No. 1 Tip Before You Leave

Location
Home, UK

Some of the things we have learnt while researching and planning this trip have surprised us. Of course, there is all the normal bits and pieces, but there has been one point that I hadn’t thought about before, and in my opinion is the mother of all tips! What is it you ask? Read on to find out!

Make Friends

Make friends (sorry if that was a bit of an anti-climax, but keep reading and you’ll see the light). Yes its that simple, and I don’t mean your average John or Harry who you meet down the local pub, I’m talking about travel friends from all over the world. People who have done, are doing, or are planning to do things very similar to you.

Since starting this blog I have made some excellent contacts from all around the world, as well as those from the UK too. This was an unexpected (but welcomed!) side effect for us. I didn’t realise this would happen when starting the blog, but boy am I glad it has.

Why Is This The Top Tip?

The information! Our new found travel buddies have turned out to be a lovely bunch. Right from the offset they have been welcoming, and extremely willing to share their tips and experiences. This is the real value, well besides from making new friends, because their first hand experience is more useful than anything you will find in a book. It is up to date, reliable, and should also be unbiased, all of which you can’t always rely on a book to be.

Real travel friends will also be able to give you recommendations on all sorts of things that you might otherwise pass on, or even not know about. Places to stay off the beaten track, unusual or lesser known tours that turn out to be brilliant, and exotic food that you would otherwise never try.

Finding Friends?

This is all well and good, but how do I find them? Its easier than you think, and it is certainly not a necessity to start a blog. Personally I would start with Facebook. If you don’t have an account its probably time you got one, and besides, it will be a great way to keep friends and family updated while you’re away.

A simple search for “Travel” on Facebook should be a good start, and will bring a up a number of travel pages you can be a fan of, including ours ;p Have a look through them, pick out the backpacking and round the world ones, and join those that you like. Once you’re a fan, don’t just sit there and spectate. Join in, participate, comment on photos and posts, and ask questions. From my experience you will soon be noticed and people will be happy to help!

The second path is Twitter. A whole host of helpful travel bloggers and fellow travelers can be found here. I have created a Twitter list to get you started: Backpacking & Travel Twitter List. Follow themand introduce yourself, many will follow back will be pleased to connect with you. I will be adding to the list as I find more friendly travelers. (To anyone I have forgotten send me a message and I will add you)

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and socialise, before you know it you will have a great circle of travel buddies before you even begin to meet new people once you’re out there!

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  • And if you do have a travel related blog, don’t forget about http://www.travelblogexchange.com.

  • I totally agree with you… making “travel friends” is one of the best thing you can do when you’re planning your trip. And likewise, it has been a great side effect of my travel blogging. Some of the best tips I’ve gotten on various destinations and travel wise tips have come from fellow bloggers, not from guides or travel books. There’s nothing like raw experience.

    I second NVR Guys… TBEX is also a great place to share and interact with other bloggers.

    • Yes its been so helpful! I agree with you both TBEX is the bomb, you meet so many like minded people. Deserves a post to itself though I think! May well have to write one in the future!

  • Sound advice. Nothing better than tips from travel friends.

  • Agreed! I think this applies in all aspects of life. Life is so much more rewarding when you can share it with others! 😉

  • Best tip for sure. We kind of went about things in the opposite way- we started a blog and twitter really late in the game and started our RTW trip without really knowing anyone— boy oh, boy, wouldnt I have loved if I knew all you people beforehand! As we are planning our second leg, I’m so happy we’ve met the people we have and continue to meet! are we following eachother on twitter?! @vagabond3live Send us a tweet!!!

    • Gald you agree Jade! It certainly would have been a lot harder for us if we hadn’t made all these friends. Yes we are following on twitter, i sent you a message ;p My username @zefwebdesign doesn’t really relate to the blog haha

  • Ha! A tip for life as well as for travel. And for grumpy social inadequates such as myself who struggle with the whole making friends thing, platforms like TBEX are gold dust.

    • Thanks Robin! Your blog is great too! I love your minimalistic but unique design, some great photos on there as well!

      • Excellent. Tell ALL your friends 😉

        • See2011

          Nice information Thanks

  • Great advice. People who live in a place or have spent time there provide much better advice than the average guide book and I love discovering off the track places.

  • Great advice Jozef – we’ve made some great contacts over Twitter and through our travel blog and the advice they’ve provided has been invaluable.

    It will be even better when we start traveling and can meet some familiar faces! 🙂

  • Steffy dechina

    Great tip! Making friends before starting the trip is my policy as well, it worked very well so far. Esp. if you know someone local who could give you some tips on where to go and eat and who could show you around ….well than you’re very lucky!
    I personally think Twitter is better then Facebook for making friends! Mainly beacuse everyone’s always chatty on twitter:))

  • Admin

    I really nice piece & how lovely to make friends before you depart & share knowledge. Can’t wait for the next installment.

  • Jozef, I agree with you about the importance of connecting with other travelers – bloggers, guides, planners, agents, anyone interested in travel. I especially think that Twitter was very important in getting started. Participating in a Thursday #TNI (Traveler’s Night In) got me my first followers (& some of those have remained my most supportive friends). By the way, thanks for including me in your Twitter list!

  • Very interesting. I hadn’t thought of some of these Intresting piece. It can be difficult to find good blogs nowadays. Found one here though by the looks of things.

  • This is a nice post.I like this one.Its all about how much Friends are precious.The written skill is so good.I am very impressed to this content.Thanks to share this blog with us.