It’s okay if you don’t like to travel

A couple months ago I had an enlightening conversation with my dad. It a while after I had written this bitterly honest and emotional blog post about my tendency to end up in the emergency room on a yearly basis (titled, My Greatest Regret).

He said, “Your mom and I were talking, have you thought about paying extra when you travel?”

“…what?”

“I know you don’t have a lot of money lying around, but you don’t have to stay in those super budget hotels and make lunches from the grocery store in your hotel room. You can cut your trip short a day or so and use the difference to stay in a nicer hotel. Or pay and extra $50 to upgrade your seat on a flight, so you get adequate leg room and the ability to sleep. Your mother and I do that all the time.”

“That’s a waste of money,” I replied, because why would you pay extra for an unnecessary expense? That doesn’t even make sense.

“Not really.” He replied, pressing the matter. “That might really be the difference between a ‘good’ and a ‘great’ trip.”

“But dad,” I countered (because really, he wasn’t listening), “Real travelers don’t do that. That’s not the millennial way. People like you can drop an extra ~$100 on better accommodations, but people like me go on budget airlines, sleep in tiny hostels, get discount 13 hour bus rides, and eat only at cheap hole-in-the-wall restaurants. That’s just how we do travel.”

“Yes, but why?” He asked. “Why do you do that if it’s not fun and it makes you get sick?”

It got me thinking.

My definition of how I’m supposed to travel, as a twenty-something millennial (especially a self-employed twenty-something millennial) comes, of course, from the internet. Every travel memoir I’ve read on my Kindle and every travel blogger I follow roughly my age does travel this way. That’s just how it’s done.

One of my all-time favorite bloggers is Agness from e-Tramping flourishes at this kind of travel. Her and her travel partner see the world on $25 a day (including hotels). The least I’ve ever been able to do is like $50 a day – and even then, that was only when we were crashing with some of my friends.

In fact, when you compare my travels to those ‘hip, twenty-somethings’ who are really seizing the day, I look pretty pathetic.

It’s not my fault (I think). I’m just bad at that particular brand of travel.

I live in Japan.

I spent six months doing laundry by hand in my bathtub. I’ve climbed Mt. Fuji, cooked my way through several cookbooks, dug up baby bamboo plants from the mountainside, haggled for fish at the fish market, and ended up in the newspaper/on TV a handful of times…

but I’ve never befriended a “local” on the road and ended up crashing at their house for a week, while learning all sorts of secret, insider knowledge about the city I’m travelling in. Or hitchhiked across a country. Or met a university student on the street and joined their posse for a wild night of drinking, clubs, and taxi rides.

Or any of that cool stuff people with travel blogs seem to do effortlessly. 

Compared to all the other stories I read online, about twenty-somethings who work part-time, saving up for their next big trip or freelance full-time, bouncing from one city to another or spend a year discovering themselves while travelling around the globe… I’m remarkably tame.

And boring.

For a long time, I felt like I had been given an amazing opportunity and was squandering it by being so “lame” and “predictable.”

  • I have a savings account.
  • I make soy lattes at home and buy all my food locally (and know exactly where to go to get the best price).
  • I’m friends with the local, little-old-Japanese farmers, who ring my doorbell and give me bags of rice, fruits, and vegetables each season.
  • I do my best work at my desk at home, not longing on some hidden beach without wifi.
  • I like going to bed early and waking up in time to watch the sunrise.
  • I have absolutely no desire to go on an overnight trip with anyone aside from my husband or a close friend (hey, I’m a picky traveler).

Basically, according to any listicle or article about global twenty-somethings, I’m a failure of a traveler.

Oops.

But somewhere between that phone call with my dad and a chat with my husband, I realize that there is more than one kind of traveler. And I can’t believe it took me this long to figure that out. 

Just because the only type of traveler on the internet is this global twenty-something, doesn’t mean that any other kind of travelling (like my brand of travelling) doesn’t exist. And it sure as heck doesn’t mean that my type of travelling is in any way, shape, or form inferior.

It’s not “wrong.” It’s just different.

I wish someone had told me this before my honeymoon. I was so determined to finally be a mature, global adult, backpacking through South America with my new husband. Instead I ended up almost dying, getting my appendix removed, getting another infection, and flying back to Texas with my tail between my legs.

So much for being an adventuresome, global traveler.

Hindsight is 20-20, though.

(a week after getting my appendix removed, during infection #2)

(a week after getting my appendix removed, during infection #2)

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

42 Comments on It’s okay if you don’t like to travel

  1. So true! There are lots of different kinds of travelers and lots of different kinds of trips. I’ve done the couchsurfing/hostel thing and its great but sometimes I feel like a different kind of trip- biking all day and then ending up at a nice hotel ;) I find that especially after I started working I tend to spend a little more on vacations so that I can really relax and enjoy them – options like seeing only one town instead of trying to see 3 in a week trip can really help, then you can stay somewhere nicer and go home feeling rested rather than exhausted:)

    PS- come to Singapore! Its a bit expensive but really awesome, and the food is amazing and really cheap which is all that matters ;)

  2. i always feel like a boring traveller 😅 i’m not the kind of person who’s going on adventures and i love to plan the whole trip in advance but i’m ok with that :)
    i would love to be a better at saving money 😂 i like to stay at cheaper (not the cheapest) hotels and spent the money for the trip itself (food, activities or sth like that) :) we just use the hotel room to get some sleep at night and as long as the bed is comfortable it’s great.
    couchsurfing or sth similar scares me …
    so everyone is different and that’s great!
    it’s going to be our first trip to japan in april so i’m curious how it’ll turn out …

    (sorry for my english … 😅)

    • We also want our own room. I guess pass a certain age, you prefer to be in your “own” thing. Maybe if i was in my 20’s, i wouldnt mind hostels or couchsurfing…..But i can’t really stand people when i’m exhausted so, i don’t want to impose this on others :).

      That being said, we don’t spend more than 100$ in general on a hotel per night. Except on our next trip to Japan, we exceeded that amount in some of the town we’re going to visit so….

      In the end, you do the trip you want. If you like hostels, stay awake until 5am, that’s fine, but it’s also ok to go to bed at 8pm or 9pm if you’re tired.

  3. Well, if it’s the way you like to travel, good for you. You should not compare your experiences with the ones other peoples have. It’s like the people who go to Cuba every goddamn winter, at the same resort…well, that’s where they like to go. For me, it’s sound boring but for them, not….We are going back to Japan for the 3rd time this month, and so many people told me “AGAIN??? are you not bored???”. I need to defend my choices to these people….really? do i say something when i heard somebody who still go to Cuba ou Jamaica for the 10th times in 5 years?? No. So, screw them. I’ll enjoy my trip to Japan and if i want to go back for a 4th time, i’ll go! :) Sorry for my poor english btw. I’m from Canada and my 1st language is french. I hope you get my point :)

  4. I’m totally different from you.. I wish I was better at saving money and that means being ok with discomfort to save money. But you work really hard and you deserve nicer hotel room, comfort. But everybody has different values.

  5. Yes. I agree with your dad. It’s important to take care of oneself. Eating new food and having more time to rest and explore. It’s well spent money.

  6. I’m now 35, but I think by the time I got past 25 I didn’t enjoy hostels or couch surfing at all anymore. For me, a holiday and travel is no fun if I haven’t slept well, can’t eat what I want, and feel all my time worrying about whether I can afford to do something I want or not. I’d rather not go, or go on less trips if it means the one I do go on, I can afford to do it in a little more comfort.
    http://www.seachangeokinawa.blogspot.com

  7. Anonymous // 9 December, 2015 at 9:58 pm //

    Remember that blogs, videos and social media show an edited story of a trip. I can tell you about a great story where a funny thing happened or I discovered a thing, but would I share that time I had lunch somewhere that was just ok? Or the trip through the airport where everything happened as it should?

    If you’re a blog/Tripadvisor/Flyertalk junkie too, then you get a constant stream of the weird and wonderful things that you think *everyone* are doing, and you feel a pressure to do it too.

    Luxury for me is a rare treat, cheap stuff is good, but when cheap becomes unpleasant then it’s gone too far. If a bad night’s sleep means strained relationships or aches and pains then it’s not worth it. I once spent a few days staying in ryokans and eating kaiseki food and while many might think it’s bucket list stuff (and when it was good, it was fantastic), by the last morning I was aching from the futon, tired of banging my head on low door frames, and the last straw was the kaiseki breakfast. Some things I liked, some I didn’t know what they were, and a centre piece of a whole soy-marinated fish. It had just become too much.

    I had a little out of politeness, checked out, and had a proper breakfast at Hakone train station listening to Billy Joel in the restaurant. A latte and pastries had never tasted so good.

    I have discussed with my partner too about doing a road trip with no pre-planned accommodation, deciding when to move and seeing what’s available when rolling into a town. While we both love the romance of it, the idea of worrying about availability, quality, should we stay? Should we move on? We’d end up spending more time during the trip planning the next bit than actually experiencing the now.

  8. If you sleep in a bed that’s not yours, you are a traveler.

  9. What kind of airline does your Dad fly on that it only cost $50 to upgrade to a better seat?
    And where does he go that it only costs a few bucks more to stay in a nice hotel than a rock-bottom hostel? In the developed world, I don’t know of many such places.

    Anyhow, I did the traveling-on-a-threadbare-shoestring thing for many years, and loved it. But since I got married, I’ve had to change, because my wife’s style is different. And comfort does start to be more important as you get older (I still don’t like luxury, but moderate comfort is starting to make sense).

  10. One of the main reasons why the travel blogs we read are always those of global, twenty-something, budget travelers is because, they are the only type of travelers that need supplementary income from travel blogging. Those who can afford to travel well (in terms of comfort) don’t blog because they don’t need to. So I’m with your dad on this. There are a million ways to travel. As long as you get your ass on a plane/train/boat and go somewhere, you’re a traveler.

  11. Anonymous // 8 December, 2015 at 6:35 am //

    Thank you!

  12. I used to be a budget traveler in my early 20s but now in my 30s I’ll pay extra to stay at a nice hotel and have legroom on the plane. It really makes a huge difference. My husband was able to get more sleep on the plane, didn’t get sick in Japan, and we enjoyed our time. Compared to the previous year we went with cheap coach seats, he got sick due to lack of sleep in crunched seats…wasn’t able to eat half of the food…in Hokkaido. Hokkaido the place you go to eat! So yea ultimately, I’d rather pay extra and have a grand time because to me it’s “if I’m gonna go, I’m going all out” :P

  13. I know I don’t need to say this, but your way is not the wrong way to travel. Actually, a good traveller knows that we all do it differently. I’ve done the budget thing, sometimes it has really paid off, and sometimes not. I don’t like spending extra money either, but I have learned to compromise.
    Budget hotel, a variety of low and middle priced meals at restaurants (usually low price restaurants), and the rest of the money goes for taxis (because can be scary in the traffic of South Asia) and souvenirs (which is a huge betrayal if you do NOT bring them back to your Indian family).
    We love bargain as well, but we won’t do it if it risks safety. Our comfort has limits as well. We’ve been on those discounted buses and trains, slept among strangers on them. But for some reason, if we are going to spend the night in another country, we’d prefer a budget hotel over a hostel.

    I would have done the same before marriage. I guess that cheap/wild traveller lifestyle is not for every millennial.

  14. I’m also a 20-something who wishes she could travel more. Problem is, I also get sick when I travel too much (and “too much” begins at about 2 hours in the car), though nothing hospital-worthy (at least, as far as I know). I (and Hubby, thankfully) have finally learned that road trips are absolutely a no-go for me. If it isn’t to visit family for the holidays, or a trip to Tulsa (since my chiropractor’s there and a good adjustment is the only thing that really relieves the physical pain and discomfort from travelling), then it’s a plane or I don’t go. I wish I could fly regularly for both the other options, too. When someone finally accepts me as an employee, I will at least be able to afford plane tickets more often.

  15. I have never done any of those backpacking trips, nothing even close to that. Everytime we travel we try to make it possible to enjoy it as much as possible by having some nice hotel and if possible also more legspace when flying. Guess me and my wife are also very boring millenials

  16. To be honest, i’m not buying any of those stories i see regarding ‘backpacking, sleeping in a hostel, and spending $25/day, while having a great time discovering pristine no wifi beaches” kind of traveling.
    I think many of those stories are ‘paid for’ [the author was given money to go try it out for a couple of days, weren’t traveling alone’ and knowing exactly where to go and when, so on.
    Just like any other blogger, they are ‘selling dreams’ – you’re a blogger, i’m a blogger, and we both sell dreams. we just try to be more transparent about the dreams we sell. ;)
    i wrote something about why bloggers sell dreams: https://theownertravelsto.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/why-does-a-bloggers-life-seem-perfect/ it’s not the best article, and i could have written more..

  17. If you had a vehicle and want to take it up a notch more than sleeping in hostels, there is something even cheaper than that: sleeping in the car at a random rest stop/parking stop on the side of the road because it costs zero yen/dollars. Yes that’s what my husband and I did several trips now, for one trip we did it 3 nights in a row by sleeping in the car, luckily one rest stop had an onsen and restaurant on it so we could take a bath right away in the morning, if not we just look for a public onsen or sento on some of the days. On another trip that was longer (like over a whole week) we did every other day sleeping in the car and every other day at a hotel so we could handle it longer and it still saved us money on that trip :) Luckily in Japan its a hobby for people to sleep in their car, we see people who customize their vehicles as rvs even just for that, and its safe to sleep in the car in Japan (some countries its not safe to sleep in the car).

  18. I’m a 50-something. OK, I’m almost 60. I teach in China and I like to travel. Last winter holiday I decided to try the low budget, pack one backpack and couchsurf style or travel and visit Beihai. It wasn’t fun. I like sleeping in hotels. Sure, maybe I’ll missing hanging out with my nice hosts (which they were), but I also don’t have to share a bathroom with several other strangers and worry about my stuff going missing. So, I did it once and I know I can do it, but I’d rather spend a little more on a comfy bed and private bathroom. Neither costs very much in most Asian countries, so why live like a miser. And last summer, I upgraded to economy plus on my flight back to the States and for once could actually get some sleep. Someday when I’m rich I may try business class. Haha.

    Travel should be fun, not a chore or a hardship. Do what you like, not what those travel bloggers say they do.

  19. Ah–this! I’ve also recently had the epiphany that we don’t all have to travel the same way. I also can’t believe it took me so long to figure out that since I’m traveling by myself, I can literally do whatever I want, go wherever I want, stay wherever I want–for as long as I want! We all have our non-negotiables for having a positive experience, and yet we try to conform to someone else’s idea of world exploration. You want to travel in such a way that your body doesn’t rebel, and I want to travel in a way that I have time to be alone and process, without feeling pressured to do something crazy every day.
    Cheers to forging our own path!

  20. I’ve always loved to travel. Walking trips are great, hiking and camping is fun. The best part of these trips is that they are nestled between a nice flight and a good hotel at the beginning and a very nice hotel (recovery needs pampering) and a nice flight at the end.
    I’ve been lucky enough to have some great people I’m my life that share the love of the journey and not the destination.
    I learned early enough that there is no hidden reward for suffering, or as the cool kids liked to call it… enduring. If you’re with the right people any trip can be amazing and while spending money on luxury may be a waste, spending money on comfort is never wasteful.
    I am never going to regret the soft bed and the long soak at the end of a great journey and it’s worth more to me than the thought of how I suffered to “get the most” out of a trip.

    Happy trails to you…

  21. I rarely leave the city more than once a year. Unless we have to go to Abeline to visit my in laws. I don’t like to travel unless I’m going to the beach. Then you can’t get me back to the hotel. I’m super boring myself. It’s hard to go anywhere with 2 kids and no money.

  22. Your father is wise. Travel in safety and comfort. Save the secret discoveries for when you’re walking around!

  23. 20-something here too, however I now have two children that will tag along with my husband and I on our travels. We are always looking for cheaper options but with children we need safety and comfort. We’ve never done the hostel style traveling.
    I don’t believe any travel is lame. You’re getting out, seeing and experiencing a little more each time, even if it’s close by, and that’s awesome.

  24. I like this article, sounds like my white wife

  25. Yeah, I’ve taken a night bus once (round trip) and hated it so much that I’ve never done it again. For me, I know I’m not as bad as you (I’m not going to end up in the emergency room… probably), but nevertheless, I don’t sleep on any form of public transportation or in uncomfortable places like cheap hostels or couches, and when I don’t get enough sleep, I get sick to my stomach. So rather than ruin my trip, I pay a little extra to travel faster (say, a direct flight instead of a cheaper flight with layovers) and to sleep in a bed in a room I don’t have to share (unless it’s with friends, but even then I don’t share the bed – just the room). This helps a TON. And I generally don’t end up paying THAT much more. If you haven’t already, you should check out Airbnb. It’s a site where regular people can list their extra bedrooms, apartments, or even whole houses. They’re not all cheap, but you can usually weed out the expensive ones and the dirt cheap ones that aren’t very good to find something in the middle, usually around 30-60 bucks a night, that are great. Way cheaper than a hotel, but often just as nice if not nicer because more personal. In Korea I stayed with a couple who fed me breakfast every morning and took me out for Korean bbq on my last night. In Greece my friend and I stayed in the extra APARTMENT owned by a guy who wasn’t even there but whose sister and mother were SO nice, made sure we always had food in the kitchen for breakfast, and even did our laundry for us. Highly recommended. :)
    You don’t need to travel by rule if it’s not fun. Just do what makes you happy. ^^

  26. I use teaching English as support for travel, but I’m a sociologist. You can’t know a culture in a day or on a dime. You can know people, and it’s fun sometimes, but it’s better to stay a long time build relationships, and learn what a place really is about. I haven’t made many friends, but I’ve found a lot of family. If you stay on the cheap you miss out on meeting a lot of people and seeing a lot of the culture. Personally, I’d miss it.

  27. Well, if you think hostels and cheap meals adversely affect your health, I’d say go for the more expensive option. I’m a millennial and I don’t always go for the cheap route; I find ways to get hotel points through credit card signups and end up not paying as much. Check out The Points Guy.

  28. Oh my, my husband and I can so relate to this post!

    When planning a trip to an island last spring, I had to laugh at the things we both researched online. Him: “This hotel has a Gourmet course dinner, or the Deluxe course with crab for only $15 more. Which do you want?” Me: “I thought we could just make sandwiches and have a picnic…you know so we can stay at this beach longer? I found some good beaches we can drive to”
    Lol!

    Now we travel with a mixture of frugality and comfort. We like it. I’ll never do the ideal Western millennial’s travel style but we don’t like the Japanese way–spending our entire bonuses in 2 days at a resort hotel–either (see one resort hotel, you’ve seen them all)…I still have the millennial’s distaste of luxury and longing for “authenticity” I guess. We both agree traveling to visit friends is the best way. but because we have different cultural ideas of “travel” we have to negotiate a happy medium every time!

  29. S. J. Pajonas (spajonas) // 5 December, 2015 at 9:44 am //

    That kind of budget traveling is for the birds (and twenty-somethings, I suppose). Now I like 5-star hotels, all inclusive resorts with extra booze and babysitting, and fancy meals. Lol. But that’s what pushing forty with kids gets you. Honestly, when I was in my 20s and we went to Thailand, we sprung for the nice hotels and had a blast. Plus first class on Thai Airways was a budget $26. Ah. Smooth as silk. I love those travel blogs, but I always think they’re trying too hard to prove they’re so rugged and cheap.

  30. Lame traveler?? I WISH I knew how to travel like how any of the people commenting have…I’ve taken long bus trips by myself and stayed at dodgy hotels…but to really travel abroad, I have no idea how to do that. I feel like the only way I can and not be completely lost and confused in the midst of transition is by program. But I’m trying though. Currently applying to be an ALT in Japan next year. Whether that works out or not, I want to go live for a short time in other parts of asia too. Less dreaming and more planning I guess.

  31. I’m another Millennial who travels like your dad. Did the hostel/super budget hotel thing whilst on a trip to England in college. Nope. Also dormed for a summer in Vermont – had my own room, which was nice, but I counted down the days until I could stop sharing a shower with 15 other people.

    I don’t think I could ever be a backpacker. I’m too “pampered.” (Haha) I know people who live for that type of adventure, and that’s great. I’ll live vicariously through them and their 200 Facebook pictures. I have my own thrills when it comes to traveling, like scouting out good restaurants that are off the beaten path. (Yes, I’m motivated by food.)

    There’s no right or wrong way to travel, really. It’s whatever suits you best. Personally, I hardly think you’re “boring.”

    (I will recommend that no matter what, always seek deals on hotels and flights. It’s possible to score a bargain and be comfortable. Loyalty programs help, too – plenty of nice perks.)

  32. I am definitely in the not-a-budget-traveler camp with you. I don’t like sharing rooms, particularly bathrooms, I don’t want to drag all my stuff around with me, I don’t want to go to excessively dirty places, I don’t want to eat street food all the time….. yeah, definitely not a budget traveler. I would say, though, most of Taiwan and South Korea are pretty comfortable and fairly cheap. I think you’ve been to Taiwan, you might enjoy SK sometime as well. I’ve lived in both places and had no major issues!

  33. Hah hah! This reminds me of when we were travelling in Egypt with our young son. We were at a southern town and had decided to take the train up to Cairo. We were so cheap we couldn’t be bothered to pay extra to ride the “sleeper train” and instead went general to save money. It was one of the most nightmarish experiences ever, including my son getting diarrhea and having to use the toilet which was a hole over the train tracks. Anyway, it was after this that my wife started saying “You know…we’re adults now (early 30s), we don’t have to do this anymore…we can pay a little extra for comfort if we want to!” And so since then we’ve tried to keep that perspective. I still tend to go for the cheaper option, but we’re not quite the backpackers we used to be (though we look back fondly on those days).

  34. Compared to you, I am hardly a traveler at all, but sometimes I feel the same way. I’ve kayaked/ camped in the northwest, and driven all over the country without an itinerary…once. Maybe twice. But now? I don’t sleep well and I like comfy beds. Yet I feel guilty about staying in nice hotels or B&Bs nowadays. Like I’m a lame adventurer.

    Andy, on the other hand, feels no guilt. People try and talk us into camping or crashing on couches and Andy laughs at them and says, “We’re hotel people.”

    End of story.

    • I feel guilty sometimes too, but Ryosuke feels no guilt. I guess it’s a husband thing?

      (the last time we crashed on someone’s couch was in college… and it STILL sucked)

      • It’s not ‘a husband thing.’ I tnd to be’the one who gries to save money on trips. But my (Japanese) wife feels no guilt about staying in a hotel where one can get a decent night’s sleep, have a readily accessible and clean bathroom, and eat food that is tasty and healthy. After all, how much ‘fun’ is it to travel if one is unnecessarily tired or, in your case, gets sick? Having to spend time in hospital takes the shine off the apple of a trip, doesn’t it?

        You wrote a post some weeks ago about realizing now that you are an adult that you have your own values and preferences. Thank goodness you are recognizing that you can/should travel in a way that suits YOUR needs rather than in a way that meets the expectations and/or style of other millenials. ‘To each his/her own,’ Grace.

        I hope you are grateful to your Dad, and Mom, for sharing their concerns with you. Clearly, they love you dearly!

      • I don’t think it’s a husband thing, because I do the same (feeling no guilt) if I decide that what would suit my needs better is to stay somewhere else or do something else.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love cheap travel as much as any other person (who doesn’t?), but I think there’s a difference between cheap travel for cheap travel’s sake, and cheap travel because that’s what you consciously chose to do because of [reasons].

        My money philosophy (and really, this goes for more than just travel) is to cut back aggressively on the things that don’t matter to me, and to spend lavishly on the things that do matter to me. So I live in a dinky room so my rent is dirt cheap (for California), I don’t own a TV, my smartphone (my first one ever, and I upgraded from a 6 year old dumbphone) is three years old, my car is a beater I bought with $2000 in cash when I returned from working in Europe. That’s where I save, because those things don’t matter to me.

        When I spend, I spend thoughtfully and on things that matter to me, and I am not shy at all of paying extra for “luxuries” if I decide that that is what I need, or even if it is something that I want. Travel matters to me. So I spend lavishly there. I spent extra money on flying on a good airline to visit my family in Indonesia, because I wanted the comfort and the good service, and didn’t want to deal with the hassle and discomfort of a shitty airline (and I’ve sat at least 10-15 different airlines both budget and not so I do know the difference). I spent money to get scuba certified at a qualified scuba resort, because I didn’t want to save there and somehow drown because my scuba instructor didn’t know what he was doing. And I spent the extra money to stay in a nice room at the scuba resort instead of at cheaper rooms available on the island because I wanted the convenience of being right there and of being at a place where I could get all my needs around scuba diving catered to, so I could focus on getting certified properly, instead of freaking out about where I was staying.

        I pick and choose my own battles, and I think that’s what you should do. Plus remember that our needs and wants evolve as we get older too. I think it’s great that you’re self-aware about what your needs and limitations are. That’s the great thing about designing your own travel experience, right? You get to decide what works for you and what does not, and you’ll refine it as you get to know yourself better!

  35. I’m with your Dad on this one. When I was in my early 20s I thought nothing of sharing a hostel room with 7-15 strangers and taking overnight trains/red-eye flights to avoid wasting precious vacation days. I even did a less-than-24-hour stay on a transatlantic trip to catch a friend’s wedding without taking any vacation days from work or book unnecessary hotel room nights.

    But being sick for days/weeks afterwards — or, worse, during the trip itself — finally convinced me to get my own hotel room and allow time in my vacation plans for sleep before and after travel. I also try to budget for at least one nicer meal each day, and make sure to eat lots of fruit and take vitamins and go to bed earlier than usual. That last one kind of sucks–what kind of lame-O goes to bed early on vacation? — but it helps me adjust better so I feel rested for the next day’s adventures.

    It’s not as cool or as cheap, but I don’t feel as much like a vacation zombie either.

  36. Honestly, I’m a 20 something and I travel your dads way and I love it. I did the hostel thing and 8hours on a bus instead of a 2hr plane when I was younger 20 and I didn’t enjoy it. I found I was stressed worrying about my making my transfers and wearing my sandals in dodgy shared showers. I pay a bit extra to stay in a decent but affordable hotels and mid range travel. It is more expensive but I feel more rested after a nights sleep in a hotel with a comfy bed and clean showers and not travelling the red eye to save money. My health is temperment like yours and i have to take care of myself when I travel to prevent illness.

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