#1 – Stop being scared of leaving home! The US is actually more dangerous than too may countries to list. When I leave the country, I don’t do anything I wouldn’t do right here at home. Pick up a copy of ‘The Gift of Fear’ by Gavin de Becker. In all of my travels, I haven’t had any incidents. Not to say that it won’t ever happen, but I inherently take precautions that greatly reduce the chances.
#2 – Research, research, research! Read current events of everywhere you plan to go, skim the US State Department website for travel warnings although do not let them scare you (i.e. recent Europe-wide warning), seek out stories from travel blogs, and learn the history. Learning about where you are going will give you a greater appreciation for everything you do and see. Trust me! It could also open you up to wanting to explore areas that you might not have known about otherwise, aka not on the ‘top list of things to do.’ I find learning about countries to be extremely addicting yet productive. The New York Times Travel section is great.
#3 – Do not use money and time as an excuse! There are many ways to travel within your budget, whatever that may be, and NOW is always the best time. You’ll never be as young, and as healthy as you are today, and life will always be busy.
#4 – Wake up early, stay out late, pack as much into each day as possible, and do as the locals do. You can sleep when you get home!
#5 – Don’t forget your Adventure Medical Kit. I have the green world/smart pack, but personally added Dramamine to it. This pack has saved my life many times. Okay, not literally, but you would be surprised what is in here. My favorite is the Moleskin and GlacierGel. Cute shoes come at a sacrifice 😉
#6 – Balance out luxury with budget. If there is a hotel that is outside of my price range, I will opt for a $25 hostel one night to balance out the cost. Not all hostels are rooms full of bunks, you can find private rooms as well.