Been There, Botched That: Travel Experts Share Advice With Their “Younger Selves”

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Ever wish you could go back in time and tell your younger self a thing or two about traveling? Our seasoned wanderers sure do! Buckle up and get ready for a road trip down memory lane as they share the travel wisdom they wish they’d known sooner. Let their stories guide your next adventure!

Traveling on Your Own Terms: It’s Okay to Wait

By Margarita Ibbott | DownshiftingPRO

If there’s a piece of advice I could share with my younger self or any new traveler, it would be this: it’s okay to wait.

When I was 17, I traveled all over Europe. In hindsight, I was too young to fully appreciate it. As I grew older, my priorities shifted towards building a family, and my personal travels were put on the back burner.

Once my children reached high school and university, I began to explore the world more. Sometimes, my children would accompany me, sharing in the joy and discovery of new places. Meanwhile, my husband was content to stay at home, joining me on the occasional couples’ trip.

Now, in my 50s, I revel in the independence I have to travel wherever I want without worrying about my children, who are now capable of taking care of themselves.

These choices were my own, and they may not suit everyone. But they’ve worked perfectly for my family. So, remember, it’s okay to wait. There’s no prescribed time or age to start traveling. It’s a personal journey that should align with your life and your terms. And trust me, the world will wait for you.

Exploring Beyond the Famous: Uncovering Hidden Gems

Dymphe | Dym Abroad

The best advice that I would give my younger self about traveling is to not only explore the most famous sights and cities but also to check out hidden gems, lesser-known sights, and smaller villages and cities. In the past, when I was going on a trip, I usually visited the most famous cities of a country, such as the capital city, but there are many other cities and villages that can be great to explore in a country that I wasn’t aware of. These cities and villages are often less touristic and offer a very authentic experience.

Besides that, when I traveled to a famous city in the past I usually looked up the most famous sights in the city. I then only visited those places. Now I also try to find hidden gems and lesser-known sights in a city, such as small local museums. This gives me a much more comprehensive experience of a city, and there’s often so much more to do in a city than I initially realized, which makes my trips much more interesting.

Overcoming Fears and Embracing Change: A Travel Transformation

Alexandra Booze | East Coast Contessa

Prior to 2016, if someone told me that I would travel to more than 50 countries, build a business from those travels, and quit my salaried job to do it all, I would have laughed. See, the first 28 years of my life I experienced intense anxiety surrounding airplanes. The thought of soaring in a ‘flying coffin’ didn’t sit well with my non-adventurous soul, so I avoided it altogether.

One day, this changed when I forced myself to board a flight from New York to Rome, Italy. After a panic attack and a few glasses of wine, I woke up in a new country — and with a new outlook on life.

An obsession was born. Dozens of adventures later (and no longer afraid of flying), I quit my decade-long job in politics and moved abroad to pursue travel writing. I didn’t want to waste my life worrying about the ‘what if’s’ anymore.

The best travel advice I would give to my younger self is that it’s never too late to take risks, face fears, and find new things to love about life. In my case, it was travel. Things could turn out better than imagined, lead to a new career path, or, even better, self-understanding and appreciation.

Maximizing Your Adventure: Making Every Moment Count

Alec Sills-Trausch | Adventure Photographer & Writer

As I’ve grown older (now 30), you begin to realize how quickly time moves and the moments are fleeting. However, each moment is precious, and you shouldn’t take for granted the time outside. This might sound sappy, but as a 2x cancer survivor, your life can change on a dime and be thrown into chaos. If you can do something new or explore someplace grand, do it. You never know when that opportunity will be taken away!

Here are my three biggest tips for maximizing your adventure and travel:

Take Photos: As a photographer, of course, I suggest this. But there’s more to it. These are living memories that you can look back on and allow yourself the chance to go into those photos and remember what it was like. Photos also provide the opportunity to make scrapbooks that can be passed down through generations. Never diminish how valuable photos will be later in life.

Be Present: No one on their deathbed will wish they posted more on social media or read up on a new article. When traveling – alone or with others – make sure to be present. Soaking in these special moments will fill you with more joy than anything social media can do.

Try unique local things: I try to do as many things I can’t do at home on my trips. Take Iceland, for example. I snorkeled between tectonic plates and kayaked amongst icebergs. Those are two things that I can’t put a price tag on because I may never do it again. While cost is always a pain point, prioritize what you truly love and go for it! You surely won’t look back.

Securing Your Digital Footprint While Traveling: The Value of a VPN

Pafoua | Her Wanderful World

One of the best travel tips I would tell my younger self is to use a Virtual Private Network, otherwise known as a VPN. When I traveled throughout China, I wasn’t able to access many of the websites I was used to such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, and What’s App.

Besides uploading my stunning travel photos, I needed these mobile apps to let my family know where I was and that I was safe in a new country. While I was traveling (and living) in China, I also needed to keep my personal information and online data safe, especially since the government would be monitoring my internet activity.

I’m so glad I signed up for ExpressVPN, which is one of the best VPNs for geo-restricted places like China. I felt so much more comfortable knowing that my data was private and secure.

Using a VPN really helped me access more of the online content I was used to having in my home country and it allowed me to stay connected with family and friends without worrying about having my identity stolen or personal information leaked. When you travel abroad, get a VPN on your phone and computer for protection.

Expert Travel Advice – Do Research & Make Plans

Ashlea J. Russell | She Roams About

When I was 18 years old, I decided it was time to see the world, and like many confident teenagers, I thought I’d just wing it. I bought a backpack and a one-way flight to Europe, and that’s about as far as the planning went. Fifteen years later, when I look back on that first trip, I’m proud of myself for being fearless and navigating strange places before the advent of the smartphone. But if I had it to do over, I’d do it differently.

Travel is a freeing experience, and exploring new places is what all travel lovers look forward to, but what I didn’t know then is that I was missing all the best stuff! I missed out on so many amazing experiences simply because I didn’t take the time to research what I should be doing and seeing in each location.

What I know now is that research is your friend and can make a big difference in how you experience somewhere new. Having an idea of how to get around, which neighborhoods to explore, and what there is to see and do that interests you, means you’re using your time cleverly. It’s still exploration and following wanderlust, it’s just doing it in a better way.

Embracing the Imperfections of Travel: Learning to Adapt

Melissa | My Beautiful Passport

Something I wish I knew when I first started traveling was that things aren’t gonna go perfectly, and that’s totally okay. To breathe and adapt to the situation. I thought if I planned everything carefully, nothing would mess up, and I was wrong.

I’ve missed flights and had other flights canceled, been scammed out of money, forgotten luggage containing all my trip souvenirs on a train, planned my itinerary jam-packed while not being able to finish it, and more. It got me really down at first.

Almost every trip teaches me a lesson and betters me as a person and a traveler. I’ve learned to plan fewer activities to allow for more time at each place, never separate luggage when traveling, buy good travel insurance, and make the most out of every hiccup.

When I started to adapt, I’ve overcome the rough patches and know how to move on quickly to make sure I still enjoy my trip and my love of travel is stronger.

Experiencing Authentic Travel on a Budget: The Workaway Way

Hailey | The Restless Adventurer

Quickly into starting my journey with travel, I realized my main two priorities were cultural exchange and stretching my budget out for as long as possible. After traveling for years attempting to balance these priorities, I finally discovered Workaway.

Workaway is a platform that connects budget travelers with local hosts who need help in some way. Essentially a work exchange, the typical host will be looking for about 25 hours of volunteering per week in exchange for accommodation, food, and in some cases, even pay. Your tasks can range from babysitting, household chores, and taking care of farm animals, to working front desk at a hostel, construction, and so much more. With how little you have to work, Workawayers get lots of free time to explore and travel around the place you are staying. A huge part of the experience with Workaway centers around cultural exchange, so hosts are often eager to immerse you in their local life or help you experience the best of what their home has to offer.

There are Workaways on almost every continent, so you can go pretty much anywhere! To this day, I have been able to work outside all day soaking up the sun at an eco-resort in Croatia, hike some of the most beautiful spots in Norway while volunteering there at the hostel, and experience the local life and Northern lights while helping an older woman in the high arctic. Workaway has proven to be an amazing way to have authentic travel experiences for less!

Seize Travel Opportunities When Young: Before Adult Responsibilities Set In

Jessica | Uprooted Traveler

If I could take a time machine back and tell my former self one thing about travel, it would be to take opportunities when you’re young, like study abroad, Peace Corps, or other similar experiences, before adult responsibilities, like corporate jobs, mortgages, pets, and children, come into the picture.

I was so focused on starting my career and finding a romantic partner that I didn’t follow my dream of backpacking Asia for a year after college or volunteering for the Peace Corps somewhere in Africa. As an avid traveler, now in my 30s, I’ve gotten to experience some of the same things that I once dreamed of when I was freshly out of school, like seeing the Taj Mahal or cruising through Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, but I always have to do so at breakneck speed, because there are responsibilities waiting for me back at home.

So save up from your summer jobs to take a gap year or research different programs, like AmeriCorps or Peace Corps, where you’ll be able to get to see the world, with a lot more freedom. You have your whole life to have a career, find a spouse, or buy a house!

Trusting Strangers: An Unforgettable Experience in Hydra, Greece

Chelsea | Adventures of Chels

Something I wish I had known when I first started traveling is to not be afraid of putting a little trust in strangers.

It’s not uncommon for tourists to fall victim to various scams while in a place they’re not familiar with. For the longest time, I kept this in the back of my mind when I traveled. Which meant I tended to sometimes be a little weary of a person’s intentions rather than giving them some benefit of the doubt. This changed after an experience I had with a kind stranger in Hydra, Greece.

While wandering aimlessly (and a little lost) looking for my hotel, a man asked multiple times if he could help me find my way. Assuming he’d expect an absurdly large tip after he gave me directions, I kindly said, ‘No, thank you’ and continued on my way in search of my hotel. When I finally reached my limit of walking around lost in the heat, I said, ‘Yes’ the next time the man offered to assist. I told him which hotel I was looking for and he said, ‘That’s my hotel!’ He was the owner. He walked me to the hotel, checked me in, and I enjoyed the most wonderful stay.

There may be some ‘bad apples’ in the world, but it’s important to remember that there are so many good ones, too.

Leveraging Credit Card Points for Travel: An Essential Tip for Beginners

Alisha | Travel Today Work Tomorrow

If I could go back in time, the number one travel advice I would give myself would be how to travel on credit card points and miles. However, as a travel novice, I was unaware of these tips and tricks.

Over many years of traveling, my key advice is to be purposeful and have a game plan with your credit card.

For example, Southwest has an excellent points program. I knew that we had an upcoming trip to Hawaii and a couple of other domestic locations, so I deliberately put most of my spending on my Southwest credit card. By having a game plan, I earned enough for a companion pass, and now a year later, I am still reaping the benefits and just booked our second trip to Hawaii entirely on points.

If international travel is your goal, like Florence, Italy, be sure to check what airlines, transfer programs, or partnerships a credit card offers with your destination in mind, like Chase Sapphire Reserve, and many will offer generous bonus sign-on offers.

If I would have known how to do this sooner, I think I could have traveled more, enjoyed more perks with airlines and in hotels, and saved a lot of money!

The Power of Local Interaction: Insider Tips and Authentic Experiences

By Mal | Raw Mal Roams

When it comes to traveling, there’s nothing quite like talking to the locals to learn more about the destination you’re visiting.

While visiting touristy attractions is great, they will only show you a small part of the city you’re visiting. By chatting with locals, you’ll not only get a feel for the local culture but also may get some invaluable insider tips on where to eat and more authentic places to visit.

Whenever we visit a new city, we always go on a free walking tour with a local guide. It’s a great way to get your bearings, ask questions and get tips. These tours are available in most cities, and we particularly enjoyed them during our Mexico trip, in Merida, Valladolid, and Oaxaca.

Other ways to connect with the locals include eating in restaurants and staying in neighborhoods that are less touristy and more favored by the locals.

Plus, if you speak the local language or at least make an effort to learn a few words, you’ll find it much easier to connect and communicate with the people you meet along the way.

Making the Most of Work Abroad Visas: Don’t Wait, Explore Now!

By Claire Sturzaker | Tales of a Backpacker

The biggest piece of advice I would give my younger self is to make the most of working holiday visas around the world. When I was 19 (after my first year of university), I applied for a J1 visa to spend the summer working in the United States, and I loved it!

But in the years that followed, ‘real life’ caught up with me and I spent several years working in England at a normal job. I settled down, and put my dreams of travel on hold. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I finally plucked up the courage to move abroad again.

Now I’m 40 and am traveling the world as a digital nomad. I’m too old to apply for working holiday visas, and I’m so jealous of all the twenty-somethings in Australia and New Zealand who are able to spend a year out here!

There is always time to settle down later, but the limit on most visas like this is 30 (or 35 in some cases), so don’t wait to travel – do it while you’re young and take advantage of these incredible opportunities all over the world!

Make a Plan and Just Do It: An Adventure in Spontaneity

By Zoe Schafer | Zoe Goes Places

One key lesson I’ve learned from years of traveling – and that applies no matter how near or far your trip – is that if I want to do something, I have to make a plan to do it.

Someone could spend years dreaming of taking a hot air balloon ride, for example. But why haven’t they done it yet? Because they never planned it.

And it’s not just bucket list items and long-desired travel activities. This same principle applies to newly discovered experiences.

Last year I was in a small city in Colombia when I found out that it’s one of the best places in the world to go paragliding. Now, paragliding had never been on my radar, let alone a bucket list. But I was intrigued – and interested.

I spent a couple of days talking myself into it and out of it. Before I finally realized that if I wanted to do it – which I did – then just do it! Get it booked, set the date, and enjoy it.

So I did. And it was one the best experiences of my life! And you should do the same.

Appreciate Local Travel: Discover the Treasures in Your Own Backyard

By Tamar | World by Weekend

There’s a fallacy amongst travelers that ‘real travel’ involves jetting off to far-flung corners of the world. People are always searching for the next big destination or off-the-beaten-path hidden gems, all the while neglecting the sights that can be found in their own backyards.

If I could give my younger self one piece of travel advice, it would be this: Spend the time to explore and get to know your local area. Local travel is less time-consuming, more affordable, and equally rewarding. Getting out and exploring where you live will also give you a better appreciation for your hometown.

Travel can take all forms, and I, as much as the next person, love to visit new countries and experience different cultures. There is no singular way to travel, and no one way is better than the other. I firmly believe that, given the ease and accessibility of local travel, staying close to home allows you to travel more and broaden your interests. You may be surprised at what hidden wonders await you just down the road.

Don’t Wait for Someone to Join Your Trip: The Benefits of Solo Travel

By Vicky | Vicky Viaja

From a young age, I was drawn to see more of the world. But it seemed like no one close to me really shared the same passion. So, for years, I would only go on little trips with my friends and family, sometimes not even leaving the country. I had so many adventures planned but no one to join them. And so, I waited… and waited until I didn’t want to wait anymore. And I just booked a flight to China; it turned out the best decision I’ve ever made.

Being by yourself in an unknown place will undoubtedly challenge you. But it will also make you grow and discover skills you never knew you had.

Besides, traveling solo doesn’t mean you will actually be alone all the time at your destination. If you choose to stay in a popular place for travelers like Chiang Mai in Thailand or visit Medellín in Colombia, make sure to stay in a hostel, and you will make friends and meet people to discover places with in no time. So, don’t wait any longer – book that solo trip!

Live in the Moment: Make the Most of Your Travels Now

By Victoria | Bridges and Balloons

When visiting somewhere you love, don’t presume you’re going to be there again one day. Life has a way of surprising you: other things might come up, and priorities may change, so make the most of your time right now.

Of course, you’ll never be able to do everything at each destination, but make sure to hit your priorities and appreciate every moment. I lived in Berlin for six months and was so sure I’d return soon that I left my bike with some friends there. Seven years later, I still haven’t managed to go back!

Embrace the Uncomfortable: Learn, Grow, and Triumph Through Travel

By Janice Moskoff | Gather And Go Travel

A wise teacher once told me, “If you are not uncomfortable, you are not learning.” Since I first heard this, it has resonated because it is true. So, I do things that feel uncomfortable to become wiser, more experienced, and more well-rounded. And over many years and trips, I applied this sentiment to travel.

Even recently, I made a decision, despite fears, to join my family on a caving adventure in Belize. I have always convinced myself I do not love caves—for their small lightless spaces with one exit, strange smells, and crawling insects. However, it turned out that I loved the experience, for the fun of scrambling through water-filled cave caverns, for learning firsthand about ancient Mayan ruins, and for the joy of experiencing it all with the people I love most.

So, I would tell my younger self, or any other traveler, when the opportunity presents itself while traveling, embrace the butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling whenever you attempt activities outside your comfort zone, meet new people, and navigate unfamiliar destinations—and do the thing. You will never regret it.

Not only will you learn and grow from the experience, but you will feel even more alive for the sense of triumph you gain from challenging yourself and succeeding.

Explore New Cities Through Food Tours: An Essential Travel Tip

By Lisa | Waves and Cobblestones

One piece of advice that I would give to my younger self would be to take a food tour when exploring a new city. Food tours are a great way to sample many local favorite dishes, and you usually get to see some of the city’s top attractions along the way. Plus, at the end of your tour you often walk away with a list of restaurant recommendations and tips so that you can enjoy great meals for the rest of your trip!

Our first big international trip was to Italy, and we had two days in Rome before our group tour of Italy began. We ended up eating at convenient restaurants close to busy main attractions, and were underwhelmed by the food. Looking back, I now know those restaurants were aimed squarely at tourists – and were higher in price and likely lower in quality.

If we had taken a food tour in Rome on our first day, we would have savored a wide variety of tasty treats. We would also have learned much more about the city’s rich culinary history and experienced more authentic cuisine throughout our stay in the Eternal City!

Prioritizing Financial Goals for Travel: A Lesson in Money Management

By Alanna Koritzke | Periodic Adventures

Saving your money for traveling can be a daunting task, but don’t let the naysayers drag you down.

When I was in college, I was determined to figure out the whole adulting thing. For me, that meant learning how to save up for a once-in-a-lifetime trip – a road trip through New Zealand. Now, it wasn’t easy, but the biggest lesson was that I learned that I couldn’t let others with different financial priorities stop me!

As a college student, and young adult in general, there’s a lot of pressure to go out with friends. But if that lifestyle doesn’t align with your financial priorities, it can be tough to say no. Turns out, real friends don’t make you feel bad about having different priorities or being in a different financial position.

And guess what? After saving for 3 years, I took that spectacular road trip in New Zealand, which I completely funded by myself. Years later, I’m still friends with those who understood my financial priorities. No hard feelings.

So, stick to your financial goals. It’s possible to carve your own financial strategy so you can travel, even if it feels like you’re going against the grain. Your future self will thank you for it!

Trust Your Gut and Embrace the Unknown: A Journey From Corporate to Couchsurfing

By Caroline Muller | Veggie Wayfarer

Always follow your gut and refrain from telling your mum about the mischief you get up to, at least until you’re home safe and sound. In my thirties, after a challenging divorce, I took a leap of faith. I left my secure corporate job and embarked on a solo hitchhiking adventure across Patagonia, couchsurfing across South America, and embracing every opportunity that came my way.

This trip was transformative; it taught me more about myself than any other experience could. I learned to trust in the inherent goodness of people and traveled to places far off the beaten path. This gave me a unique opportunity to truly connect with local cultures. I moved at my own pace, unconcerned about others’ itineraries, and experienced a glorious four months.

Upon returning home, I turned to writing and photography to help others explore lesser-known places and encourage them to take the leap to travel solo.

This mindset led me to say “yes” to an impromptu two-month road trip through Italy with a man I had just met. Fast forward, and this stranger and I now live together for six months each year in Sicily, where I continue my writing and photography.

Embrace Your Unique Travel Interests: A Lesson Learned

By Megan Jones | Traveller’s Elixir

One thing I wish I’d done sooner is only doing the things that interest me and not what everyone else does. Certain locations are well known for certain things and many of us travelers feel like we have to do those things just because the place is famous for it.

For example, Bali is known for surfing but what if I hate surfing? I always used to force myself to do these ‘bucket list’ activities which is why I ended up with a scar on my knee after I fell off my surfboard in Bali.

Since then, I’ve tried to take a casual approach and focus on doing things I actually want to do. I recently visited Porto and knew that one of its famous foods was the Francesinha which is basically bread & ham covered in cheese with a tomato and beer sauce. I saw tourists eating it all over the city but I thought it sounded pretty disgusting (and I hate ham). I wasn’t excited to try it so I just didn’t and it felt so freeing!

There were so many other amazing things to do in Porto that were lesser known but right up my street. Thanks for including my submission, I can’t wait to read the whole thing.

The Balance of Budget and Luxury

By Cristina | Honest Travel Stories

When I started traveling six years ago, I was just above the poverty line in my country, and this put me just below it in terms of money available to travel. Because you might be rather comfortable where you are, but when you try to cross the border, you’ll realize how poor you are. Spending one month’s salary on a 3-day trip will make you aware of what kind of money you need.

This also made me very budget conscious, so I started to look for budget alternatives to everything. Budget flights, budget accommodation options, mostly doing free things in the visited areas. Even when I could afford more, I was still focused on budget items, as this is all I knew. I couldn’t afford the luxury, right? And even if I could, why would I pay for it?

Well, because sometimes it’s worth it! Doing everything on a shoestring budget will make you miss out on so many things. I mean, you can go to The Maldives and stay on a local island for $20 a night, but have you really seen it? You can also stay at the highest-end hotel in their most exclusive room, but, again, have you really seen it?

So what should I have done? Enjoy the best of both worlds! Stay on both islands in the Maldives (which is what I actually did, and it was amazing!). Buy both cheap and expensive travel gear. Do both the free and the exclusive activities in Japan. Because you know what? If you won’t enjoy it, why are you even going there in the first place?

Challenging the Unknown in Wheelchair-Accessible Travel

By Kristin Secor | World on Wheels Blog

One thing I wish I’d known when I first started traveling is to not be afraid to challenge yourself. Life is best lived when you push yourself out of your comfort zone.

While any type of travel will bring certain obstacles, wheelchair-accessible travel has its own set of challenges. Trying to find accessible places to stay, transportation, and bathrooms are some of the biggest hurdles to overcome. The fear of the unknown when it comes to accessibility can make some not want to travel at all.

However, when you take a risk and travel to places where there may not be a lot of information on accessibility, it forces you to grow. I have learned to be much more confident in myself and my ability to problem-solve a situation due to the obstacles I have had to overcome. While it doesn’t always work out perfectly, I survived and along the way, got to experience some pretty amazing places.

For example, on a recent trip to Antarctica, I had to overcome multiple challenges as some of the accessibility information I was given prior to my trip was incorrect. There was lost luggage, the inability to get off the ship in places I was told I could, and more.

However, I was able to problem-solve each situation and make it to the White Continent. And oh, was it worth it! To see penguins, Humpback Whales, and Orca in their natural environment amongst giant icebergs was truly memorable. I can’t imagine having missed the experience because I let fear of the unknown hold me back.

Live Large, Spend Small: Embracing Budget Travel

By Siobhan-Patrina | Pink Skies and Paradise

Traveling has always been at the forefront of everything I do, want to do, and have done. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel far and wide, but of course, there are many things I would have done differently. If I could start all over, I would have spent the smallest to live the largest! This would have included minimising my budget while maximizing my experiences. I would have fallen short on luxury accommodations to vacate in luxurious destinations. I would have settled for budget villas over hotels, and self-catering apartments, over penthouses.

I would have been brave enough to book extra long stopovers, where I could have cheekily explored another country while saving a fraction of my flight costs.

I would have taken advantage of internships abroad, work programs, and even voluntary work while I had no strings attached.

I would have cut back on expensive watersport activities- Instead, I would have hiked the highest mountains, explored African safaris, and participated in early morning prayers while submerged in the ocean.

There’s something so pleasing, spiritually rich, and exciting about connecting with nature; best of all, it’s FREE! You’ll always find budget-traveling in the most beautiful places.

Managing Expectations: It’s Okay to Not Love Every Place You Go

By Fiona | Travelling Thirties

When you tell people you are going to Europe, you’re often advised to visit classic destinations like Paris, London, Rome or to venture off the beaten path and explore Romania, Slovenia, or Slovakia. The underlying assumption is always that you’re going to love these places.

But what no one tells you is that it’s okay not to love every place you go. And more importantly, you won’t love everywhere you go.

Take Ljubljana, for instance. We were told how much we would love it. It’s beautiful, full of sights to see, and amazing food. The river running through the city is gorgeous, and it’s such a lively place. We were so excited to visit.

However, when we arrived, our experience was far from the glowing recommendations. We were hassled by taxi drivers in the dark, our hotel had more rules than a classroom, and the city was cold and dark.

We had built the city up based on recommendations from loved ones, bloggers, and podcasts. But when we got there, it was nothing like we thought. We felt so uneasy and couldn’t wait to leave.

When I first began traveling, this would have really upset me and made me question myself and my travel style. But everyone likes different things and has different experiences based on the people you meet, the time of year, your accommodations – and that’s okay. You don’t have to like, and you certainly won’t like, everywhere you go.

But remember, there’s always an opportunity to go back and give it a second chance!

The Joy of Travel Over the Business of Travel

By Christopher Harvey | RVing Baja

When my wife and I embarked on our full-time RV traveling adventure in 2018, there’s one crucial lesson we wish we’d known: it’s far too easy to let the business of travel overshadow the joy of travel and the reasons why you started traveling in the first place.

Looking back on the miles we’ve covered and the incredible places we’ve visited, we realize there were many instances where we didn’t fully savor our experiences at one destination or another. Why? We were preoccupied with ensuring the campsite looked picture-perfect for photos or videos or whether the weather would cooperate for that perfect sunrise or sunset drone shot.

What we should have understood from the start is that there’s always time to take a photo, shoot a video, or write a blog post about the places we’ve visited. Yes, in this era of content creators capturing every moment, it’s easy to feel pressured to do the same.

However, there’s a profound joy in truly experiencing a place without feeling the need to document every moment. Often, it’s during these fully immersive moments that you see more clearly and find a better, more authentic way to share the experience than if you had approached it with documentation as your primary goal.

Take the Trip: A Leap of Faith to Iceland

By Rachel Childress | Our Vacationing Life

If I could offer one piece of advice to my younger, lesser-traveled self, it would unquestionably be this: just take the trip! If there’s somewhere you yearn to go, go there, even if it scares you.

I was petrified of going to Iceland. I have always disliked the cold, and never in a million years did I see myself in such a frosty climate. But my husband yearned to experience the Blue Lagoon and witness the Northern Lights in person. How could I refuse?

So, we set off for Iceland, and I must say, it was the most exhilarating experience of my life! We engaged in so many incredible activities I never imagined I would, such as hiking a glacier on the south coast and witnessing the most awe-inspiring waterfalls imaginable.

Had I heeded my fear, instead of taking that leap of faith and embarking on the journey, I would never have had the chance to relish in all the wondrous experiences Iceland has to offer. So, my message is clear—take the trip!

That’s a Wrap

In the world of travel, hindsight is always 20/20. These seasoned wanderers didn’t shy away from sharing their past missteps and the lessons they learned. Whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or just starting your journey, these honest reflections can serve as a roadmap, helping you avoid the same pitfalls. So, pack your bags, learn from their advice, and set off on your own adventure with a little more wisdom tucked in your back pocket.

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Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.