Yep there's definitely no point in going places just 'say you've been', it's about enjoying yourself and getting the most out of each place you visit not just for the sake of telling people you went to so many countries in a month when you get back. A friend of mines who originally was going to be coming on my recent Euro trip wanted to do 26 countries in 30 days or something insane. Completely unmanageable, illogical and probably not even possible. There's no way I'd do it. I did 6 countries in a month in the end and that was fine.
Definitely don't spill your guts out and tell every traveller you meet your life story, they don't care. I sat and listened and this guy in a hostel in Zagreb told my mate the most depressing and long story about how bad his life had been recently about all the bad things that had happened to him, finally after 10 mins of him going on and on he said 'and that's only half the story' and continued for another 10. Finally he stopped and said that was the 'short version' and that if he wanted to know the full version he'd tell him. My friend had only asked him the time.
So yeah don't bore other travellers with your boring / depressing stories.
I'm a bit guilty of taking pictures of things without actually taking due care to look at the thing I'm snapping away at. Sometimes I'll take a pic and when I look back I'll know nothing about the picture or not even be sure what it is so have no story to tell people about it when there looking at my snaps.
Definately the picture thing. I am a very trigger happy photographer, and when I was in Egypt took pictures of everything and probably spent more time looking through the lense at something than with my eye...that's a bit of an exageration but still...When you come back after a week with 600 photographs, you know you've been excessive...no one wants to spend three hours looking at your holidays snaps of every different type of hiroglyphic and every statue you saw!
I think it is important to be flexible, but still have a decent rough plan of what you are doing. I cannot imagine anything worse than being stranded somewhere and not know my way out. Always know where you are going...my mate found out the hard way when he got arrested in Kazakhstan for not having the right documentation...so do your research as well!
I would second the time out tip. Deffinately, take time out to hit a cafe, read your book and just enjoy the atmosphere of wherever you are! Again, did this in Egypt after being "temple'd" out for the day, just found a cafe and got a coffee...which was horrible, but it was nice to sit down and relax!
1. make friends along the way...meet people! there are loads of good times to be had when you go with the flow..and be flexible with your plans...better yet, why make any?
2. less is more (in your pack...you can ALWAYS find/buy what you need on the road, usually cheaper)
3. keep a journal...track your travels, pictures, memories, and writing in it gives you something to do when you're all by your lonesone, which never lasts for long, unless you smoke (then you will always have something to do when you're alone)! it will be the best read you've had in a long time when you're back from travelling and want to get back to that state of mind.
1.A little known website that sends you email updates on hot travel deals as they happen, so keep in touch with updated airline websites.
2.Simply fly on one of the no-frills airlines and save hundreds of dollars on each flight, no-frills airlines are available with internet search.
3.Work with travel agents to save money and time: Sometimes going trough a travel agent (middle man) instead of going direct through an airline will actually save you money. Of course some travel guides can also assist you in this factor.
I only have two
Make sure you have at least two sources of money, and a phone card. All my money in Mexico was on a debit card. That debit card did a disappearing act in Mexico City. I didn't realise this til I got to Cancun and had 20 pesos on me, and no other form of money.
Don't plan your trip too much. There is always things you dont know about until you get there. I agree with the having a day or two days every now and then doing absolutely nothing. I like having days where I can just sit at home (if couchsurfing) or at a hostel and properly getting in touch with home, and catch up with the world news.
1. Don't start of with a full backpack. You will need space for stuff you pick up along the way.
2. Schedules are made to be broken. If you want to go somewhere and it's not on your schedule, go!
3. You don't have to see everything there is to see in the place your visiting. Relax and enjoy your surroundings.
Great tips there Angela. I agree.
Hah... I read the quote without reading the name in front of it and thought... Wow, those are some great tips.
I didn't even remember writing that!!
1)Be flexible... sticking strictly to plan means you miss out on the random fun stuff that comes your way!
2) Stay Safe, don't take uneccessary risks with your safety
3) Be open to looking and feeling stupid... but persist in engaging with the local people or other travelers... even if neither of you has any clue what the other is saying....
[ Edit: Edited on Sep 30, 2008, at 10:04 AM by StephenJen ]
1. I noticed is an outdoor shop just last week that you can buy a collapsible bowl for just £2, so now you can take the kitchen sink
2. enjoy the place you are in and don't worry about the trip ahead
3. as for photos, we were on the malta-gozo ferry once, as the ferry approached the dock on gozo, the happy snappers raced to the front of the ferry to take snaps. I wonder how many of them actually appreciated the beauty of the day and the approach in the 'now'.