So what would you say to your younger self when it comes to travel advice?
With over 72 million Brits heading abroad in the past year, it’s no exaggeration to state travel is a huge part of our life.
While the travel bug may have truly took hold, there are some who still hold regrets. Alpharooms recently surveyed UK adults; 98% expressed regret and 37% wished they had travelled more. With such a regret over not travelling enough, here’s what some of you said you’d say to your younger self….
Age Shouldn’t Hold You Back
We often place limitations on ourselves; believing we should be following our peers and creating a certain path for our lives; whether that involves saving for a home, climbing the career ladder or even getting married. Travelling, often, takes a back foot when taking the ‘pragmatic’ approach. Yet, your choice to spend money on travelling is equally as valid.
You deserve to achieve your travelling dreams at any age and, as Carolynn Pearson, 54, says, “travel is the only thing that you can spend your money on that makes you richer.” Seeing the world opens new doors, helps you to meet people from around the globe and embrace different cultures.
Get to Know Yourself
As Diane Von Furstenberg, 72, once said: “the most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself.”
Many people are still uncomfortable with their own company, which is why travel proves so important. Solo travelling forces you into situations you wouldn’t usually find yourself in – especially without someone else to rely on
You may find yourself meeting a group of strangers for food, or simply touring the city with just a map; but the experience will last you a lifetime and help navigate your future.
Karin Peeters, 40, firmly believes in the benefits of travelling solo: “We need to know what we really want and need to dare to change to find the right job or partner and feel truly happy.”
Push your Boundaries
Pushing your boundaries is one thing that both men and women believe you should do – especially with more people taking the plunge to go solo travelling. Doing so allows you to explore the globe without any constraints or limitations or having to adjust your plans for someone else.
You never know what may come from pushing your boundaries: “I went to Paris at the age of 19 and didn’t realise at that time how vital it was going to be for my self-esteem. I went to have fun, to be inspired and to meet up with a holiday crush (which never worked out, by the way).”
Travelling abroad alone requires you to be vigilant. One thing many people would say is to act on your gut feeling if you are feeling uncomfortable or something is wrong. Another idea is to log your travels and pass the log onto family and friends to keep them aware of your movements throughout your trip.
Carolyn Pearson, 54, suggest investing in pre-planning: “research the destination and make sure the accommodation is going to be secure. Think about taking a door jammer or wedge to secure your hotel door, and be mindful of drink spiking.”
Think of Travel as Therapy
One in six young adults will experience an anxiety condition in their life, and travel can often prove a great solution.
Ian Oliver, 43, credits travel with greatly improving his anxiety, despite his introverted nature: “I tend to travel solo and yet I’m quite an introvert and unassertive.”
Socialise with Others
Travel helps to build friendships throughout the world. There’s very little that can connect two people as much as seeing new sights and experiencing new cultures.
Sarah Heidt, 50, said: “I am fifty years old now but started travelling abroad when I was 20. A younger me was a bit snooty about wanting to go it alone and figure things out on the fly. I didn’t know how much easier and how much fun group travel can be. I would advise to look into joining a group with a great guide because you learn so much sharing an experience with others – especially people you may not know well. It adds a different dimension to the trip.”
Don’t Plan TOO Much
Prior preparation helps to ensure there is a roof over your head during travelling and activities to enjoy, but over preparation can sometimes stop you from enjoying the unexpected.
“Do the research but do not over-plan. Be flexible to changing your plans and have the confidence to ditch the itinerary if you need to. I did eventually learn to embrace a more flexible way of planning but it took me a few weeks,” said Gemma Thompson, 39, a UK travel blogger.
And, lastly, say yes often. This is an adventure that you may never get to experience again; don’t go home with any regrets.