Published on May 26th, 2014 | by Geckos Tales Team
So, you want to travel?
Read time: a bit over 5 minutes
Picture the scene: you’ve finished school/college/university/work for good and you’re free to do what you want and go where you want. It’s an enviable position to be in. The world is at your feet and it’s up to you to decide what to do with it.
The trouble is, with so many places to go and so many places to go, it can be a challenge to know where to start. You may feel a little like a mosquito on a nudist beach, if you catch our metaphorical drift. We’ve been there. Everyone who’s ever travelled has been there. So to help you make the most of your first foray into the big wide world, we put together this six-point plan.
Grab a pen and paper…we’re going in.
1. What are you into?
Do you have a passion for music, history, food, dancing or wildlife? There are between 189-196 countries in the world (depending on who you ask), and they all offer travellers entirely different things. Those interested in food and drink, for example, would do well from spending a couple of months in Europe – home to perhaps the widest variety of different cuisines in the world.
You could be tucking into paella on a Spanish beach one day, wiping Italian gelato off your face the next, and trying not to spill Russian stew down your new white t-shirt the following.
If you’re into music (in a contemporary sense), then spending time in North America will allow you to visit plenty of sites of musical heritage – from the blues and jazz bars of the deep south, to the legendary punk and grunge clubs of New York. You get the drift – think about which of your passions you’d love to explore more of, and jot down a few countries in which you think you’d be able to do just that.
2. What do your travelled family and friends say?
Chances are, you have quite a lot in common with your mates. And if they’ve been to a certain country and had a helluva good time, it’s likely you will too. They’ll be able to give you good insights about places they loved, places they hated and should have a raft of pointers that they just can’t wait to share with you (remember, travellers love talking about travel!)
Of course, you’re not going to have entirely the same tastes as your family and friends, so if your dad urges you to visit the stamp museum that boasts “the most incredible collection of stamps circa 1930” he’d ever seen, we trust you can decide for yourself whether or not that’s somewhere you wanna visit.
Again, write down a few of the countries that pique your interest.
3. How long have you got?
How much time you spend in a destination can make or break your experience of it. If you’ve got your heart set on taking in as much of South East Asia as you can, but only have a couple of weeks to spare, we recommend getting more specific with your itinerary.
Perhaps decide to just visit one or two countries instead – you’ll have a much richer experience and feel more immersed in the places you’re visiting if you know you’ve got plenty of time there. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to leave a destination before you’ve really got to know it.
At the risk of blowing our own trumpet, if you do only have a limited time and what to get in as much as possible, our trips are tailored to facilitate just that. We know all the best bits of our destinations and we build our trips specifically to share those best bits with you in a timeframe that suits.
You’ll also have a local leader to hand, and they’ll be able to give you more knowledge and insight than any travel guide could. Download (or order) a brochure and peruse the pages for inspiration – you never know what might take your fancy.
And then there’s our private groups, where you can get a group of mates together, let us know where you want to go, when you want to go, and for how long you want to go, and we’ll build an itinerary just for you. You’ll save time and money, and have the added bonus of having a local leader as your secret weapon. Yeah. We totally just blew our own trumpet.
4. How much money have you got?
It’s kind of a brazen question, but certainly a necessary one for any would-be traveller to answer. Similar to the above, there’s no point heading to South America for several months if you’ve only got enough cash for a couple of weeks. You’d be better off taking the same amount of money somewhere typically cheaper, like South East Asia, and spending more time there.
You can always do that epic South America trip when you’ve got a bit more money in the bank…those countries aren’t going anywhere fast. Do a bit of research and see which countries offer the best exchange rates, and compares those countries to the ones you’ve written down so far.
By the way – be sure to subscribe to our eNews so you’re the first to know about our special offers. Some of our trips average just $15 a day – which is mad cheap even by our standards.
5. What do you want to achieve?
Think about how you want to feel and what you want to have done when you return home from your trip. What do you want to say you’ve done? Do you want to be able to regale the story of the time you completed one of the world’s most epic train journeys? Then you better make plans to jump aboard the Trans-Siberian express. Do you want to be able to say you’ve tasted the world’s best tacos? Then you should probably book a trip to Mexico. Want to say you’ve seen the colossal Mount Everest with your own eyes? Nepal’s waiting for ya.
Or, perhaps you just want to relax and find some kind of inner peace or live out some of your favourite scenes from the movies. The point is, you can do whatever you want.
Write down the kind of things you want to do, and see if they match up with any of the countries you’ve noted down already.
6. Talk to the experts
Hopefully by now you’ve got some solid contenders shortlisted. You’ve done the soul-searching, worked out the maths and there’s a handful of countries screaming at you to be explored. Now’s a good time to give us a call (number on the website).
All of the Geckos customer service team are well-travelled and good-humoured and love nothing more than to shoot the breeze about all things travel related. Even if you don’t end up booking a trip through them, they’ll be able to give you proper guidance and will be able to narrow down your list of contenders even more.
And you’ll have made their day because, like we mentioned above: all travellers love talking about travel.
We hope this helps. Happy travels.
Photo courtesy of Sam Hawley
Want to travel with Geckos? Check out our full range of trips. And like this article says, feel free to give us a call at any time.