The Ultimate Reading List for Newbie Travelers 0 1473

Before you go traveling for the first time, you’re going to get a lot of crap advice from people who don’t know what they are talking about.

They mean well, of course, but they have never been traveling themselves so they aren’t imparting wisdom – just vague warnings based on what they have heard. These are the people who will tell you that it is more dangerous than it is, or that you are damaging your future career prospects, or that travel is unaffordable and unsustainable, or that you should stay only in five-star resorts and wear your backpack on your front.

However, when you start reading and listening to the messages from people who have actual travel experience, you’ll hear a different story. You’ll learn that the world is not as dangerous and scary as people think, that travel can be much more affordable than you know and that it’s possible to have truly amazing experiences if you are willing to go outside your comfort zone.

So, before you travel I highly recommend reading and listening to the messages from people who have actually been on the road and know travel first hand. They will be able to give you realistic advice so that you begin your first journey with the right expectations.

Fortunately, there are a TON of great travel resources available out there, developed by actual travelers who have real-world experience navigating the globe. These are the blogs, books, podcasts, etc. that I would recommend you read and listen to if you are preparing to go traveling for the first time.

Blogs

Legal Nomads

Jodi is one of my favorite travel writers on the internet. She shares the perfect balance of personal narrative and practical advice. Even though she publishes huge, long, in-depth posts, they are so well written that you can read through a 10,000-word post without even noticing.

Every newbie traveler should read her incredibly comprehensive page of Travel Resources where she shares a ton of helpful information and advice. Then, visit this page to find more links to her other tips and information on traveling the world. Also, take the time to read some of her beautiful personal travel essays, such as Silence and Spiders: 10 Days at a Vipassana Meditation Course.

Nomadic Matt

Matt is one of the biggest travel bloggers out there – and for good reason. He offers really solid, valuable, useful travel tips that are helpful for any newbie traveler. For example, here are 61 Travel Tips to Make You the World’s Savviest Traveler, 12 Things I’d Tell a New Traveler and 14 Major Travel Scams to Avoid.

(That last one is particularly important to read. You’ll have a much safer journey if you know what scams to watch out for.)

Expert Vagabond

Matt Karsten is a travel photographer and professional blogger with a ton of experience – he’s been traveling the world for 7 years. His site is filled with an incredible amount of useful information for a newbie traveler and he explains in-depth how travel doesn’t have to be expensive and the world isn’t as dangerous as you think. Plus, his photos are gorgeous.

You can get a lot of entertainment and vicarious thrills by reading Matt’s crazy travel adventure stories, such as squatting with gypsies in caves in Spain or getting tattooed by a monk in Thailand. However, he also offers a lot of valuable travel tips and advice, such as a huge regularly updated page of budget travel resources and advice that will help you with finding cheap flights, planning, saving money, safety, and much more.

Wandering Earl

Earl is another blogger I love who has serious travel experience – he’s been to 101 countries so far and has been traveling since 1999. His blog is packed with great info, so spend some time exploring it. One of my favorite posts of his is The Currency of Pad Thai, which explains eloquently just how affordable travel can actually be.

TravelFish

If you are going anywhere in Southeast Asia, I highly recommend you bookmark Travelfish. It’s an independent travel guide covering Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Myanmar.

No matter what tiny island or small town you find yourself in, Travelfish probably has a guide to the hotels, weather information, things to do, transport, and more. Plus, they have a travel forum where you can ask questions when planning your trip.

Roads & Kingdoms

Okay, so now you’ve read plenty of practical advice from wise, experienced travelers. It’s time to read some intriguing stories from the road that will inspire you for your trip. Roads & Kingdoms is a fascinating collection of travelogues from odd and interesting corners of the world. It often features off the beaten travel locales, food adventures, and insights into different cultures and makes for a great read.

Books

Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

You know that feeling when you read a book and it completely changes your way of seeing the world and the way you live your life? Well, that’s what Vagabonding did for me.

I read it while I was backpacking around New Zealand in 2009 and it taught me that I didn’t have to live a conventional life and that travel didn’t have to be something that you did once when you were young. I learned it was completely possible to travel the world for long periods of time in a sustainable way.

So, that’s exactly what I did and I’ve been to 50 countries since, traveling the world as a digital nomad and working from my laptop. Seriously, this book is inspiring and if you have the travel bug it just may change your life too.

Back in 6 Years: A Journey Around the Planet Without Leaving the Surface

I read this book before I went traveling for the first time and it certainly was one of the factors that inspired me to go. It’s the true story of a man who travels around the world for six years, circumnavigating the globe without leaving its surface.

He gets across the Amazon by boat, across Canada by bike, and sails across the South Atlantic. It’s funny and gripping and of course, he gets into a lot of mishaps along the way. This book left me breathless with excitement and wanting to circumnavigate the globe too.

The Four Hour Workweek

This is another one of the books that I read in my early travel days which helped to change my mindset. Now, full warning here: Tim Ferriss is a bit of an extreme dude and some people find him a bit off-putting.  A reviewer described this book as being locked “in a room with a manic-depressive person during the manic part of his cycle” and I can understand that. He’s obsessed with trying to hack and optimise every aspect of his life and that leads him into overzealous, crazy experiments with diet, sleep, etc. – most of which isn’t helpful for the average person.

However, if you can get past the manic ramblings and disregard the stuff that doesn’t work for you, there is some golden wisdom in here for newbie travelers. Basically, Tim is a bit of an egomaniac but the important thing I got out of it is that you don’t have to experience the world the way you were told you should.

Tim explains that you don’t have to be rich to travel often and he encourages taking “mini-retirements” throughout your life rather than planning to retire when you are older. He encourages you to rethink the status quo and imagine your life as you would really like to live it, which can be very inspiring. You don’t have to work nonstop for 45 years then retire – there are other options for satisfying your travel urges.

Podcasts

Extra Pack of Peanuts

This podcast is run by Travis and Heather and they offer a lot of helpful travel tips, including how to use airline points, what travel gear to bring, how to use your phone while traveling, and more. As well as the podcast, their website also has a ton of helpful resources.

Zero to Travel Podcast

This is another helpful and practical podcast that offers tips for traveling on a budget, dealing with life on the road and other questions that newbie travelers may have. It promises to offer “new and different ways to travel the world no matter what your situation or experience.”

These are just a few of the blogs, books, and podcasts that I would recommend you start reading and listening to if you are planning to travel for the first time. There’s so much wisdom out there being shared by those who have made the journey themselves.

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Kelly Dunning is a Canadian freelance travel writer. She lives a nomadic lifestyle with no fixed address – working from the road since 2011 with her partner Lee, a web-designer from England. They have traveled to over 50 countries and they offer travel tips, stories, and inspiration on Global-Goose.com

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How to Pack Your Bathroom into Your Suitcase: Tips for Lightweight Traveling 0 6333

Suitcase Packing

Traveling with toiletries in carry-on luggage can be a bit tricky. Between the size restrictions on liquids and trying to stuff all of your liquids into a small zip-lock bag, things get frustrating. Below you can find some tips for packing your bathroom into a suitcase in order to help you travel lighter and smarter.

TSA 3-1-1 Rule
TSA 3-1-1 Rule

Tip 1: Don’t pack it if you are not certain that you need it.

Rethink everything you put in your suitcase, especially when it comes to toiletries. Many people try to put every product they have in their bathroom into their suitcase just in case they might need it. Remember, it’s easy to purchase toiletries just about anywhere you travel. A forgotten item is not the end of the world, simply head down to the local supermarket, drugstore, or pharmacy where ever you’re traveling and purchase that forgotten item.

Tip 2: Small Traveling Toiletry Bags with a clear counterpart

Having all your bathroom items in one spot makes traveling much easier. Find a small, flat, toiletry bag with multiple compartments that can fit your makeup, shower items, creams, brushes, and razors. But most importantly, search for a bag that has a clear compartment for your liquids, so that you can easily remove it from your carry-on when going through airport security.

Tip 3: Forget Travel-Sized Toothpaste

Stop buying travel-sized toothpaste, it is completely unnecessary. Standard-sized toothpaste tubes meet the liquids size requirements. Grab the toothpaste you use every day from your bathroom and bring it along with you, it is already small and lightweight so it won’t take up much space or weight you down, and it will save you a bit of money.

Tip 4: Travel-Sized Face Moisturizer

One of the hardest things to find is usually travel-sized face lotion. Finding a face lotion that fits the appropriate carry-on requirements is nearly impossible in the supermarkets and drug stores. After much searching, we found that Sanseti (https://www.sanseti.com/product/revitalizing-marine-moisturizer/) sells a fantastic face moisturizer that comes in 2-ounce jars, perfect for travel.  Don’t be afraid of the quantity, a little bit of this goes a long way.

Sanseti Skin Care: Revitalizing Marine Moisturizer
Sanseti Skin Care: Revitalizing Marine Moisturizer

Tip 5: When packing makeup: Less is more

Just take the essentials. Don’t take the whole makeup bag which surely has products in there that you never or rarely use. Select the products you use every day and put them into a small makeup bag for travel, ditching the items that you won’t need.

Visit These Five Islands Before Summer Is Over 0 295

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Isla de Providencia, Colombia

Isla de Providencia, Colombia
Isla de Providencia, Colombia

 

 

 

 

 

Colombia is a country of near-ending discovery, with both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, there are a vast amount of undiscovered islands sprawled along the seas. This includes two breathtaking islands which are actually closer to the coast of Nicaragua, Providencia and San Andrés, about 775 km (482 mi) northwest of mainland Colombia. Providencia has no direct flights from mainland Colombia or Nicaragua and it takes either an expensive, albeit quick, flight or a pretty rough 4-hour ferry ride from San Andrés. Its proximity and lack of direct flight connections have managed to keep the island from becoming over-run with tourism. Those adventurous travelers who overcome the obstacles to make it to Providencia will be rewarded with stunning beaches surrounded by palm trees, looking out at turquoise waters as far as the eye can see. But the real charm of the island is its distinct culture which is influenced by many different cultures, as the island was a popular stop for pirates and colonists alike back in the day. The locals speak a type of Creole which is influenced by Spanish, African, and English languages. Dont neglect to interact with the locals to eat some of the best seafood around and learn about the island’s unique history.

Cyprus

Cyprus
Cyprus

 

 

 

 

While the island of Cyprus might have a controversial history, there is nothing controversial in saying that the island is stunning. Cyprus offers mountainous terrain and around 650 km (400 mi) of coastline. With so much coastline, the island has the perfect beach to suit anyones needs. Whether youre looking for a party beach or the perfect secluded beach to relax and go topless, you can find it in Cyprus. There are the golden-sand beaches of Ayia Napa along the south-eastern coast of Cyprus and the steep, rocky coastline of Akamas Bay which boast beautiful wildlife, flora, and fauna to discover. With so much diversity of landscape and culture, it is the perfect place to rent and car and take a road trip around the coastline to uncover the beauty of the island.

Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Waiheke Island, New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

As if the North and South islands of New Zealand werent gorgeous enough, with just a quick 35-minute ferry ride from Aukland you can be in paradise on Waiheke Island. Waiheke Island is 19 km (12 mi) of breathtaking landscape, full of vineyards, coves, and killer views of Aukland. The island is plentiful with coves that have an astonishing contrast between the bright blue sea, white sand beaches, and lush green shrubbery that is reminiscent of an almost tropical Santorini. The island is becoming known as a wine destination with plenty of wineries to visit, making it easy to experience the island with a glass of wine in hand. The wines are not only of impressive quality, but the vineyards are situated right next to the sea offering incredible views. With ease was you can go winery hopping to places like Man O’War Vineyards where the vineyards seem to disappear into the blue sea. Don’t hesitate to take your next trip to Waiheke Island to experience relaxation and beauty at its finest.

Ponza, Italy

Ponza, Italy
Ponza, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

Ponza is a charming little island located off the western coast of Italy between Rome and Naples, popular amongst Romans for summer vacation. Ponza feels as though it is stuck in time, where life is slower and for locals, living the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle is a given. Colorful houses line the hilly island appearing to be stacked one on top of the other, resembling the houses of Cinque Terre, with cliffside views and pebble beaches. The lack of sandy beaches makes it is best to discover the island by boat, which is easy and affordable to rent at the harbor. Some of the most breathtaking beaches of the island feel as though they have been carved into the steep cliffs that make the perfect hidden getaway for a swim in the warm, turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The island isnt just popular with Romans today, there is proof that Romans have been enjoying the island since Roman Empire, with old Roman pools, graves, and a tunnel that connects the harbor to Chiaia di Luna beach.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Raja Ampat, Indonesia

 

 

 

 

 

Raja Ampat is an island getaway for those truly looking for seclusion. Dont expect to run into may other travelers or any people for that matter. This UNESCO world heritage site is made up of 1,500 islands that are anything but easy to get to, keeping them well preserved and much less visited than other Indonesian islands. And with a population of just around 5,000 people, it’s possible to visit islands with virtually no-one else on them. Raja Ampat is said to have the most biodiverse marine life in the world, making it a haven for divers and snorkelers alike. While you shouldnt expect luxury resorts or western comforts, you can expect to have some of the most breathtaking islands in the world all to yourself.

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