a few trips under my belt, I know better. If I could sit my younger self down before she left, I would give her some advice.
Don’t be scared: We all need that little push. But you aren’t the first person to take on this journey! Maybe you’ve never been abroad before. Maybe you’ve never traveled on your own. If millions of people can make their way around the world, so can you. Don’t be afraid to take some risks, they’ll be the ones you remember.
Plan your itinerary and get organized: It can be tempting to try to see it all. With limited vacation time, we are always trying to squeeze everything in. In the end, all we have to show for it are photos, stress, and a whirlwind of experiences but no real knowledge of the places we went. Look up travel time between the places you want to see. If you rush, you’ll be burnt out and realize you saw everything but nothing at all.
Pack light: My first experience abroad, was two-months long, so I thought I needed every outfit possible. Crazy amounts of accessories and shoes. Next thing I know; I’m dragging a 45-pound suitcase with a missing wheel up and down the underground trains in London. Pack the essentials, you don’t need a different outfit for every day of your travels.
Don’t be shy: Make friends! (not easy coming from an introvert) If you’re traveling solo, its fine, you’d be surprised how many people travel on their own. Then you’ll realize you have friends all over the globe. In Barcelona, I stayed at an Airbnb and I met two really fun Italian girls who were learning Spanish, we’re still friends! I also met someone in London, I asked if she could take a picture of me, and she needed a picture too, we ended up hanging out the rest of our trip!
Stay connected: Let relatives know you’re doing well, especially if you are traveling alone. Even if it’s not by directly reaching out, but one way my friends and family back home knew I was alright and enjoying myself was by pictures I would post on social media. This reminds me of when I was in Brussels, I asked a friend to take a picture of me on a bridge, and my cell phone ended up falling into a canal. Let’s just say my phone disappeared very quickly, but at least my posts didn’t!
All in all, trips are not always going to go as planned, you might run into some hiccups… Like losing your phone and breaking your suitcase, but that’s what makes it memorable and gives you a good story to tell.
So, take a deep breath, relax, and bon voyage!