Travel Tips from Pro Bloggers
Travel blogging is an ideal way for people to do what they love for a living and share their experiences with the world. We spoke to these amazing bloggers, who shared their stories with us and provided advice to young women fearful of travelling alone. Here are some highlights from our conversations with Rachel Jones (Hippie in Heels), Charli Moore (Wanderlusters), Christine Macguire (The Traveloguer) and Marta Kulesza (In a Faraway Land).
Which is your favourite country?
RACHEL: India. It’s a serious culture shock and a place where you have to be on your toes — but the reward travelling here far outweighs the worries.
CHARLI: My favourite country has to be the Caribbean nation of Nevis. It is unspoiled, relaxed, and easy-going. You can completely disconnect yourself from the rest of the world for the duration of your stay.
CHRISTINE: India. I loved the food, the people, the excitement and the variety the continent has to offer.
MARTA: New Zealand. I’ve become obsessed with the country, its people and the landscapes. If only it wasn’t so far away from my home country and my friends and family, I could see myself living there.
Do you get homesick?
RACHEL: I do get homesick, especially for my pets. If you have pets it’s important to have a pet sitter that loves them like you do, so you don’t have to worry about them missing you.
CHARLI: When I’m travelling solo and working on a project that keeps me rooted to my laptop it can be a challenge not to feel homesick. I’ve found that the best way to get over it is to immerse myself in the location I’m visiting. I’ll sign up for a fitness class or join a running club. The additional exercise helps no end, and I also find I suddenly have a social life, which can help me feel more at home when I’m away.
CHRISTINE: If I’m feeling homesick when I’m in the middle of a long-term trip, I like to spend a night in watching my favourite movies or television programmes, chatting with my mates online and making plans to do something exciting in the city I’m in. Remember that soon you will be back home with everyone, and everything will be the same, so try to make the most of the adventure you’re on, power through and collect those memories!
MARTA: What I miss nowadays, after leading a nomadic lifestyle for so long, is having my own home, where I can unpack and recharge my batteries before the next journey.
What travel tips do you want to share?
RACHEL: Read what you can online before you go somewhere, see what scams are common and find out a safe place to stay. Travel blogs are your friend for that! When you are prepared, you feel more confident and leave the anxiety behind.
CHARLI: Making sure that you have lifelines like travel insurance and a reserve of emergency funds, and that you have taken the time to research your destinations so you know if there are local customs to respect or parts of the region to avoid, can help to make your trip stress free.
CHRISTINE: Keep an emergency stash of money separate from your other valuables. Before you go, print out some important information, like contact details of your accommodation or flight details. Trust your gut instinct, be adventurous but be safe.
MARTA: Don’t think that you need tons of money to go travelling. What you need is to be brave and resourceful and have a little bit of savings to start with.
What has been your worst travel experience?
RACHEL: I travelled with Dengue Fever for a month. Travelling sick is hard and if you feel that bad, I suggest just stopping for a while instead of wearing yourself down like I did.
CHARLI: Sadly, I think my worst travel experience was when I was visiting Hawaii and I found out that my grandfather had passed away very suddenly. No amount of trip planning can prepare you for something like that.
CHRISTINE: There was the time we almost capsized during a storm in Indonesia, the time our bus drove off and left us in the middle of the Cambodian countryside at night, not to mention a few horrendous bouts of dodgy stomach I’ll never forget!
MARTA: I was photographing a scene above the Mistaya Canyon in a remote area, when I slipped and fell in. I was instantly carried by the river, down several cascades deep into the canyon. I spent almost three hours in freezing conditions before I was pulled out by the search and rescue team. Thanks to the quick reaction of my fiancé, who was with me at the time and who ran to get help, I am alive today.
What inspires you?
RACHEL: Music is a huge inspiration, especially for India, since The Beatles wrote an album here. I love to read travel memoirs and see how travel affected someone’s life looking back.
CHARLI: For me, an image says so much more than any amount of words. It’s probably for that reason that I find most of my travel inspiration on social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest!
CHRISTINE: Books inspire me so much, give me a thick book about someone living in a different country and I’m sold! All the brilliant travel bloggers out there inspire me daily.
MARTA: Other young people who are not afraid to take life into their own hands and chase their dreams.
What advice do you have for first time travellers?
RACHEL: When you’re young, you’re so much more flexible with changes, like flight delays or getting lost. You are okay with having a smaller budget and staying in a “crappy” place. At 20, you can stay in cheap hostels and eat street gyros every day happily. At 30, you’d be surprised how much can change!
CHARLI: Research a destination you want to visit, book your flight, and then spend the time you have until you board the flight planning your stay. Once you take that first step you’ll never look back.
CHRISTINE: If you are nervous, start small. Take a solo trip somewhere in your own country, or visit a place that feels familiar. The most important thing to remember is that this is an adventure.
MARTA: If you are afraid you are going to be all alone, you might find it is quite the contrary; you should be afraid that you will never find solitude within hostel walls! Meeting other people is part of the experience though, so embrace it!