The first time I stayed in a hostel was in Rome. My twin sister and I were on our first trip outside of Florence and we were terrified. So terrified, in fact, that we booked a two person private room even though it cost (a lot) more money. Since that first trip to Rome, I’ve stayed in tons of hostels. Not only in Europe but in the US as well. It’s actually my preferred place to stay. Not only is it cheaper than staying in a hotel, but I almost always make new friends from around the world. Most of my friends haven’t been to Europe though so one of the questions I get the most is, “What’s a hostel”?
I think there’s a common misconception about travel and the internet is partly to blame. The biggest distinction I try to make is that travel is not always a vacation. It CAN be a vacation, but it isn’t always. Travel can be warm, relaxing and rejuvenating but it can also be cold, hectic and exhausting. It also comes with it’s fair share of problems. The thing is, you really have to roll with the punches if you want to make travel a part of your life. Part of rolling with the punches is taking what is thrown at you gracefully and moving on. Take the time Nashville tried to kill me, for example. I took a Friday off work and headed to Nashville for a three day weekend. By late Friday night, I was in the hospital.
At 24 years old, I have been places some people only dream about. Since graduating college two years ago, I’ve been to NYC twice, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Nashville, Toronto, and Hawaii just to name a few (not to mention my 2 week Eurotrip), which can be really hard to do as a new grad. A lot of people wonder how I can afford to and think that someone else must be financing my trips for me. It’s frustrating to hear, but I wanted to share with you my best travel advice.
Remember when I told you I went to Hawaii with my BFF? Well, her 24th birthday was in July. I wanted to get her the perfect travel gift. Personally, I love birthday’s. I love celebrating my friends with fun things in life, whether it’s glitter or cupcakes or a handful of balloons. I also wanted to get my BFF a present she would love, would mean something and would inspire her to travel more places, cause ya know, there’s a whole world out there. After searching through Barnes and Noble and not finding any good gift ideas for travelers, I began browsing through Etsy till I found the perfect travel gift.
People often think you have to wait to travel Hawaii until you’re older, more established, in love, on a honeymoon, have a lot of money, ect. Well, my BFF and I said “the heck with that!” and we went to Hawaii. We basked in the sun on Waikiki Beach, saw gorgeous sunsets every night, met travelers from around the world and ate lobster on a dinner cruise that circled the harbor. When we first told people that we were going to Hawaii on vacation, a lot people said “that’s too far to go for a week”, “I’m going to wait until I can stay somewhere nice to go”, ect. And if that’s your style, by all means, wait to go! But we had the best week in Oahu and if planning this trip seems a little daunting, keep reading! I’ve outlined the perfect travel Hawaii itinerary anyone can follow.
I was just like a number of people my age when I graduated college. I had a decent amount of student loans. One of my first goals when graduating was to pay off student loans as fast as possible. Though I have not paid off my loans entirely, I did pay off $14,000 my first year out of school. If you have a little bit of courage and a lot of discipline, you too can make a significant dent in your student loans in just one year!
A lot of people get overwhelmed with planning trips, but I actually find it relaxing. I always look up trips even if I know I can’t go on one. The amount of plane tickets I’ve put in my cart is just ridiculous. The best thing you can do when planning your trip is to break it into little pieces. It’s less overwhelming to start with two days in Florence than 12 days across Europe. If you’re just in the beginning stages of your first eurotrip and having trouble getting started, follow the ten steps below!
The first thing I think about when I think of a travel blog is someone who has quit their full time job, hopped on a plane, never to return again. That’s their travel philosophy. They visit 10 countries a year and wake up by the sea every morning. Long gone are the days of a 9-5 office job. The longest commute they have is how long it takes them to walk to the nearest coffee shop. They are, quite literally, living the dream. Most of these blogs promise to teach you how to quit your 9-5 and travel the world just like them. And sometimes, this works! If you have the courage, ability and the freedom, you can book a one way flight and have the world at your fingertips.
The problem is that I don’t think everyone has the courage, ability or the freedom to make this happen. But I don’t think that should stop you from seeing the world. You just have to do it a little differently. That’s where my travel philosophy comes in.