Gunnar Garfors has been to all 198 countries in the world – all while working as a full-time media executive and consultant in his native Norway.
Whether you’ve been wanderlusting for years, planning a city break, or you’re about to set off on your gap year, Gunnar’s top tips can be applied to any holiday.
Here is his best advice for intrepid travellers.
1. Plan ahead
Be determined. A lot of people might think they don’t have enough money to travel, but it’s all about priorities, dedication and some planning. With low-cost airlines all over Europe (and beyond) virtually anyone can visit another country by booking tickets way ahead.
2. But leave some room for spontaneity
“Grab opportunities when you stumble across travel possibilities on short notice. It can be cheap last-minute tickets, an impromptu invitation to something, or it can be a spontaneous idea that just comes to you.”
3. Save up and travel cheaply
Aside from budget airlines, there are of course also trains, ferries and buses. I’ve also done hitchhiking and car sharing. Think about staying for free on someone’s sofa using sites like Couchsurfing or HospitalityClub. Then you’ll not only get a free bed, but a free guide and maybe a great friend too. For food and drinks, buy in shops or markets – it’s usually much cheaper than restaurants.
4. Pack light
“Leave your suitcase at home. It’s more flexible, and you won’t have to pay for checked luggage. I once travelled with hand luggage only for five weeks! Just remember to bring washing powder.”
5. Delve into the local culture
“Stay away from tourist traps and backpacker joints full of other travellers. Meeting locals is a much better way to see the real culture, and you’ll of course get expert tips on what you should do.
6. Being friendly will get you farther than you think
“The most important thing is to smile and approach people. Most people will appreciate it, and suddenly you’ll find yourself invited to a party, mountain hike or even a dinner.”