There’s a million and one ways to travel, and like most other things in life, there’s no one size fits all method. And often how you think you prefer to travel will change and evolve as times goes on. But as a baseline, I recommend building your early travels in the way that you feel most comfortable.
On your travels you will meet people who prefer to stay in hostels and plan their trip day-by-day, you will meet travelers who like settling down in places and stay for a while, you will meet people who have planned out every detail of their trip for the next month and you will find people who are have tried all over those methods and are still figuring out what fits them best.
But I can’t stress strongly enough, there is no one right way to travel. The most important thing is that you are getting out and traveling!
My personal form of travel is the first on that list and, if people ask me what I recommend, I will gladly tell them that one and why. For me, I like the bit of mystery/adventure tied to the unknown (which you can read more about on my blog, Finding the Unknown). And I like the freedom from a schedule, so that if I find somewhere I absolutely love (or people I absolutely love), I can choose to stay longer, and same goes if I find somewhere I’m not enjoying myself. I like that if I meet a group of people or person who are going in a different direction than I’d been thinking, I can just change my “plans” and head that way instead.
When you meet all of the different kinds of people out there, sometimes they will try and tell you why their type of travel is the best and why it’s how you should travel. But in my opinion, travel already has so many variables, why add in any more if you’re not comfortable with them! Some of my closest friends, people I love with every part of my being, are not friends I would travel with. And not because I wouldn’t love to share those experiences with them, but because two vastly different travel styles often do not mesh well.
If you are someone who loves schedules and planning, pre-booking all of your accommodation and tourist visits, and likes getting to the airport 4 hours early…we would most likely not travel well together. BUT, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that type of travel! I know my friends who travel that way have the absolute best time, and if I was with them I would probably drive them crazy! (But I always love hearing travel stories when they get back!)
My hope for this read is that you find what makes you most comfortable in travel. And that goes just beyond the “planning” aspect. It can also include finding places you feel most comfortable staying such as hostels, hotels, camping, Airbnb, etc., countries you’re most excited to see, preferred forms of transport (I’m personally a trains girl when I have the option, but a lot of times budget makes me a buses girl!), and so on. Read other travelers blogs, learn about all the different ways to travel, and ultimately create your own.
It’s not always as easy as it sounds, and I’ll be completely honest that it gets easier to form over time. But ask yourself the questions below when planning your next trip, and they might help before you take off on that adventure!
- Does the thought of changing plans at the last minute cause you any anxiety or worry? Do you generally like to do research and preparations before regular outings with friends?
- Are you comfortable possibly having to change accommodations when you thought you’d be in the same place for another couple nights? Are you comfortable adapting to changes in your transport options (say you thought you’d be taking a bus but you changed your plans by a day and now you have to take a train)
- How long are your travel plans and how much do you want to see? Are there things that you aren’t willing to sacrifice seeing if you’re on a time limit or are you happy to just see what you end up stumbling across?
I can’t promise they will give you a comprehensive answer of what’s your best travel style, but I hope they will help give you an idea of where to start. The most important thing you can do, is just start, and your style will come together even more over time!