Heard about all the virtues of independent travel, but do not know where to start? Or have you been trying to give up the habit of traveling with ready-made package tours for a long time, but travel agencies each time lure you into their networks?
Then this stuff is exactly for you! Rather, study our advice and turn into a free artist … or rather a traveler, however, this is about the same thing!
Recommended: You Should Visit travel drafts before you travel independently.
1. Find yourself an “accomplice.”
Getting into the adventure, which is the first self-journey, is much easier and more fun in the company of like-minded people. Pick yourself a reliable and interesting companion who will not get lost in a difficult situation and will not let you get bored, sharing the joy of new experiences. The main thing is not to overdo it with the number of fellow travelers: the more people, the harder they are to organize. Ideally, it is better to take a step into a new world with experienced people, but this is by no means necessary.
2. Get familiar with your finances.
First of all, get a credit card to buy tickets and book accommodation through the Internet. To avoid unnecessary currency conversions, we advise you to issue a card. And when traveling, it is better to pay in cash, purchased in advance at a favorable rate. For maximum protection of financial Internet transactions, you can issue a special virtual card. These are often offered by conventional banks.
Also, to control and systematize your travel expenses (not only by card but also cash), we recommend keeping a travel budget. This can be either a regular notepad or spreadsheet in Excel or a special mobile application.
3. Prepare your passport
Learn about passport requirements (expiration date, number of blank pages) and the need for a visa to travel to the country where you are goingFor trips to most countries of the world, a visa can be issued independently, and it is not difficult. You only need to study the list of necessary documents carefully, and in some cases, we also recommend reading the advice of experienced travelers on the Internet.
4. Catch Cheap Flights
One of the main items of travel expenses is air tickets, so saving them is the sacred duty of every self-traveler. Here are the main rules that will help you find the most favorable air fares:
- buy tickets in advance, especially for traveling in high season (summer in Europe, winter in Asia, as well as the New Year and May holidays);
- consider flight options with a transfer, it is often cheaper than direct flights;
- Be flexible in choosing dates, often tickets for neighboring days can cost much less;
- and it is even better to be flexible in the choice of countries and, having a list of desired destinations, buy tickets to where the most profitable options will be;
- Subscribe to the newsletter websites to find flights and airlines, as well as monitor forums and travel groups on social networks to keep up to date with promotions and sales.
6. Choose the best housing option
Accommodation is another component of the journey, and besides the price, other factors are important here. Here are the most important of them:
- booking rate, which may or may not be refundable, we recommend choosing the first option in case the trip breaks down, or you find the best option;
- type of room: common room in the hostel, private room (with or without amenities) in the hotel or apartments with kitchen (convenient for traveling with children);
- services included in the price of accommodation (meals, bed linen, Internet), and mandatory surcharges (for example, tourist tax);
- Location: in the city center is convenient but expensive, or on the outskirts, when you have to spend time and money daily on the road;
- reviews of recent guests, which can be found on the website of booking hotels or on tourist portals
7. Find out everything about the destination country.
An important step in preparing for an independent trip is the preparation of a cultural (or not so) program. Here are the main things we recommend to do:
- Find out about local attractions and make an approximate route using them, but don’t be afraid to improvise on the spot;
- Look for free tours and other tourist entertainment marked “ free,” for which we advise you to use our selection of freebies in different cities;
- Study in advance the local public transport system and the names of the types of tickets in the original language;
- Read about the national cuisine and write down the names of the main dishes to try everything and at the same time be able to eat not only inexpensive tourist restaurants with a menu in English.
8. Start in advance
Independent travel must begin to prepare in advance to have time to work out all the details. Also, we recall that the advance purchase of tickets and booking accommodation often significantly save money, time and nerves.
And most importantly – enjoy the process of creating your own travel. Otherwise, nothing good will come of it!