As I pack for my first adventure of 2018, I wanted to inspire you as well to think about your next adventure. I asked my peer travel enthusiast, Jack Jones, from the U.K. to write an article of four different ways that you can travel the world in 2018. Perhaps you haven’t tried all of them. I certainly haven’t, but I’d like to.
Take it away Jack!
There are lots of people out there who dream of travelling the world, experiencing other cultures, meeting new people, and enriching their lives. You’ve decided that you are one of them, and nothing is going to stop you from packing your bags and heading for the horizon. Whether you’re thinking of starting in London, Paris, central Europe, or maybe even Africa, you’re going to need to think about how you’re going to travel. Below are four different ways that you can travel the world and have all sorts of adventures. Get ready to make some memories.
By far the most popular method of becoming a globetrotter, mainly because it is so cost-effective and easy to do. It may take a bit of careful planning to figure out your route, accommodation, and budget, but you’d be surprised how cheaply you can travel around for a month or two. If you’re heading to Europe, services like Interrail make it incredibly easy to travel great distances at a very low cost. You could even utilise AirBnB or hostel accommodation in order to cut costs on your sleeping arrangements while you travel. It is advised that you thoroughly research each destination so that you are forewarned of any local customs, tourist no-go areas, or inadvisable places to eat. You will need to pack light of course, as carrying around a huge amount of clothing and toiletries will start to get pretty tiring after a while. Make do with the bare minimum amount of clothes and try to wash them at regular intervals. Even saving a few grams here and there, by doing things like cutting the handle a little shorter on your toothbrush, can add up to a big difference. You may also want to leave any valuables you have at home, and try to keep cash carried on your person spread out in different places – some in your pocket, shoe, sock, bum-bag, and inside a rucksack pocket. Especially when staying in hostels or travelling alone, it is advisable to make smart choices – don’t go anywhere with someone you hardly know, and only stay in recognized hostels and hotels. This is an incredibly fun way to travel, and you can meet a lot of lovely people who may be potential friends for life – but your own safety has to be a top priority at all times.
If you’ve ever ridden a motorbike or been on the back of one, you will be well aware of the feeling of freedom and possibility it can give you, and you wouldn’t be the first person to notice this. There is an incredibly long list of people who have famously travelled the world on two wheels. From Che Guevara’s famous Motorcycle Diaries to the more modern iterations like The Long Way Round with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. Again packing light is the order of the day. A few basic tools to fix any defects on the bike, some spare clothes, a sleeping bag, tent, and a camping stove and you’re ready to go. If you were trying to pack extra light and a tent seems to bulky, you could even give hammock camping a try. While this method of travel can be a little more taxing both mentally and physically compared to jumping on a plane or train, it can be hugely rewarding. You get the opportunity to plan your route entirely free from public transport and truly head off the beaten track. Have a read through the various memoirs of those who have done long-distance motorcycle tours, or watch some of the films and documentaries, the common theme in all accounts is that they managed to meet so many fantastic people on their journey and found the whole experience deeply enriching. Just remember: though it is advisable to pack light, do not go light on your protective gear as this is the only thing between your skin, skull, and the road should you get knocked off on your travels.
Motorhome or van
If you’re not that into sharing a hostel room with strangers or camping beneath the stars, you could choose to go touring in an RV or adapted van. There are many people who have switched to ‘van life’ as a permanent way of living, and you could follow in their footsteps to enable you to travel the world at will. You will, of course, have to stick to places that have serviceable roads, but you can save a lot of money by not having to worry about the cost of accommodation, meaning that you can travel farther for longer. Again, the aspect of washing both yourself and your clothes may be slightly more problematic, but at least you know that at the end of a long day’s travel you have a guaranteed comfortable place to sleep. This is mainly ideal for single continent exploration, however, you could quite easily drive onto a ferry or ship and attempt to travel the entire circumference of the world in your van, you definitely wouldn’t be the first.
If all this travelling on a budget and going days without a proper shower doesn’t seem like your cup of tea at all, then you may want to consider saving up a little bit longer to travel with some luxury. Good quality accommodation is fairly easy to find in the USA and western Europe, though it may eat into your budget a little bit. As you head into central and eastern Europe or Asia, things start to get a little bit cheaper and so you might find that you can stay in relative luxury for the price of a mid-level room in North America. If luxury is your thing, you may prefer to travel to do lots of shorter trips as opposed to a continuous tour of a few months. This will help to spread the cost somewhat and allow you to enjoy all that your chosen destination has to offer without being overwhelmed by the constant upheaval of travel.
There you have it, four fantastic ways to see the world. Your personal interests and budget will dictate which is the best fit for you, but even if you are used to travelling in luxury, you might be surprised how much you might enjoy some of the more budget friendly options for seeing the world. Not only do they allow you to travel for longer periods of time, but you are more likely to cut right to the heart of your chosen destination, allowing you to appreciate it in a way that a five-star hotel would never allow you to. Spend some time to consider the pros and cons of each method and maybe give each one a small test to see if the lifestyle suits you.
**Post contributed by Jack Jones, travel writer and adventurer based in the U.K.**