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 (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.
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.
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!