Travel Blog Travel Guide - Beginners Guide to Independent Travel
Planning and Preparation
How to Get There
This depends on how long you have to travel, because of commitments at home, or different budget options. If you have a longer time available, consider making the journey part of your adventure, if you have only a short time, the percentage of time used as travel time should be minimized.
Discover the vastness of the world, retrace the steps of Marco Polo, visit places that people wouldn't normally see. There are many advantages to the overland journey, but you will need time. Travelling overland is much slower.
If budget is your biggest consideration, then make it cheap! Cheap ways to travel - hitchhiking, budget flights, buses, second class trains. Hitchhiking isn't necessarily dangerous - in some locations you won't even have to put out your thumb. There will be instances where, when hitchhiking, your chief source of transport will be other backpackers who have gained their own transport - be cheeky and ask if there is a chance of a lift to your next location. New Zealand is the ultimate example of this. However, in many parts of the world hitchhiking is absolutely not recommended under any circumstance.
From local services to modern coaches, the bus is one of the most cost-effective and enjoyable ways to travel on the ground. Compared to international buses, local ones are much cheaper. If you are prone to travel sickness, however, a bus can be almost as bad as a car.
Advantages: you can walk around, fewer restrictions, go to the toilet when you need, overnight sleeping carriages. Disadvantages: can be slower, and in many parts of the world is really expensive eg. British Rail. Solution : Inter-Rail. The main disadvantage of Inter-Rail is that you can't buy a ticket anywhere except in your home country. There are also restrictions on age, and time limits on tickets, so Inter-Rail is not always suitable for the more elderly traveller or for those who like to take their time.
Why go to the world when the world can come to you ? Or at least it can seem that way when cruising. A community floating from your home shores to exotic places of the world, with luxuries, entertainments, your every need catered for, your body pampered. You get to relax in your own floating hotel with the scenery changing everyday. Disadvantages - very expensive, and you only get to see the destinations where there is a port, on someone else's timetable.
Covering everything from crossing rivers to the high seas, the ferry is an often overlooked form of transport for the independent traveller. If you are taking a car or a camper van you will not have much other choice for some parts of your journey. Be aware that if you get travel sick on buses, a ferry will often be a very rough experience for you. Ferries can be slightly expensive in places such as Europe. Budget airlines will often be cheaper. You will need to book in advance for ferries and they often only have a fixed number of berths. The advantages of a ferry are numerous, especially in areas with lots of islands, where the views can be amazing. On a ferry it is possible to walk around, get a cabin and even get a good nights sleep, travel sickness permitting.
Next: Air Travel