I travel in various ways, each of them offering advantages and disadvantages. The type of traveling I do in an area of the world is determined by several factors:
- Length of stay – having your own transport is great for a year in Australia, but not for 2 weeks in China.
- Safety – living in a camper van in a dangerous part of the world brings extra risks. A home stay in a dangerous area is probably the safest option.
- Cost – backpacking, or independent travel, is normally the cheapest way to see an area. But sometimes a package deal is cheaper when you factor in the flight (e.g. 2 weeks in Ibiza or Egypt).
I normally backpack, as this allows me to travel easily, quickly and cheaply. I can spend as much or as little time as I like in a particular area. I like meeting and talking to other travelers and locals when using public transport and local accommodation. I don’t like the potential delays when using public transport though. It can often take a few days to travel a short distance.
In 2006/2007 I spent 9 months traveling around western Europe in the camper van that I converted myself. In 1998 I traveled right around Australia in a van that I bought in Sydney. I saw so much on these trips, much more than I would have seen by using public transport. The downside being I didn’t meet quite as many travelers and locals as I would have by using public transport. My European camper van trip in 2006/2007 was probably the cheapest traveling experience I have had. My daily costs were as low as £3 ($5) per day, and that was living well. I was able to drive where I wanted, when I wanted.
I have only been on a couple of package holidays. I don’t like taking short trips, or being limited with my accommodation. The few I have taken were great, but I don’t intend on doing many in the future.
I spent a week snowboarding, which was great. For a short stay a packaged deal is the best value and most convenient option.