Types of Trips
Before picking a destination and taking your travel planning any further, you should figure out what type of trip you want to go on.
Cruises are a fun and stress-free way to discover the world. They don't require much planning; there is always a ton to do on the ship (a pool, shows, dancing); food is included, and you don't have to pack and unpack continually.
With thousands of itineraries to choose from spanning the entire globe, there is bound to be one that calls to you!
A few things to consider:
- although you get to visit multiple destinations you usually only get about 24 hours (or less) in each port.
- alcoholic beverages aren't included onboard and are very expensive.
- wifi tends to be slow since cruise ships rely on satellites, so if you need to work and require the internet, you may have a problem.
If cruising interests you, but you don't want to commit to a long trip, there are 3-day itineraries worth looking into. this will give you a taste of that cruising life and see if it's something you would enjoy.
Types of cruises
River Cruises: These are small and intimate voyages along inland waterways. The ports they stop at are usually right in the center of town and the entire journey is scenic as the cruise passes tiny villages.
Ocean Cruises: These ships can hold many people and get very crowded, but they are big enough that there is always something to do and somewhere to go.
Themed Cruises: Themed cruise getaways have jumped in popularity. There are hundreds of themed cruises to choose from like music cruises, food & drink cruises, health & wellness cruises, dancing cruises and so much more! Do you have a specific interest? There is probably a cruise for you!
Cruise Travel Resources
Cruise Critic: Your guide to all things cruising. Is it your first time taking a cruise or you want to take a cruise but don't know which company to choose? Cruise critic has hundreds of reviews on different ships, companies, and advice on all things cruising.
Cruise Radio: This site is filled with podcasts about the latest cruising news. You can hear interviews from passengers who have recently taken cruises and listen to interviews from past cruise employees.
The Avid Cruiser: A father-daughter team runs this blog. Anything you want to know about cruising, they have probably covered it. They have in-depth cruise reviews of hundreds of ships, plus sightseeing and recreational activity tips. If you are new to cruising, this blog is a great place to start.
Train travel is one of those experiences that everyone should add to their bucket list. It's a magical way to explore the world, and it's personally my favorite mode of transportation. Some of the prettiest scenery in the world can be experienced from a train. I mean, check out these amazing train routes. There are also fun themed train rides you can take like, The Cheese Train in Switzerland, The Wine Train in Sonoma, and The Polar Express (you know, from the book & movie!).
A few things to think about before taking a train:
Pros of taking a train
- They are scenic and can offer some of the prettiest views in the world.
- Trains are generally safer than cars
- They are also environmentally friendly and use less energy than cars.
- You can be flexible with your travel plans by purchasing a Flexible Fare ticket.
Cons of taking a train
- Sometimes there is no assigned seating.
- Depending on what country you visit and your budget, comfort can be iffy.
- Bathrooms can be unclean and often don't even work (try and go before you board your train).
- Like planes, trains can be very cramped.
Of course, this is just a general list. Every train is different, so make sure you do your research.
Train Travel Resources
The Man in Seat 61: If you are looking for information regarding train travel, The Man in Seat 61 is a great place to start. They have an overwhelming amount of train route information spanning the entire globe and guide you in planning your perfect railway journey.
Eurail: This is the most popular place to book train travel in Europe and to get information about different routes. If you are planning on exploring Europe by train, (I recommend you do), you'll want to invest in a Eurail Pass, which allows you to take the train as many times as you want for a set amount of time. Eurail passes are popular with backpackers and those who want more flexibility on their trip. All you need to do is choose your route and how long you want to travel.
Amtrack: Taking the train in America can be a remarkable experience. I mean, check out these routes. Amtrack leads the way when it comes to train travel in the states with routes spanning almost all 50 states!
Traveling by bus these days can be awesome! Many companies offer free wifi, comfy seats, and lots of luggage storage. I don't think I would take a bus trip that was more than 8 hours, but it's not too bad for one day's worth of travel.
Although busses can be an inexpensive mode of transportation, here are some things to think about:
- They can be slow due to traffic or having multiple stops.
- The bathroom doesn't always work, and sometimes there isn't even one.
- Bus terminals can be sketchy.
- Delays are inevitable. I once had a bus that was delayed for four hours.
- Breakdowns can also happen. In Panama, a bus I was on broke down at 4 am and took 4 hours until we got on a new one.
It looks like there are many cons, but honestly, for the most part, busses are great. I have very rarely had issues, but as with any part of travel, things don't always go as planned.
Bus Travel Resources
Busbud is a bus booking platform that shows the cheapest bus tickets. It's easy to use and one of the best websites to book bus tickets.
Flixbus: This is one of the most popular bus companies in Europe. If you plan to travel by bus through Europe, chances are you will be taking a Flixbus at least once. Most of the busses are double-decker, will have free wifi, and the seats are pretty comfy.
Megabus: One of the more popular bus companies in the US and UK. It is one of the cheapest, offering tickets for as little as $1! You have to book pretty far in advance to get it that cheap, but even when the prices go up, it's still pretty reasonable.
Greyhound: The most popular bus company in the US. Greyhound has been around forever, offering reasonably priced bus tickets all over the states.
Wanderu is an online platform that allows you to find and compare bus, train, and airline tickets. I mostly use it for bus tickets, though.
There is so much of the world to see that, unfortunately, isn't easily accessible by public transportation, making road trips necessary. I don't drive, so for me to do a road trip, I have to convince one of my friends or a family member to take one (I never have to try too hard).
A few things that make road trips so great are:
- Flexibility to stop and go as you please.
- It can be cheaper. For instance, If you are traveling with friends, it's less expensive than purchasing a plane or train tickets.
- You can pack anything that fits in your car, and guess what? No overweight fees because it's your car and you make the rules!
- You can quickly get off the beaten path and explore places that would otherwise be difficult to get to without a car.
See? There are so many perks when it comes to road-tripping. It makes me wish I had a driver's license. Oh, well… luckily, I have amazing friends and family that love taking road trips and let me tag along.
A few things to consider before taking a road trip (because there are always cons):
- Parking your car at hotels and attractions can be pricy.
- Bad weather can dictate how your trip goes. If there is snow and you don't have chains, you may have to cancel or change your route.
- If something unexpected happens to your car, it can cost a lot of money to fix.
Road trips are a fantastic way to travel. The freedom and flexibility to do what you want and the feeling of being on the open road and in complete control is something that everyone should experience at least once.
Road Trip Travel Resources
Roadtrippers: A great site when it comes to planning the perfect road trip. They have an easy to use in-site itinerary planner that showcases the best route from point A to B and cool attractions that you can stop at along the way. Even though I don't drive, I use road trippers when I am trip planning because they have a massive selection of cool “off the beaten path” attractions.
Road Trip USA: A travel blog run by an Australian couple with a focus on cross country road trips and weekend getaways. They have a lot of great information like road trip itineraries, city guides, plus info on living on the road for those wanting to take a long road trip.
Backpacking is used to describe a person traveling for a few weeks to several months and includes a backpack or luggage that is easily carried for an extended period of time. Although this is the definition of backpacking, I think it's more about the experiences of travel & going off the beaten path, traveling cheaply, staying in hostels, and meeting other like-minded travelers. I don't think the luggage necessarily matters. I have backpacked plenty of times with a suitcase.
Backpacking Travel Resources
Hostelworld: The most popular hostel booking website and my favorite one. What I love about them is that if you book a hostel and your plans change, you can cancel, and your deposit gets saved in the system and can be used for another booking.
The Broke Backpacker: The ultimate source for all things backpacking. I always check The Broke Backpacker before I embark on a trip whether I want hostel recommendations, budget-friendly travel tips, or backpacking travel guides. It's a great place to plan your backpacking trip.
If you are traveling for the first time, traveling solo or even a seasoned traveler who hates trip planning, tours can be great. You have a tour director/guide that takes care of all the logistics, planning, and any problems you may have, and everyone on tour will become like family by the time it's complete.
The first time I traveled alone was on a trip to Ireland with a tour, and I had the best time! That is when I truly fell in love with travel, and I finished my trip with 40 amazing friends.
Although tours can be great for so many reasons, there are some things you should take into consideration before deciding to take one:
- They are fast-paced with packed itineraries, and only about 12 – 24 hours are spent in each city.
- Drama can happen since you can't control who goes on the tour with you.
- There is no flexibility. Tours have fixed itineraries, so you are stuck doing what they have planned.
- Lack of free time. In each city, you generally get a couple of hours of free time.
- Tours can be expensive because everything is included but many times it's much cheaper doing it on your own.
- Every morning you have to lug your bag to and from the bus.
Tours Travel Resources
TourRadar is the best (and my personal favorite) site to search and book multi-day tours. They have over 40,000 tours available whether you want to travel for food, wildlife, a festival, or holiday, history and more, they have an endless list to choose from.