Author Archives: Amanda Macino

Gili Meno sunrise
Posted by Amanda, Traveling Alone, Types of Travel
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10 Benefits of Traveling Alone

Traveling alone to a foreign land can sometimes seem daunting. But you’ll find that solo travel will be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have. Here are the top 10 benefits of traveling alone.

Do What You Want, When You Want

Spontaneity is the spice of life! The freedom to do what you want is much easier when you don’t have to ask for someone else’s input, whether that’s skipping out on the castle tour that sounded like a great idea yesterday or staying a few extra days in your current location. You are in control and can go wherever the wind blows you. One day I arrived to a beautiful city in the Philippines and I was so tired from moving around that I spent 24-hours in my hotel room, watching BBC and surfing the web. It was exactly what I needed!

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old ladies in delhi, india
Planning, Posted by Amanda
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Finding the Perfect Travel Partner

Finding the perfect travel partner can be tough. Just because you are friends with someone doesn’t mean that you will automatically be a great fit if you decide to go on vacation together.

When I decided to go to India, I knew that I needed to find someone to go with me because I was warned that it could be very challenging to visit on my own.

I reached out to many people that I knew (Ok I reached out to EVERYONE I knew) and no one was interested in going with me. It turned out that most people in my network were not attracted to a challenging trip where the possibility of getting sick and swindled was a daily threat. This is where my partner in crime and partner for this website, Amy enters.

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South Island NZ
Destinations, Meeting People, Planning, Posted by Amanda, Travel Activities
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Discovering New Zealand

A year and a half ago I took my first solo trip abroad to Vietnam and ended up meeting a ton of people from New Zealand, apparently that’s a place on the Kiwi travel circuit! After spending 2 weeks with them I was suddenly interested in visiting this country that they spoke so fondly of. To be completely honest, it had never crossed my mind to visit New Zealand before I met them. It always seemed like some unattainable country because it was just so far away.   But once I decided to quit my job and travel for an extended period of time, this was the first country that made it on to the list!

Since I didn’t know much about New Zealand I had to figure out what I wanted to do and see once I got there.

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gili meno paddle on water
Planning, Posted by Amanda
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How To Plan for a Long-Term Trip

When I first decided that I was going to quit my job and travel for 7 months on my own I had no idea where to begin.  I didn’t personally know anyone that had done this before and hadn’t even thought to look at travel blogs.  Here is a list that I’ve put together that will help you to get the ball rolling.

Get a Guide Book 

After you decide where you want to go and glance over a few online sites to make sure that you are really interested in visiting that place, plan a visit to your local bookstore to buy a guide book.  Call me traditional but there is something about books that make me feel more comfortable and at ease knowing that all of the information is at my fingertips.  You can also buy these as digital books for your Ipad or Kindle but I like the idea of being able to bookmark a page so that I can easily go back to it at a later time. Also if you find yourself in a place with no wifi, spotty wifi or before a flight where they make you turn off your electronics you can still continue your trip planning.

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big rock in water in New Zealand
Meeting People, Posted by Amanda, Traveling Alone
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How to Meet People While Traveling Alone

When I tell people that I traveled alone for 7 months the first question I always get is, “weren’t you lonely?” It’s an honest question but it turns out, I was anything but! 

One of the perks of solo travel is that you have the opportunity to meet a ton of people. When I came back from my trip I think I had over 150 new facebook friends (I know it’s such a cliché way of measurement but the easiest way to keep in touch with people from all over the world). Interestingly enough, I think that I met more people while traveling alone than if I had been traveling with a friend. I think this stems from the fact that when you are alone it forces you to be more open, whether that’s reaching out to other people if you have questions or need suggestions or just looking more approachable. This was something that was tough for me at first. After spending 9 years in New York I was never a fan striking up conversations with random strangers. But the beauty of traveling is that there is some unspoken culture between fellow long-term travelers that makes this a little less daunting and almost everyone is out-going and open to meeting people.

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Accommodations, Destinations, Planning, Posted by Amanda
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Different Types of International Accommodations

Hotels are the first thing that come to mind when looking for international accommodations. This was especially true for me before I took my 7-month trip.  While hotels are always a nice place to rest your head (for the most part), you may be surprised to know that there are so many other options out there.  I’ve put together a list of a few different types of lodging that I discovered during my travels.

Hotels

If familiarity is something that’s important to you while traveling, hotels are the way to go.  In fact many hotel chains are international nowadays and can be found in most countries. Don’t be afraid to try some international hotels abroad that you would never try at home. 

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cliff view of coromandel peninsula in New Zealand
Planning, Posted by Amanda
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The Top 4 Essentials Needed For Planning an International Trip

For most of us, planning a trip abroad always seems a little bit daunting and prevents many from making the first move.  However, once you begin the process you will find that it’s not as hard as it sounds especially when you break it down to the basics.

 Passport

All international trips require a passport to travel so it’s a good idea to start the process of obtaining one a good 6 months prior to your trip as this can be a long process at times.  But I promise you, this is the most annoying part of the planning.  Once your passport is in your hands, you are good to go (no pun intended) and you will be set with future trips for at least a good 10 years.

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Picture of ocean in Coron, Philippines
Destinations, Planning, Posted by Amanda
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Choosing Your Destination

Hooray! You’ve finally decided that you deserve a vacation; the next question is where do you want to go?  For many of us there are always a few places on our bucket list that we are dying to get to; the problem is choosing your next destination!

When I started planning my 7-month trip the first thing I did was pull out a world map and start highlighting countries of interest.  That lasted all but 5 minutes because I ended up highlighting the entire map!

What are Your Interests?

A way to simplify this process is by first deciding what you’re looking to get out of this trip.  Are you interested in activity and adventure, history and culture, nightlife or something where you don’t have to think and just relax? Hey, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be a beach bum, this is vacation after all and you are free to spend it any way you choose!

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