Welcome travelers! Where are you migrating to next?
If you have never traveled before… internationally, solo, or even across state lines, it can be a daunting subject to think about. The world is wide and the possibilities are endless… so where should you go on a first-time trip?
These are my top 5 destinations for beginner travelers; they are easy to navigate, have plenty of sites to see, and have attractions that will appeal to a wide variety of people. Take a look and see what destination could be next for you!
1. London, England
I am a bit partial to this city, because this was my first international destination as a solo traveler. Home to King’s Cross Station, Wimbledon stadium, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey, the city is full of famous and fascinating locations. London is beautiful, vast, and has plenty of history. There are museums and displays to cater to any Harry Potter fan. And not to mention, one of the biggest draws is the fact that the spoken language is English. This is one of the most important factors for travelers from the US, Canada, and more to feel comfortable- because maps, street signs, tours, and restaurant menus will all be in English.
There are even amazing day trips from the city to outer areas. Check out the Roman Baths in the city of Bath, or visit one of the most fascinating architectural mysteries in the world: Stonehenge.
Whatever your travel preferences, London is sure to have something for everyone!
2. Dublin, Ireland
This incredible city made the list for many of the same reasons as London- but Dublin could be more of what you’re looking for. Any beer lover will thrive in Dublin, where drinking is a daily part of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can find fairly cheap trans Atlantic flights from the US to Dublin, on sites like Norwegian airlines.
Dublin has a great selection of walking tours- some of which are free, and you will only be expected to pay a tip directly to your guide. This is a great way to see the most popular sites and learn about some fascinating history on the cheap. And if you’re a stout lover like me, be sure to check out the Guinness Factory, where a tour includes a free glass of liquid perfection at the top!
3. Phuket, Thailand
A bit farther around the world, we find one of my favorite countries- Thailand. Visiting Phuket was one of my greatest trips of all time. Thailand is full of kind and welcoming people, most of whom speak English, who can help you and show you the beauty of their country.
Some highlights include:
- Phuket Fantasea – an entertaining show filled with cultural costumes and dance, which includes an unlimited buffet dinner
- Phi Phi Islands – a beautiful cluster of islands just a short boat ride from the mainland, where you can take a boat tour out for a day of island hopping
- Elephant Sanctuaries – I had the pleasure of spending a day in Elephant Retirement Park Phuket and playing with elephants who had been saved from logging and abuse. We gave them food (bananas and sugar cane), played with them in the mud, and then gave them a bath in the nearby water. This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and I’d highly recommend going to a sanctuary to play with these beautiful creatures if you get the chance.
Transportation is usually fairly simple and cheap here, with many taxi and tuk tuk drivers able to pick you up at many locations. And one of my favorite things about Thailand- some of the most delicious and unique cuisine in the world.
This city is also its own country- and one of the most wealthy financial hubs of Southeast Asia. Although located in Asia, the official language of instruction is actually English, so the city is very easy to navigate and communication is straightforward. The subway system is quick and efficient, and you may recognize Singapore as one of the cleanest counties in the world.
Laws are relatively strict here, which makes Singapore extremely safe. Gum is illegal, so you won’t be finding any littered on the sidewalk. And there are heavy fines for having any food or drink on public transportation, so buses and trains are sparkling clean.
Singapore is one of my favorite places in the world. Be sure to try the incredible street food, located all over the city at outdoor food courts called Hawker Centers. And by night, check out the dazzling light show that takes place throughout a forest of towering metal tree sculptures called Gardens by the Bay.
5. Paris, France
It’s rare to find a traveler – aspiring or seasoned – who hasn’t dreamed of visiting Paris. Paris is one of the most visited tourist cities in the world, and for good reason. The famous Eiffel Tower, many renowned museums, ancient gothic churches, and highly rated cuisine are all found within what is often considered the most romantic city on Earth. Grab some cheese, a bottle of wine, and a spot on the grass to enjoy the beautiful light show on the Eiffel Tower itself. For more in depth travel advice, read my Paris Travel Guide.
There is no one perfect place for your first big trip. These are a few ideas to get you started, but if you have your heart set on a particular destination, you can go anywhere with the proper research. The world is your oyster! Happy traveling…
What other destinations have you been to that would be perfect for a beginner traveler? Comment below —