The First Step

The first step in becoming a "world traveler" is to come to the realization that nothing is like it is at home. Travel to another country should be to experience the local culture. This cannot be done with "all inclusive" travel packages. In most cases it not only isolates you from the local culture, it also harms the local economy. Even when traveling within the United States try to avoid "chains". Whether it is restaurants or stores immerse yourself into the local scene.

David Lindsey

Off The Beaten Path . . . . . . . .

It's 5:30 in the morning and you are stumbling out of bed and dashing to the shower so that you can grab a bite to eat at breakfast before catching your tour bus with 50 some other people for a day of touring. Unfortunately for you and the country you are visiting sightseeing cannot be done through the window of a cattle roundup style bus tour. To experience the local culture you have to interact with the local culture. That is not to say that you have to visit the dark alleys all alone to experience the culture. You just need to take your time. Step back and away from all of the common tourist traps and look for the local pulse. Skip McDonalds and select a local style establishment. Feel safe in traveling alone or in small intimate groups. Tours have a purpose in places like the Vatican City but not as a way to spend your day. For a trip to be relaxing and enjoyable it needs to be at your pace and not that of the tour guides schedule.

Proud to be an American

If you travel to places where it appears that people are rude to Americans it is probably a result of the Americans visiting before you. Accept it and do your best to change that image. Remember, if these people wanted to see Americans they would visit the United States and view us in our natural habitat. Not to mention it is a personal safety issue these days to stand out in crowd and draw attention to yourself. Generally speaking most people are polite if you are polite to them. Try and learn a little of the local language if necessary and do not be afraid to pull out your translation dictionary. Most people are patient and appreciate you trying to speak their language. And remember, there is no place like home so stop expecting it to be.


6 Common Solo Travel Questions

By Brad Tuttle @ Budget Travel & CNN

Are there any destinations that are especially appealing for solo travelers?

What are some ways I can connect with others on the road?

Any tips for keeping costs down?

I'm concerned about safety. Anything I can do?

I absolutely dread going out to eat on my own. Help!

How can I get some decent vacation shots -- with me in them -- if I'm alone?