Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Planning the Trip is Part of the Adventure!

I don't have enough money to be on the road as much as I'd like. I'm happy if I can put together the money for one three-week trip to foreign country a year. But I have figured out a way to enjoy that trip for up to a year before I even leave home.

Travel Guides

The first thing I do is to buy a Lonely Planet for my next destination, usually a whole year ahead of time. Of course, there are other perfectly fine travel guides out there, but I've found that Lonely Planet works best with my style of travel. I'm not a backpacker, exactly, but I like to travel light and inexpensively.

I sit down with my travel guide and read about the history, economy, and culture of my destination. I want to learn a bit about the different areas of the country and what they offer to a traveler that is different from what I have seen somewhere else. I want to know about the people and their culture.

Language Study

If I don't speak the language of my destination, I begin to study it. Even if many of the people can speak English, I've learned that I am accepted much more readily if I can show them that I've at least made an attempt to learn the native language. Plus, I will understand what is going on around me so much better.

Now, I know that I'll never be very proficient in a year of casual study, but I'll at least learn the numbers and polite phrases. Understanding how a sentence is constructed in that language can help a lot. And a few common verbs.
I don't have enough money to be on the road as much as I'd like. I'm happy if I can put together the money for one three-week trip to foreign country a year. But I have figured out a way to enjoy that trip for up to a year before I even leave home.


Find novels that take place in your country. Do a Google search to find out what's available. Listen to music, either contemporary or traditional, from your destination.

Decide Where to Stay

There are many web sites that specialize in arranging reservations. The one I like best is Venere.com. I have had very good luck with this company. Every listing that I have seen has been exactly as advertised. But there are other options that are becoming more popular all the time, such as Airbnb which can set you up in a room in some one's house, or even in a whole house. Or what about a home exchange?

What if You Can't Afford to Travel?

I know, the economy stinks right now. No one can afford to go anywhere. Consider using some of these ideas above to plan a virtual vacation. Even if you can't really go, you can have a lot of fun if you follow these ideas. And you won't even have to pay for the plane tickets or hotel rooms.

Happy traveling!


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