I spend a lot of time slacking off on social media. A lot of this is travel groups on Facebook, and a lot of those are people posting about travel. There seems to be a common theme with a lot of posts: burnout. No matter where you go there’s so much to do. I’ve lived in Vancouver my entire life and still haven’t done everything. Social media has definitely made it worse; I didn’t even know there was a tulip market here until I saw all my friends Instagram posts.
Traveling is amazing, so why not enjoy it?
Even if you’re having a staycation in your own city and just trying to cram a bunch of touristy stuff into your limited vacation days and budget, you might still be on your third day and just think, “man, am I ever sick of this.”
My Dad has this idea that if you book super last minute or just show up on the day of you’ll get the best travel deals. More often than not all the mid-range hotels would be sold out so we’d stay at somewhere super high end or the dingiest of dives. Enter my eighteen-year-old self. I was preparing for my first big solo trip- a month-long bus tour of Europe. The tour started at a hostel, and it was suggested you stay there the night before. My parents were nervous about the hostels throughout Europe, but since those were with other people on the tour their stranger danger was somewhat quelled. It was decided I’d stay in a private room the first night.
I have no idea why any of us had been scared.
Since then I’ve picked hostels for most of my travels. At first, it was for budget reasons; I simply couldn’t afford a hotel. As I got into travelling and started to find different ways to lodge myself I realised that every way to stay has its benefits.
One of the most important steps of any trip is packing. A big part of packing is deciding what to put stuff into and it usually boils down to the two biggest options: Suitcase or backpack?
I’m mostly a backpack person.
There’s an unexplainable feeling that I get when I put on a backpack. Suddenly I’m a backpacker. A backpacker… In my head, I’m a sage traveler with stories and wisdom beyond my years. What I really am is someone who just got off a twelve-hour train journey, is kind of hungover, and really needs to shower, but that doesn’t matter.
Up until I went on my first European extravaganza I always used a suitcase. I never had a problem, but after I switched I devoted myself to my pack. Then my precious backpack broke and I had to take a suitcase to Australia and Europe. When my new backpack came in the mail about a week later I hugged it. But what’s right for your trip?
Packing is hands down my least favourite part of travel. It’s also completely unavoidable. While most people know to pack clothes that don’t wrinkle easily and to bring a power adapter, there are some things that you don’t even think about until you miss out on doing something really cool because you’re tracking that one thing down.
I started travelling early. My Dad travelled often for work and brought the family along as much as he could. I’ve seen most of Canada, the western US, and the Caribbean. My parent’s preferred method of travel? They like one car, four people, and non-stop music. I did the whole, “my parents are so embarrassing!” thing, but I really did love it. There’s something about being on the road. I still pick busses as my preferred method of long-term travel.