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  1. Monica Sharma
    November 6, 2018 @ 12:43 pm

    Greece is cheap amongst all, Great list! Don’t give too much on the “snowy” description of Greece though, we’ve only had about 3 days of snow here this year and none last year, Greece winter is nowhere as cold as its reputation

    • Ali Garland
      November 10, 2018 @ 11:24 am

      I’m not sure I knew Greece had a reputation for being cold and snowy in the winter, but thanks!

  2. Melanie
    July 23, 2018 @ 8:46 am

    Thanks for compiling this useful list.

    I went to Malta in March and I would highly recommend it. I had no struggles with language barriers as everyone I encountered spoke really good English. Even the menus at restaurants were written in English.

    Transport was slow but for the most part reliable and easy to use. Buses tell you what the next stop is going to be in both English and Malteese.

    I am female and I was travelling solo. I did a lot of walking by myself along the cliffs and in the countryside and I felt very safe.

    March was a lovely time to go as I found it was a comfortable twenty degrees and all the spring flowers were out.

    For a small Island I felt there was a lot to see. Gozo is definitely worth a visit too.

    I feel it is definitely a good place to visit for a nervous traveller.

    • Ali Garland
      July 23, 2018 @ 7:55 pm

      Thanks Melanie! Malta is gorgeous, and definitely a good choice since it’s easy to get around and English is an official language. I got to go there years ago for a friend’s wedding, but I really need to go back and explore properly.

  3. Naa Adjeley
    August 29, 2017 @ 7:11 pm

    I want to travel outside my country (Ghana)….please can you help me. …it my first time to travel

    • Ali Garland
      September 4, 2017 @ 11:12 am

      I’m not sure how I can help, but do some research, decide where you want to go and if you will need a visa, and work out how much money you need to budget for the trip. It might be easier to start with a country in Africa, someplace not too far from Ghana, so it won’t be such a huge culture shock.

  4. Lauren
    October 20, 2013 @ 4:10 am

    I went to Iceland this summer and thought it would be a great starter country. All Icelanders speak English and are incredibly friendly. It’s a very safe country too! Not to mention beautiful.

    • Ali Garland
      October 20, 2013 @ 11:50 am

      I’ve heard people from Iceland speak English. I’ve never been, but I’d really love to get there someday! Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. Sofia
    February 6, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    Great tips! I’d also like to add Scandinavia, it’s super easy to travel there for foreigners – pretty much everyone is fluent in English, the countries are well structured and the public transport system is pretty good. Switzerland is another easy and fun country to travel in.

    • Ali Garland
      February 6, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

      Thanks Sofia! I had so many countries that I thought were good for new travelers, I may have to do a part 2! I haven’t been to the Scandinavian countries yet, but I’d love to make it up there one of these days.

  6. Ally
    January 12, 2013 @ 11:44 am

    I’ll actually be going to all of these places in my backpacking trip (except for Australia as I already live there ha ha). And I love the sunset photo for Greece!

    • Ali Garland
      January 12, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

      Thanks Ally! Sounds like a great trip, have fun! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

  7. Ellen
    January 10, 2013 @ 10:15 am

    Great suggestions. I can’t imagine going to someplace like India or China as my first international travel experience. Yikes!

    • Ali Garland
      January 10, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

      Thanks Ellen! I agree, that would be scary. I’m not even sure I can handle India or China now!

  8. Taryn
    January 7, 2013 @ 11:17 am

    Hi Ali

    Great list for people who are nervous to travel! Just wanted to point out Ayers Rock should be referred to by its indigenous name – Uluru.



    • Ali Garland
      January 7, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

      Thanks Taryn! I’ll add Uluru as well, I’ve always seen it listed under both names.

  9. Deb
    January 6, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

    Great suggestions. A lot of people are always putting together lists about obscure places or off the beaten path destinations. But there is a reason these countries are so popular. When you start traveling, you want to go to the premier destinations. Heck, I still love visiting all the above. Travel should be fun, not difficult and these are certainly fun spots for anyone.

    • Ali Garland
      January 7, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

      Thanks Deb! Exactly, these countries are popular for a reason, so much to offer so you can experience a foreign country while still being easy to navigate, safe, not so intimidating.

  10. Kerry
    January 5, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

    Great list – love New Zealand! Maybe some Scandinavian countries would be good too – they speak great English in Sweden, Stockholm is pretty metropolitan and the rural areas are amazing (especially Arctic Sweden if that’s not too scary for first-timers!)

    • Ali Garland
      January 5, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

      Thanks Kerry! Sweden could be a good one too, though I haven’t actually been there yet. I may need to do a part 2 post at some point because I have several others in mind but I couldn’t make the post 3000 words long!

  11. Jade
    January 4, 2013 @ 4:24 am

    I totally agree about NZ especially… the country is just built for tourists! The hostels are affordable, comfy and clean and there is so much to do in such a small area!

    • Ali Garland
      January 4, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

      Thanks Jade! I really loved NZ, definitely lots to do and so easy to organize things!

  12. Adam
    January 3, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

    I’ve been to 5 of the 6. I think you’re probably right with these, but I’m sure there are some outside in Asia and South America that must be equally as easy.

    • Ali Garland
      January 3, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

      Thanks Adam! I think there probably are a few places in Asia and South America that would be easy for someone who isn’t so experienced. But for a true new traveler, someone who has probably never left their home country, I felt like Asia or South America might get a little too overwhelming as a first trip. Plus I had so many countries on my list, something had to go!

  13. Gigi
    January 3, 2013 @ 10:39 am

    Excellent list. I’d also add Belgium (specifically Flanders) to the list myself. Nearly everyone speaks perfect English and the Flemish Belgians are hospitable to the extreme. They don’t want you to trouble yourself and will go out of their way to help you if you need it. Plus, it’s beautiful, easy to navigate, great train system, and tons to do!

    • Ali Garland
      January 3, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

      Thanks Gigi! Belgium was definitely on my list, but the length of the post was getting out of control. When I noticed I was getting close to 1000 words, I knew I had to make some cuts. If I do a part 2, Belgium will definitely be on it.

  14. Matthew Cheyne
    January 3, 2013 @ 10:23 am

    Those are great suggestions. My first overseas trip will be to New Zealand probably sometime from 2014 onwards because of my finances, health and studies. For an Australian, New Zealand is a really good destination. You’re only three or so hours flying time from the east coast of Australia, the Australian dollar buys around $1.26 New Zealand stretching your budget that much further and being so close to Australia culturally, there’s not much of a culture shock involved in stepping off the plane in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.

    I think New Zealand has the potential to be the next big thing for solo travelers and couples alike. I’ve read numerous blogs of people who have been to New Zealand or are going now and they report back that the country is a totally gem of a place to visit.

    The other countries on your list are also great options too. I must admit that I am a bit hesitant about Greece because of all the protests in Athens but I’ve heard from my mother who is going on a cruise in the mediteranean in June that the protests get blocked off and the rest of Athens and Greece is okay.. But I’ve seen heaps of footage on Al-Jazeera English and the BBC showing heaps of rioting that appears out of control so for me Greece wouldn’t be on the list of countries to visit as a first trip overseas.

    • Ali Garland
      January 3, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

      Thanks Matthew! I’m so excited for you to go to New Zealand, I think you’ll love it! There are definitely differences between Australia and New Zealand, but you’re right, no real culture shock to worry about there. And it is nice that the exchange rate is in your favor. Let me know if you need any help planning!

      As for Greece, keep in mind that the media tends to blow things out of proportion. They’re in very specific areas of the city, it’s not like it’s all over the place. The protests have nothing to do with tourists, so there’s no violence against foreigners. I’ve known a few people who have been to Greece over the past year who had no problems at all, so I wouldn’t worry about it. And it’s mostly just in Athens, so for anyone really nervous about it, you can easily skip Athens and head straight to the islands. Good thing about going to Greece right now is things are a little cheaper and they could certainly use some tourism money!

  15. Jennifer
    January 3, 2013 @ 9:19 am

    All great suggestions! I’ve been to 40 countries now, some I definitely had expected to have language barrier issues in, and oddly the only country I’ve had a frustrating time communicating in was Spain.

    Language barriers definitely aren’t a reason not to travel.

    • Ali Garland
      January 3, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

      Exactly, you can almost always work around a language barrier, not a reason to stay home! I hated not putting Spain on this list, but for new travelers I thought English speaking countries, and places where they can find lots of English, would be best to start with. Spain is wonderful, but not nearly as many people there speak English as you’d think.