Travel is at the top of my list for my 2018 goals. I’m so determined to get out, explore, and adventure more often. So today I decided to write about traveling in your 20’s and enlisted the help of my friend Abby. (Yes, we have the same name. We’ve been dealing with this since middle school.) She’s traveled all around the world and is about to be my road trip buddy this summer!
1. What are some overlooked essentials to bring when you travel outside of the country?
“A water bottle for sure! And don’t forget your chapstick! Extra Copies of your flights, extra cash, and flip flops for gross showers are pretty important too. Obviously make sure to look ahead and know what temperatures are going to be like for when you are packing. Another really big one is to keep in mind and know what modesty might look like in other countries in order to be respectful! You don’t want to stand out as a tourist, let alone a rude, tacky one.”
2. Where is your favorite place to travel by yourself?
“My favorite place to travel was Malta because it was absolutely beautiful. The water was SO blue and the architecture was incredible. It was easy to navigate because mostly everybody speaks English.” (A major plus for any girl traveling alone!)
3. What do you have to say to people who say traveling alone is dangerous?
“I think it’s just common sense and most important to do your research about where you’re going and which areas are safe and which areas are not. Be cautious of pick-pocketers and just be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you stay in a hostel, be sure to keep your stuff locked up or with you.”
4. What are some of your favorite travel memories?
“I have so many memories!! In Malta my favorite memory was seeing all of the old architecture and climbing in the tunnels and exploring. They also are known for their fireworks so that was pretty amazing. In Haiti, my favorite memory was going to the downtown market because it was such a different culture than what I’m used to. In India my favorite memory was climbing bits of the Himalayas. The views were breathtaking!!”
5. Where did you stay when you traveled alone?
“I stayed in the homes of people that lived there. They were trusted people with the organization I went with. I know a lot of people that use websites like Airbnb though or stay in hostels, but the key to those is making sure to read a lot reviews before hand!”
6. Why is traveling alone in your 20’s a good idea?
“Traveling alone in your 20’s is something I’d recommend to everybody, because the world is so much bigger than what you think it is. Learning about another culture and meeting new people helps you to discover who you are and makes you appreciate the little things that you take for granted. Being in a place where nobody speaks English, nobody is white, and nobody knows about your culture is SO eye-opening and such a good experience. Learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable is a life skill to use the rest of your life.”
7. Where do you hope to travel next?
“I actually have no idea. My list is so large. Maybe somewhere in Africa.”
Just like “the other Abby” (actually a nickname we “earned” in high school), I don’t know exactly where I want to go next. I just know I want to travel outside of the United States. But if you’re balling on a budget like this college student keep in mind that the USA has some pretty amazing sights as well!
Some Other Travel Tips I’ve Learned:
- Write A Checklist: This is essential in remembering everything and prevents something from being lost in a random hotel room or left in a different country. I usually write mine out before I pack and then go through after in case I decided I didn’t need something or I added a different thing.
- Prioritize When You Pack: Although it might be tempting to bring that super cute new hat with you, keep in mind some other things are a little more important. This should also help with packing lightly (one thing I really need to work on) and remembering what all you brought.
- MAKE COPIES: Of your ticket receipts, flight confirmation, hotel confirmation, and anything else that’s essential to you being able to actually enjoy your trip. Because you can’t exactly enjoy Europe from the hotel terminal.
- Stay Somewhere With Free Wifi: Not only does this keep you in touch with everyone back home, but it can become necessary if you need to check a confirmation or send an email to your boss.
- Leave A Copy Of Your Itinerary: This is a super smart and easy way for family and friends to know where you are and if need be, make sure you’re safe. If you’re traveling alone for the first time, let your parents know that you’ve also registered your itinerary with the State Departments Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and they’ll probably be much more keen on the idea of you leaving.
Hope this post gave you some travel inspiration, as well as some tips for traveling alone.✈