#1 4-21-2017 4:20 AM

nataliereynolds159
Natalie
Liverpool, England
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First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

Me again,

So, I know this sounds ridiculous but what actually is the best way to travel?

I'm caught up between planning trips entirely, booking return flights, booking hostels in advance, having a full itinerary or

Just booking a one way flight to somewhere and taking it from there?

When I went to Iceland a lot of the people I met just took each day as it came, they had their flights & first accommodation booked but after that they just winged it really- I really like this idea of a way to travel but how realistic is it to do that when travelling?

also, when I look at hostels & things online they seem sooo expensive! I see a lot of people staying in these beautiful villas on a beach etc and yet they're on a budget? How do they do that? Just ask around?

I want to be spontaneous but I will admit as a 'young solo female traveller' it slightly terrifies me haha.

 

#2 4-21-2017 4:27 AM

CMTinPHX
Christopher
Phoenix, Arizona
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

If you think hostels are expensive, then you really need to have a budget ready. No worse bummer than getting to a site (e.g., Tower of London, Grand Canyon) and realizing you can't afford the entrance fee. See also, "food."

You can also try couchsurfing.com and especially workaway.info if you are in need of free or bartered lodging.

Safe travels...

 

#3 4-21-2017 4:46 AM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

It doesn't work to book a one way flight. Airport immigration sometimes asked your return ticket. Best you can do book an open jaw ticket, cost a little more and you can fly anytime you want. Is always best to book a hotel for the first night and search the rest of your accommodation on spot

 

#4 4-21-2017 5:01 AM

sarahelaine
Sarah Elaine
Manchester, England
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Globetrotter
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

Hi Natalie. This is going to sound unhelpful, but it depends on who you are. Some people are nature's organisers. They want to plan each day of the itinerary and they're deeply uncomfortable winging it. Pros, they never leave a city and only find out about the amazing museum on leaving, they never end up stressed because they don't know where they're sleeping that night. Cons, they never get to find out about a cool concert and swap everything around so they spend an extra night, they can't skip town if they're bored, and over planning makes it hard to just absorb a town's atmosphere. Some people love winging it, are total chaos and don't book anything if they can help it. Pros, it's a genuine adventure, they find out stuff the locals love, and if they don't feel like another temple trip that day (or whatever) nothing's lost by heading to the beach instead. Cons, you're never sure whether you're going to double your costs because all the cheap hostels are full, you can waste time looking for transport options because the easy one sold out, and it can be a bit higher stress, especially if you're a natural organiser traveling with a chaos junkie. As a rule I'm a bit of both. For me, the balance goes book flights in and out and accommodation for my first three nights and book ahead on a rolling basis.

Most places and most times of year it's safe to wing it as long as you have a flight in and out. Some places are too busy- edinburgh in August, Seville at Easter- and I'd book that well in advance.

I've got more spontaneous as I've aged and got more confident. If you're nervous, it makes sense to book a bit more before you get there- some bookings are flexible for cancelling, some aren't, so that's worth checking.

In terms of price, Western Europe and the USA tend to be dear, Eastern Europe a bit cheaper, and south east Asia tends to be very cheap (I've not travelled in South America or Australia and Africa doesn't have an easy infrastructure for travel, so I would save that for not your first trip). South east Asia is a good first place- English is widely spoken and there are loads of other travellers around.

And don't sweat the lone female traveller bit. There's little advice I would give a younger female relative of mine I wouldn't also give her for a night out clubbing in the uk.

 

#5 4-21-2017 7:46 AM

gingerbatik
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

shavy wrote:

It doesn't work to book a one way flight. Airport immigration sometimes asked your return ticket. Best you can do book an open jaw ticket, cost a little more and you can fly anytime you want. Is always best to book a hotel for the first night and search the rest of your accommodation on spot

I done this for several years (4 years) nonstop travelling around the world with one way flight and no problem, except when I flew to certain countries without visa on my passport (eventhough I am allow to get a visa on arrival - especially to Indonesia) and i have to purchased the return flight on the spot ( in the airport).

Anyway, it is depend how do you want to travel, each people travel differently.
Most people will have a return flight and a couple of nights accommodation book and then see it from there, other will organise everything until they come home. or some people go with a tour.

If you have no problem with money, you can just wing it and buy a one way ticket to your destination and book one or two nights accommodation and then go through it.
Pro: you can decided what you want to see and do and if you get bored, just moved on.
Con: it is expensive if something happen and you need to change your plan immediately.

So, it is really up to you.  Good luck.

Last edited by gingerbatik (4-21-2017 7:58 AM)

 

#6 4-21-2017 8:43 AM

nataliereynolds159
Natalie
Liverpool, England
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

CMTinPHX wrote:

If you think hostels are expensive, then you really need to have a budget ready. No worse bummer than getting to a site (e.g., Tower of London, Grand Canyon) and realizing you can't afford the entrance fee. See also, "food."

You can also try couchsurfing.com and especially workaway.info if you are in need of free or bartered lodging.

Safe travels...

I am not complaining about prices.. It just makes me curious how people who are on tight budgets can afford to stay in these (what look like) luxurious places? Private villas, huge beds & en suite showers, right on the beach..... I look at a hostel online and it's minimum £10 per night in a dorm, you want a private room and it's around £50 per night?

Am I being naive in believing these people are travelling on the cheap or is there a big secret I don't know about?

 

#7 4-21-2017 9:08 AM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Wanderer
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

@gingerbatik,

Is not everyone is lucky as you. I mentioned on my previous post that "sometimes" immigration officer asked a return ticket! this thing depends on the mood of border officer

In 30 years of my travels I've only asked once for my return ticket in New Zealand

Last year during our trip to Chile, the border officer in Santiago asked the return ticket of my boyfriend.......and while I went to another officer he stamps my passport without being asked my return ticket

Those are things that can't be certain if they asked your return ticket or not. Better to be prepare than sorry.....or you can buy a ticket at the airport if you don't have one, then cost a lot more

Traveling around to Southeast Asia you do not need to fly everytime you can cross overland. And also there are plenty of budget airlines where you can book for last minute

 

#8 4-21-2017 9:41 AM

sarahelaine
Sarah Elaine
Manchester, England
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

You can get hotel rooms for £30 in Europe, and less in Europe, if you travel out of season and stay a few minutes walk further out of the city centre. I've had four star rooms for £50. If you search these forums there'll be advice where to look but in south east Asia just turning up can work. Don't limit yourself to backpacker hostels- some are great so don't discount them either but I've seen rooms in nice hotels going for less than hostel dorms because they are a little way out of the centre in a safe but less touristy area. There are people on this site who can advise you about couch surfing as an option too.

But in terms of money, yes, travel can be expensive. Many people work second jobs for 18 months to fund a long trip. Others run up debt, which I would view as a very bad idea. And others find work abroad, although that's got harder as countries tighten up their visa rules. But that doesn't mean it's impossible. I'd start with working out if you are frittering any money away. I worked out I was having a coffee three times a week, for example. Three times £2.50 is £7.50 a week- £390 a year. There's a flight to anywhere in Europe and not far short of long haul if I shop around. A few £3 and £4 expenses off a week add up fast.

 

#9 4-21-2017 11:42 AM

Solomatrix
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

Research the place(s) you're going beforehand and plan accordingly
How much detailed planning you need to do is up to you but you need to be somewhat familiar with the place, what you want to see, safety precautions, things to prepare, etc.
Depending on the place you're going you can book everything in advance, book nothing at all, or something in between
It all varies based on your travel style, pace, where you're going, budget, etc.
The more you travel the more you will know what style, pace, things you like to eat/see/do, etc. are
I know this post isn't very helpful but travel style is different for everyone

 

#10 4-22-2017 6:04 AM

grandmar
RosalieAnn
Leonardtown, Maryland
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

I think the way that you travel depends on you as people have said and also quite a bit on where you are going. 

Back when I was 20 something and went from the USA to Europe for the summer, I did it with a first and last accommodation, a Eurail pass (which was a good deal back then - not so much now), and a round trip airline ticket.  I was traveling by myself, I was young and relatively fit and could travel with luggage that I could carry. But even in those days I had read about and had a plan in mind about what I wanted to see/do in each place.  I've written that trip up here http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/140252/

When I was traveling with my husband and children from one duty station to another, we would start early and stop early - usually trying to pick a place with a pool so the kids could swim after the long car ride.  We packed lunches.  But in those days there were no iPhones and no internet to book on the fly.

When I was traveling in my 60s, I would often do a package deal (not group travel, but I would have a travel agent who was an expert in the area book the hotels and rental cars for me)

Now that I am approaching 80, I need even more structure than that, and I book hotels in advance and research the destinations in more detail and I also take cruises because I don't have to pack and unpack but once.

As for the beautiful beach huts - if you go off-season the rates are less, and 'winging it' is MUCH easier as places are not as full.  You don't run the risk of having to sleep on the beach.   If you pick the right country, things are much less expensive.  Also 'deals' are available for some people.  For instance my husband being retired military can use Space-Available facilities and a much cheaper rate.

.

 

#11 Yesterday 4:07 AM

CMTinPHX
Christopher
Phoenix, Arizona
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

nataliereynolds159 wrote:

It just makes me curious how people who are on tight budgets can afford to stay in these (what look like) luxurious places? Private villas, huge beds & en suite showers, right on the beach.

One of the skills you acquire as you travel more and more is to become fluent in Hotelspeak™.

For example, anything coastal will have the terms "beachfront," "beach view" or "nice." You can guess what the price differentials are like among the three, LOL. Regardless, ignore the pictures and descriptions (or just assume they're wildly puffed up) and rely instead on reviews and pictures posted on sites such as Tripadvisor ... or right here on TB.  :-)

Last edited by CMTinPHX (Yesterday 4:08 AM)

 

#12 Yesterday 7:58 AM

katzgar
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

the problem with trip advisor is a huge percentage of the reviews are fake.

 

#13 Yesterday 8:30 AM

grandmar
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Leonardtown, Maryland
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

The real answer to affording to stay somewhere on the beach is not to insist on being right on the beach.  One block back from the beach is much cheaper.

I don't use Trip Advisor reviews that much, except to find out what is available.  Reviews on Booking.com are much more reliable because you can't add a review unless you booked through them.  So the people have really stayed there.

Also really look at those photos of a place - you can be very creative with photos - cutting out undesirable parts of a place.  Huge bed?  Right on the beach? 

We stayed in a place called Ignacio's huts in Belize.  Right on the beach (check), Huge beds (well there were two beds a double and a single but the mattresses were on springs and it made the bed very bouncy)  en-suite shower (check - but the hut was on stilts and the shower drained out onto the sand below and there wasn't actually any hot water).

This was a very very cheap place to stay.  You were expected to bring your own towels.  You had to put the toilet paper in a waste basket because the septic system couldn't take it.  No A/C  (although we didn't need it).  No mirror in the bathroom.  But it was right on the beach

 

#14 Yesterday 9:24 AM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

I'm one of Tripadvisor contributor for a long time, my reviews here on TB is also reviewed on TA.  I used booking.com of all my trips.......you can determine the price by checking a box and read reviews from previous travelers

If you want to travel on budget you can do that..... most of my trips are budget. I have my limit price of accommodations

Resorts or hotel on the beach is not always expensive, depends on which country of destination. Like a bungalow on the beach in Southeast Asia you can stay for 25-50 dollar in Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia

I'm going to Myanmar in two weeks, I book a hotel on the beach, it wasn't a budget price because there weren't much hotels available in that place.

Hostels are cheaper than hotels, in Southeast Asia hostels are very cheap and as solo traveler is a good place to stay where you meet other travelers  http://www.hostels.com/

 

#15 Today 12:54 AM

MarioBG
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Johannesburg, South Africa
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

I personally prefer to book everything in advance. Including bus/train tickets from city to city. I just feel that this way I save myself a lot of time from waiting around in ques or trying to decide where to go next. Of course before I make any bookings I carefully decide which places I would like to visit.
It also doesnt hurt to take a spontaneous day trip away to another nearby place in the moment. Iv done that on all my trips so far.
I find that my way of travel works quite well for me smile

 

#16 Today 2:51 AM

nataliereynolds159
Natalie
Liverpool, England
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

Hahaa this is becoming a debate about tripadvisor now.

Being someone who has worked in the hotel industry, I take all reviews with a pinch of salt. But yes, I still do read them to get a general idea for the place. And usually anywhere with no reviews is either brand new or a place to avoid!!

In regards to booking accomodation, I ALWAYS 100% recommend booking direct. Most booking agents (booking.com, expedia, laterooms etc) take a cut of commission and usually advertise it to the customer as 'taxes' when really this money isn't going to the hotel at all. If you want the best prices, book direct with where you're looking. Yes, I understand if you have a loyalty memebership with a certain chain then you'll get discounts that way, but I don't think us 'travelers' are really going to become diamond members with Hilton hotels (are we? I mean I certainly don't have the money for that ahah)

Anyway, back to the original topic. Thank you everyone for your advice. I came to the realisation that these people I see on social media are being very clever. Yes, they got that villa for £5 a night, not mentioning they're sharing said villa with about 5 other people so of course the price is cut. Me going alone means I'm paying the full price. I get it now, I need to make travel buddies if I want to save money on things (ironic eh)

 

#17 Today 5:18 AM

kvom
Kirk
Cumming, Georgia
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Re: First time wannabe traveller. My question; how do you travel?

I prefer to travel solo, and use airbnb where possible.  I book the first stay in advance, and then typically the next  stop 1-2 days before arrival.  In Europe  I've rarely had an issue.  When touring France by car a few years back I just used B&Bs and was able to easily find them the same day.

 

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