While I have not been traveling for very long (my first time on a jet plane was a year ago), I have traveled very far. Last March I spent over two weeks in Shenzen, China and last summer I spent three months roaming Europe and Britain (spending extensive time in Kosovo and England). I backpacked around alone for a good deal of that time.
During these trips I have experienced everything from fourteen-hour flights, to fourty-eight hour jaunts with little to no sleep (so I could save money on cheap flights), to midnight train rides. All of this has taught me a couple of things about travel.
- You need less clothing than you think you need.
- seriously – only two pairs of jeans
- That being said…pack a lot of underwear and tank tops.
- You can snuggle them into the empty places in your baggage and if you don’t have time to bathe/change a whole outfit this will cut down on BO…
- Peppermint oil is a lifesaver.
- Perfect for a musty/stinky hostel room, freshening up in an airport bathroom (cuts through body odor), and for sprinkling in baggage so clothes don’t smell stale. I bought the cheap kind from a healthfood store because I wasn’t ingesting it. Young Living sells high-quality if you want to use it more extensively (my friend is a distributor here).
- Put some dry shampoo in a small, empty spice bottle.
- No one wants to feel like a greasy preteen when hopping off a plane.
- Dark chocolate
- Harry Potter uses it as a dementor remedy, I use it as a pick-me-up for jet lag. There will be long periods you have nothing to eat, you are bone tired, or you feel like you are about to break down in a Turkish airport…dark chocolate fixes all of these things.
- Workaway is your friend for inexpensive lodging worldwide.
- Check out my post about it here.
- Wizz air is a wonderful site for finding cheap European flights.
- These are not ritzy flights, fyi. Also, I would recommend checking in online.
- Skyscanner is another way to look for cheap flights.
- There is a feature on here where they send alerts to your email for low-priced flights. Research the airlines, though, as not all airlines are safe to fly with.
- Eastern Europe is way less expensive than Western Europe.
- While not as glamorous as touring Italy or France, the countries in Eastern Europe (think Kosovo, Macedonia, Croatia, etc) are wonderful areas. They can be a trifle sketchy (this was a war-torn area for many years, and in some places is still dangerous) but it’s honestly not bad if you research your location slightly to know the dos and don’ts. Also, the people in these areas are incredibly hospitable, and the prices simply cannot be beat. In Kosovo my cost of groceries for six weeks was lower than the cost of my plane ticket from England. Also, as a treat for a couple nights, I stayed in two hotels and spent only 30 euro a night…the price of a hostel bed in Venice…
So there you have it, a couple of quick tips. Comment with your own travel tips or questions!