+ Dream-Trip Dilemmas

This is an article I had featured on STA Travel Buzz, a blog specifically for travellers tales found across the web. Enjoy!

In an ideal world travelling would solely be made up of having those “oh my god life is beautiful” moments. But be prepared for times when life on the road is just that; being on the road and wondering why you put yourself there!

Dream-trip dilemma #1 – Your friends were supposed to come with you but have backed out.

A large percentage of people go away with their best friends, but if you are alone there is no doubt you will meet people in the same position. Yes, it can be hard when you have spent a day or two alone in a foreign country, and speaking only fragments of the local language to a bus driver doesn’t exactly count as social interaction. But staying in youth hostels, or even signing up for tours, be it for a day or a whole month, will help turn this trip into the once-in-a-lifetime experience you had hoped for.

Dream-trip dilemma #2 – Money seems to be disappearing quicker than you can say “just one more beer Chang!”

The biggest culprit for a backpacker’s draining bank balance is alcohol. Socialising and having a few drinks seem to go hand in hand with each other, but just by cutting back on the more expensive cocktails or attempting the odd sober night out will do wonders for your travel fund. What are you going to remember more, being hungover or the extra few weeks paid for by buying less alcohol?

Dream-trip dilemma#3 – you turned up in the wrong season and are greeted by rain, closed shops and hardly any travellers to meet.

Don’t be so quick to dismiss going somewhere in the low season; if you are on a budget this is what you have been waiting for! You are more likely to be able to find bargain room prices, and don’t have to spend hours trying to dodge other tourists in the main attractions.

Dream-trip dilemma #4 – Great, some of your belongings have been stolen.

Make things easier by heading to the tourist police straight away to report the theft. This makes it a lot easier to deal with your insurance company… you do have insurance don’t you?! And to look on the bright side, at least your backpack is a bit lighter! Lost your passport? Well that just means you can stay longer away from home!

Dream-trip dilemma #5 – You keep getting scammed everywhere you go!

While these negative experiences might make you question the culture you have visited, it helps to put things in perspective. Often you are visiting countries vastly poorer than your own and these people see you as an easy way to make money. The best thing you can do is to prevent these situations happening to YOU, by being more self-aware, asking authoritative sources for where to find a taxi, and to learn the art of ignoring someone. I used to spend my time trying to argue and negotiate with beggars and annoying people in general, but decided the best antidote to their behaviour is to simply pretend they are not there!