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Category: travel tips

Three Ways to Embrace Slow Travel

The more I travel, the slower I go. On my RTW trip, I went from bouncing between cities sometimes with only a few days in each, to spending weeks and even full months in some places. There are tons of posts on the internet professing the benefits of slow travel. Pacing yourself doesn’t wear down your immune system, making slow travel better for your health. It keeps you from getting distracted and becoming more vulnerable to scams. Plus, by affording yourself time to fully experience your surroundings, slow travel is simply more enjoyable. But not everyone has a full year to explore freely at their own pace. Below are three practical ways to incorporate slow travel into a trip of any length – even a week-long vacation.

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7 Reasons to Travel Europe By Bus

It isn’t always easy to travel Europe on a budget. One of the biggest ways I saved on my overland journey across the Mediterranean coast this summer was sticking to long distance buses as my means of transportation. Flying might have been easier. Trains might have been more romantic. But my shoestring budget had other ideas, and I found that bus travel actually has plenty of its own charms. Why should you travel Europe by bus?

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Tips for Booking a Hostel

Some travelers swear by waiting until they arrive in a destination to choose a place to stay. They say they get better deals and enjoy the freedom to shop around. Personally, I’m not hardcore enough for it. I often travel during peak season and prefer the security and convenience of booking a hostel in advance, even if that means paying a few extra dollars to afford a place that keeps an advertising budget.

Like any traveler who books on the fly, I’ve stayed in good hostels and bad. Over the last six months, I’ve learned how to make the most of Hostelworld and book the right place for my stay. When you’re traveling on a budget, choosing a hostel is all about priorities. Read on to learn about five ways you might go about the hostel selection process.

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How to Deal with Travel Burnout

 

As I settled into my bunk at a hostel in Split, Croatia, the college-age girls sharing my room were proving friendlier than the last dormmates I’d had. They asked about my plans and reached the telltale question: How long are you traveling for? I was only six weeks into my trip, and had already gotten a variety of reactions to the news that I would be on the road for a full year. Theirs was a new one though. “Wow – I would never be able to travel for that long!” one girl exclaimed “We get strung out enough after a few weeks.” The clique devolved into girlish chatter and I thought it best to refrain from launching into a lecture about the differences between vacationing and traveling long-term. Because the fact is, every traveler feels burnout at some point.

Each traveler will probably deal with burnout in their own way, but I suspect as an introvert I’m well-equipped to handle it. Extroverts, who can tolerate and in fact enjoy lots of activity and socializing, likely stumble into foreign territory when they feel overwhelmed. We introverts have plenty of practice at feeling overwhelmed, which means we have just as much practice at overcoming it. When I feel burnt out, I typically follow these four steps.

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FREE E-Book: The Complete Guide to the Best Travel Apps

Time for some real talk. I resisted the 21st century for a long, long time. I was convinced I’d have the last flip phone in America, and I was proud of it. My super basic, didn’t-even-have-a-camera Samsung phone held on for a whole seven years after the iPhone made its first debut. But when I had to change networks, the time to join the 21st century had come. And now that I know about all the great, free travel apps on the market, I could never go back.

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How I Fit Over 250 Outfits in a Carry-On

Yes, that’s over 250 outfit options from fewer than 20 pieces. On my flight out to Iceland, my seatmate couldn’t believe the carry-on backpack I slid into our overhead bin was my only piece of luggage. And I have to admit, breezing straight past the baggage claim crowd at Keflavik as all those red-eye flights poured in felt really good.

I’ve spent months upon months finely tuning my packing list to balance traveling carry-on only, covering multiple seasons, and staying at least semi-fashionable part of the time. You can decide for yourself whether that’s an art or a science – I’m just happy to lead by example.

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Flying Alone for the First Time

I like to joke about being a weird enough person that I actually enjoy the more mundane aspects of travel: packing, going to the airport, flying alone for long periods of time… all those tiny pieces of the logistical puzzle that everybody else can’t seem to hate enough. To me it’s all part of the bigger travel picture and that’s enough to make it wonderful in my eyes. As Robert Louis Stevenson says in my favorite travel quote of all time, “The great affair is to move.”

But I all too often forget that the excitement and wonder of travel don’t hit others, especially first-time tourists, until they’re at that perfect postcard view that first inspired them to leave behind the comforts of home. The giddy anticipation of being somewhere new is too clouded by the uncertainty and discomfort of the less fun bits.

And even more often, I forget how lucky I am to have had the luxury of traveling young. My first several plane rides were all taken in high school and college with the safety net of accompanying family and friends, so by the time I started traveling more independently, I knew what I was doing. So having a young friend ask questions about her first time flying alone was just the kick in the pants I needed.

For anyone else embarking on their first solo flight, this is the advice I had for her:

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