Wanderlust. Wikipedia defines it this way: a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.
The older I get the more I find myself suffering with a severe case. Something keeps telling me the time to travel is now, while I’m still young enough to withstand the rigors of long flights, carrying luggage and lots of walking.
Last night as I lay in bed, head spinning and wide awake when I should have been asleep hours before, my mind kept going over and over all the questions I have about travel. There are so many things I wonder about and these questions are what keep me from taking the plunge and strapping myself into a skinny, metal tube with a few hundred strangers, willingly hurling our bodies at a high rate of speed over tall mountains and deep oceans for 9-10 hours. Sometimes this is referred to as “flying.” 😉
As I lay there unable to sleep last night, thinking about all the questions I have about traveling outside the United States to another country, it occurred to me, if I’m pondering all these things, maybe there are others out there with the same questions and concerns. And who better to ask than those who have already traveled that road, or flown that sky? Travel is expensive so if I’m ever going to get off my duff and go, I’d really like to get it right the first time.
So, I need your help. I thought I’d list some of the questions I have, at least the ones I can think of, and based on your personal experience, I’d love to hear what you recommend.
Please leave a comment and answer as many or as few of the questions below as you wish. I can’t wait to read your answers, especially your answers for #1. Actually, I’d love to hear your answers to all of them!
Okay, here goes:
1. When you travel, do you use a travel company like Rick Steves or Tauck (that’s who my dentist uses) and if so, is there one you would recommend and why?
2. What is the best light-weight, point and shoot camera (with a good built-in zoom) to take when traveling?
3. What is the minimal number of days/time you recommend spending in Europe or another country if you just spent 9-10 hours getting there by air?
4. What would be the maximum time you would want to be away from home for a trip to another country that took 9-10 hours to reach by air? 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks? Is 3 weeks too long to be away from home and touring another country?
5. Is it better to take a direct flight from the U.S. to Europe or is it better to have a stop along the way which gives you a chance to walk around a bit and stretch the legs?
6. Is a nighttime flight best (so you can hopefully sleep all the way) or is a daytime flight best? What do you do for 9-10 hours in a cramped little airplane seat?
7. If you’ll be lugging around your own baggage (a la Rick Steves tours) and will just be taking along the typical small carry-on bag, what would you pack for a 2 or 3 week trip?
8. What is the best light-weight laptop/computer to take on an overseas trip? A friend recommended a Chromebook. I would need to be able to resize photos and edit them as needed to post at BNOTP on a trip. I think that’s possible in the latest versions of the Chromebook.
9. What was the one thing you left at home on your last trip that you wished you had taken? What was something you took and never needed or used?
10. Name a few things you would you do differently on your next trip.
11. What country/city have you visited (outside the United States) that you would very much love to visit again?
12. What’s the worse thing that’s ever happened to you during a trip outside the U.S.?
13. What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you during a trip outside the U.S.?
14. What’s the best way to call love ones back home, or is it best to just email?
15. Anything vital a person should know or do before traveling to another country, especially Europe? Nothing is too trivial…please share!
Thanks for sharing any tips or information you think is helpful about traveling. I’ve never left the United States other than 3 separate trips to the Bahamas including a trip to Atlantis that was amazing, so I’m eager to see Europe!
Can’t wait to read your answers! Feel free to ask any questions you may have in your comment and maybe someone reading this will have an answer!