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When you first make that decision to head out on a long term adventure in the form of travelling, it can seem a bit daunting. While you might be excited to get out there, you may find yourself wondering where to go and what to do. There are literally hundreds of places you can choose from when making plans to go travelling, with some destinations being far more challenging than others. Not sure which destinations will be a good fit for you? Here’s our mini guide to some of the best destinations for first time travellers.
Depending where you’re from, Europe is probably the easiest option for first timers. A lot of the culture (especially in western Europe) is similar to that of places like Canada, Britain or America, so you will have an easier time adapting if you yourself are from a western nation. It’s a great introduction to other cultures with options for old standbys like McDonald’s, KFC or Burger King around if you suddenly find you aren’t very good with trying new foods. Not only that, but western Europe is frequented by travellers just like you, so the tourist infrastructure is impressively well developed meaning you have entire ranges of accommodation to choose from as well as different varieties of restaurant options.
Likewise, Europe in general has some truly impressive transportation options as well, especially for those who know where to look. For example, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have an amazing bus network that is known as the Student bus company and you can get buses all around the country for incredible prices. Local train networks are also usually very useful, and week or month long train passes for the European rail networks can be bought that allow you train travel through several countries over the period of validity.
Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece, the Balkans and Turkey are slightly more difficult than travelling in western Europe. While many of the countries are considered Europe and have great tourist infrastructure (namely Italy, Spain and Greece), the countries in the Balkans such as Albania, Montenegro, Slovenia and Bosnia Herzegovina are more difficult and vary in their difficulty in getting around, accessing good accommodations and the like.
That being said however, the Balkan nations are really unique and interesting with great wine and food, and allow a lot of freedom for travellers. AirBnb is popular, so you can usually find accommodation through them or sometimes by asking in message boards online. Hitchhiking is extremely popular and safe throughout a lot of the Balkans, with many backpackers opting for this instead of the very shoddy buses that can be relatively expensive and uncomfortable.
Rating: Depends where you go. Italy, Greece, Spain and France are easy. Balkan nations and Turkey are moderate.
Africa is a continent that is home to dozens of countries, all with their individual charms and challenges. The northern countries such as Morocco and Egypt are fairly developed for tourism and as a result you can find many good levels of accommodation, restaurants and tours, making these great options for first timers who are ready to jump in the somewhat deep end. They’re challenging, but not overly so, and so if you want something unique, culturally rich and rewarding, these are two good options.
The rest of Africa though (aside from South Africa) can be fairly difficult to travel in. Tourist infrastructure is spotty at best with sometimes problematic and unreliable transportation. Accommodation can vary from very basic huts on beaches to resort style lodging, so it’s important to research most African countries in depth before attempting a trip.
Rating: Moderate to difficult
Asia (in general) is probably one of the easiest areas for first timers. By this we’re referring to the likes of South East Asia – Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and the like. Tourist infrastructure is well developed throughout, making getting around and finding places to eat and stay easy. Some of the countries such as Myanmar or Laos may be a bit more ‘wild’, so research before you go. When it comes to Korea, Japan and China, the cities are very developed, so you shouldn’t have many problems at all if you travel to these places.
In terms of Western Asia, and India, this is where it can get a bit more tough. Countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the ‘Stans in general can be a bit less frequented by tourists, but still with some amazing things to see. We definitely wouldn’t recommend this area for inexperienced travellers who aren’t prepared for the hassle factor that can be experienced in Pakistan or India. Iran is likewise, beautiful but can be challenging to the inexperienced, so it’s important to make sure you plan accordingly and know what to expect.
Rating: Easy to difficult, depending on country or region.
So if you’ve been thinking about going travelling, book a cheap flight to one of the countries above with Justfly and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.