Have a look at the first steps of these aspiring travelers. Each of them has their own travel style, favourite locations and plans for 2018. Each of them is definitely interesting. Trip planner Sygic Travel asked these travel bloggers five questions. Enjoy!
- What are the top destinations on your bucket list for 2018?
- What are the five things you can't travel without?
- What is the most overrated country or location you've been to?
- What is the most underestimated country or location you've been to?
- Why should people travel the world?
Mentor Travel, from USA
- My top destinations for this year, starting in April, are in Laos - the Gibbon Experience. It's every adult child's dream because at the Gibbon Experience you get to fly through the forest on a zipline with monkeys swinging next to you. Along with Laos, we will be going to Songkran festival in Chiang Mai Thailand with our friends, and then finish our holiday in Myanmar. During the summer, we are planning a trip to Japan and Vietnam for sure. In Japan, we are planning it to sync with the summer festivals in Kyoto and Tokyo. We might, if we have time, pop over to Cambodia when we are in Vietnam. Our last destination for the year are the Philippines, but it wouldn't be until towards the end of the year.
- It depends on where I'm traveling but in SE Asia I always need a pair of Chacos and a sarong. Everywhere I travel, I always bring with me a cool tie-dye string that I use as a lanyard super handy for hostel room keys etc. and it's not noticeable when I'm partying, I just keep it under my shirt. I also always have my "Angry Pussy" self-protection key ring. I keep it on all my keys. Last but not least, I always bring a book.
- This is a really hard question. I think that Kuta Indonesia was pretty overrated just because it was mostly shopping and places closed down early. It didn't feel that safe to walk around at night either. It's a great place for day trips though and you can walk from downtown Kuta to the airport. It does have some great benefits, but I was expecting more of a party nightlife town that felt a bit safer.
- The most underrated countries I've been to are Nepal and Laos. I think Nepal gets forgotten about because it's near the large country of India. Nepal is fun, has great food, cool clothing. Don't go to Nepal for the Himalayas though, go to India. Laos is a tiny forgotten country near Thailand. It's beautifully green and lush with friendly people. It's super easy to get around and has some cool sites to visit.
- After Trump got elected to office and Britain voted for Brexit, I realized that there is a lot of fear of the unknown and of the "others" in the world. This fear of "others" can be solved by traveling, because when you travel, eventually, you realize that people round the world are just people. They all have families that they look out for and want to protect. Everyone knows this at a conscious level but I think it's something you have to learn. Once you learn this at a deeper level, I've found it's easier to interact with others from a place of love and compassion. Even when someone does something you don't like or think is disrespectful, greedy, or whatever, it's easier to understand their motives and give them the benefit of the doubt or to forgive them. Afterall, we never truly know how we'd act in a situation until we've experienced it. I think when people are less fearful and seek to understand, we'll have a better world.
Gobsmacked, from New Hampshire, USA, living in Bratislava, Slovakia
- Lviv, Edinburgh, anywhere in Spain.
- Mentos, journal, a thick book, episodes of "The Moth" podcast downloaded on my phone, a token that reminds me of home and brings me luck. Right now it's a tiny toy motorcycle, last year it was a moose key chain.
- I loved Romania but Dracula's Castle (Bran Castle) was not nearly as spooky or intriguing as advertised.
- Lithuania. Everything about the country was so unique and untouched which is a rarity in this widely traveled world.
- To show others that the world is not a scary place and compassion is a universal language.
Joy Adventures, from Quebec, Canada, living in Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Namibia, Indonesia, Seychelles (getting married there on the 29/03/2018), Argentina and Colombia.
- Quick dry underwear, Nikon D3200 plus lenses, notebook and a hefty supply of pens, e-reader full of new books and grayl water bottle.
- Thailand: Possibly because we chose the wrong island at the wrong time of year but I felt that it was just too inundated with tourists and the general energy of people working in the industry was apathetic.
- Kyrgyzstan: I had zero expectations, it was a spontaneous trip, but Bishkek was stunningly green, and the architecture quintessentially ‘soviet’. Al Archa National Park offered dramatic scenery from the mountain top down to the river bed complete with eerie wisps of fog adding a sense of foreboding or mystery to the adventure. Kyrgyzstan completely charmed the pants off me!
- Travelling to just one far off place can suddenly make the globe appear very small and very intriguing, but it will also broaden your perspective and suddenly things that used to feel like insurmountable obstacles will be mere pebbles under your well worn sandals.
Meganbisson.com, from Singapore, Indonesia, living in Washington D.C., USA
- The entire world is on my bucket list! But for 2018, the top three destinations would be: London, Barcelona and Paris. So much of my life I’ve traveled around Asia, so I really need to explore more of Europe! These main European cities are huge bucket list items for me and I cannot wait another year without visiting them! There is so much history and architecture throughout Europe. I hope to see different cities with the Euro Rail pass and check other European countries off the bucket list.
- Camera: I always need to document everything I do and capture all the beautiful things I see! I post regularly on my blog and social channels, so having my camera is absolutely essential. Big scarf: This one item of clothing was my most worn article of clothing and it has so many uses. It works perfectly as shall to cover your shoulders when enter temples, a scarf for when it’s cold and a blanket to keep you warm on the airplane! I seriously am wearing the scarf in so many of my photos! Eye-mask: Sometimes when you’re traveling, you never know when or where you’ll sleep. My eye mask ensures I’ll be able to get essential beauty sleep on planes or bus rides! Foldable Bag: I usually have to pack light, so my foldable bag allows me to carry things that I buy. It’s perfect because it opens up and can hold a lot of items! When I don’t need it, it folds up tightly and fits in front pocket of my backpack. Portable Charger: When I’m exploring a new city, I’m usually out the entire day. Having my portable charger lets me use my phone with the worry of it dying. It also eliminates the worry of having to find an outlet to charge your phone!
- This was probably just my own personal experience, but I felt that Kuala Lumpur was overrated because it was very commercialized. The city was primarily partying and shopping, and I felt there weren’t many cultural things to do in the city. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to experience the Malay culture in the city.
- Siem Reap, Cambodia, I feel is very underestimated! I had a great experience meeting Cambodian locals and I felt their culture was so warm and inviting. It’s so easy traveling around Siem Reap and you can spend the entire day sightseeing! The architecture of temples is breathtaking and getting to explore inside the ruins is a fun experience!
- People should travel the world, to change themselves. I think everyone can change for the better and grow inward. Seeing the world, experiencing other cultures, meeting people from different backgrounds, all changes you. Going to new places changes and shapes who you are, and you become more of yourself.
Wanderer Writes, a Hungarian native, from Romania, living in the US
- With summer coming, two of my destinations are in the American Northwest. I’m flying with my family to Portland, Oregon, where we plan on spending a week exploring the beaches and lighthouses. Then a few weeks later, we are flying back to Seattle, to spend another week in the North Cascades, and Mount Rainier. In the fall, we are revisiting some historical sites that my daughter is learning about in New Jersey/New York. This will be an educational trip for her while enjoying the autumn foliage in the area. Mexico, one of my favorite places, will be our winter destination. This time we plan to visit Palenque, a Mayan site that has been on my bucket list for years.
- I am flexible when I travel, if I forget something, I’ll just go without, or try to get it at my destination. Still, the things I always check to make sure I take: My wallet and passport if I travel to a different country. No one can travel without these. My phone. I make sure my plan works in other countries I visit and that my translation app is up to date with the language I would be using. A small notebook and pen. I always carry these with me, besides my notebook app on my phone. I’m old fashioned that way, I like to take notes the traditional way. A book to read. Though I can read iBooks on my phone, nothing can replace a real old-fashioned book. On long plane rides, I can't go without one. Essential oils pack. I carry a small travel pack with a few of my favorite blends for anything from bug bites, motion sickness, simple colds or allergy issues, and the germ-fighting thieves’ oil. I carry them in 5ml bottles, so I don’t have an issue in airports.
- Disney World, for sure. Too expensive, too crowded, too many lines and most kids walk away from it exhausted and cranky. Though it’s supposed to be for kids, it is too much for them, I’ve seen more meltdowns of little ones there than anywhere else in the world. Epcot Center would be the only place I would appreciate if I couldn’t travel. But rather than go to an artificially re-created destination, you could save up your money and go see the real thing.
- My birth country, Romania. Most people don’t think of visiting it, yet it has so much to offer. The Carpathians are a jewel of Europe, with some dense and pristine forests. Besides the forests, the Black Sea Coast and the Danube Delta, beautiful rolling hills, medieval castles, and fortresses are some of the top reasons I would recommend visiting it. And you’ll find there some of the friendliest, most welcoming people in the world.
- There is no better way to learn about the world than thru travel. Traveling, especially to different countries, helps us be open-minded, respectful of other cultures, more understanding of the differences and similarities between people. It also helps us understand nature around us, step out of our comfort zone, experience new things. Traveling gives us a perspective other than our own, makes us more flexible, more able to deal with anything.
Expedition: Everywhere, from Syracuse, NY, United States
- Whether or not I make it this year is still up in the air, but I want to go to these places this year: Norway, Grand Canyon, Nicaragua, Portland (Oregon), Alaska.
- My phone, a good pair of shoes, some noise cancelling headphones, a packable reusable bag, a reusable water bottle.
- Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.
- You get to learn a lot about yourself. You start to understand what you're capable of and what your limits are. You understand what relaxes you, and what makes you tick. Traveling, to me, is pushing your boundaries and pushing your comfort zone and enjoying experiences you'd never be able to experience at home.
Sense the Place, currently living in Croatia, before in USA, Canada and Germany
- My bucket list for 2018 is very long, lol. I tried to narrow it down to these five: San Marino, Cornwall, Luxembourg, Montreal and Cuba.
- This is a tough question because I always tend to overpack. If I had to decide, it would be my iPhone, external charger, headphones, book and sunglasses.
- I think it was Rome. It is a beautiful city, but it’s very crowded and it seems that there’s no area left in Rome with zero tourists.
- I would say Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Many people don’t know how beautiful this picturesque city is. Everything in Ljubljana is very inviting: the castle, parks, friendly locals, cafes and great food. And on top of all, it’s not overcrowded.
- There are countless reasons to travel the world. The most important for me would be learning about other cultures and people and expanding my horizons.