How do I start travelling?Get enough money (see below). Pick a destination. Use the sidebar to find a flight, then somewhere to stay for your first night. Pack your bags and leave. Have fun.
What jobs/organisations allow me to travel for free?There are lots of ideas in past threads. Additionally you can work in exchange for accommodation with projects such as WWOOF, WorkAway or HelpX. Another popular method is studying or teaching abroad. See also /r/studyabroad and /r/tefl.
For those with a career wanting to work abroad full-time look at /r/IWantOut
How do you get time to travel so much?Those that travel a lot may have jobs that regularly take them abroad (see above). A few have created location independent lifestyles, meaning they can work from anywhere. Examples would be chef, craftsman, photographers and writers, along with those that only need a computer to do their work such as web designers and freelance coders. These all take time and commitment to gain an established portable skill set and a few reliable clients.
Some jobs include a lot of business travel. This is very different from recreational travel, but here are tips to make it less stressful. After some years, many 9-5 jobs might allow you to work remotely or take an unpaid sabbatical.
Here's a long thread about jobs that include a lot of travel, but be aware that travelling for work is usually a lot less flexible than your typical leisure holiday. You may just be visiting airports and meeting rooms with no time for sightseeing.
Locations, Where to Go, Destination Guides
What can I do in...?For an overview of the country first check WikiVoyage and TripAdvisor, or watch some travel shows.
For /r/travel user's personal destination recommendations, see the Past topics of the week or some selected Reddit's tips for popular destinations. Remember to do a search of the subreddit as well.
It's also possible to download the whole of Wikivoyage to use offline on your phone or e-reader. A new feature allows you to collate selected articles into a single file or printable book.
What's the best way to see/to get to...?I'm partial to helicopter rides and hot air balloons, but this is different for everyone, so please be more specific. Do you mean cheapest, easiest, quickest, most enjoyable, most complete, most scenic?
What's the cheapest way to...?Cheapest is unhelpful, as the cheapest way will be to walk or swim then wild camp, which may also be unhelpful. If you want to arrive in a timely fashion, suggest cheapest flight, otherwise rail or bus can be a great way to travel.
If asking about flights or hotels please say what you've already found, so as to avoid duplicated effort. If you've not found anything, please check the /r/travel sidebar for some ideas before posting.
It's worth noting that the absolute cheapest flight is often not the cheapest overall route to travel once you take into account getting to the airport at 3am in a taxi, parking your car for a fortnight or getting a hotel for that 28-hour layover. Consider all the factors.
How much does it cost to go to...?If you ask this you need to provide a lot of details so you get an answer that equates to your comfort level. Obviously it's cheaper to camp than it is to stay in a motel, which is cheaper than staying in a luxury hotel. The sidebar lists four levels of accommodation. Likewise, if you enjoy hiking it'll be cheaper than if you enjoy helicopter rides and hot air balloons. For estimates of common travel expenses check the Rough Guides Online link in the sidebar, click through to a country and select Money. Lonely Planet online also gives daily estimates for budget travel under Expenses.
I have lots of time and money. Where do I go?There must be somewhere you want to visit - a place you've read about in books, seen on TV, movies or even dreams. If that's really not the case then maybe invest in a book such as The Lonely Planet Travel Book for some inspiration, or watch some of the travel shows listed below. If you still can't think of anywhere you'd like to visit, then maybe something other than travel is the best use of your money.
What are some good travel shows?
- Anthony Bourdain - A Cook's Tour, No Reservations, The Layover, and Parts Unknown, Mind of a Chef.
- Bizarre Foods
- Long Way Round / Long Way Down
- Any of the Michael Palin travelogues
- An Idiot Abroad
- Departures (3 seasons)
- Sir David Attenborough - Planet Earth (1 & 2) / Blue Planet / Life series
- Globe Trekker (aka Pilot Guides)
- Rick Steves
Traveling Plans and Logistics
Is it safe to travel to X?Check the official advice on one or more of the following government websites:
- http://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice - UK warnings, usually very detailed
- http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html - US alerts, rather vague
- http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel - US health guidance covering vaccines and safety abroad
Should I travel alone, or with a group of friends?Whichever you're more comfortable with. Both can be enjoyable. Groups can often have a fun dynamic, but it can be tricky organising lots of people from A to B on public transport. Travelling solo makes it easier to meet new people and have unique adventures - see also /r/solotravel
How can I meet people whilst travelling?Many people want to meet someone but sit there and hope they come to them, resulting in lots of people sitting there not making the first move. Be the one who takes the initiative!
- Stay somewhere communal such as a hostel and talk to people.
- Stay somewhere with a kitchen (hostel/apartment) and offer to cook. Learn a couple of simple dishes before you set off and teach others on the way.
- Try couchsurfing.org/airbnb.com (borrowing/renting a room in someone's house) and talk to the host.
- Couchsurfing also organise regular social events in many cities, even if you're not staying with a host.
- Join a communal activity such as a day tour, a cooking class or a free walking tour.
- Look for flyers in the local library/community centre.
- Post in local subreddits to see if anyone fancies showing you round or they're having a regular meetup. If they're not having a meetup, arrange one.
- Meetup.com works well for finding local groups with similar interests. If they're not having a meetup, suggest one in an existing group.
- There are various websites that try to charge you for much the same as the above.
- If you know your route, post on /r/travelpartners before you arrive.
Should I/we take a group tour, or travel independently?Again, whichever you're more comfortable with. Group tours take the hassle out of organising everything, but you are stuck with the other members of the group, whether or not you get along. You may also visit a few places in which you have little or no interest, as they're part of the itinerary. Independent travel takes a lot more work but you can set your own itinerary. If finances permit, then private tours are a good compromise - you hire a car/bus and driver/guide and travel freely, but with the backup of a local guide.
Tour company recommendationsThis may need its own post, but for out of the way destinations my outdated suggestions are Explore and Intrepid Travel. For extended trips Dragoman. These are all now sold through high-street chains, so the quality of the groups has decreased considerably. Other suggestions are welcome, apart from those with hundreds of entries already in the spam filter.
Check out GAdventures for solo or group trips. Moderator /u/protox88 has taken two trips in South East Asia with them and gave good reviews.
Keeping your money and documents safe whilst you're awayMoney: Look through some past posts for lots of ideas beyond money belts.
Documents: scan them and send them to a webmail account/cloud drive/usb stick. If in a remote region without computers/internet keep a second paper copy separate from the first, preferably in a waterproof bag.
Online banking: If you're using a questionable computer consider buying a Virtual Private Network to keep your connection secure. See /r/VPN for more details.
Topic of the Week thread all about Money Matters
Coming home after a long trip?This can be difficult. There's lots of good advice in the subreddit about adjusting to reverse culture shock, finding a new job and starting to plan your next trip. If you really aren't happy at home, then /r/IWantOut will help you leave the country for good.