A YOUNG Irishwoman told how she managed to travel to 29 countries in two years on a tight budget.
Ciara Butler has gained a following on platforms such as TikTok as she shares tips, advice and recommendations on the countries she visits as she travels the world alone.
Ciara had planned to travel to 30 countries before her 21st birthday, but missed one trip due to illness.
She started traveling in January 2020 and has visited countries like Morocco, Bali, Belgium and Hungary so far.
Adventurous Ciara said her sister and father inspired her to travel.
She said: “My main motivations in retrospect were probably my sister Louise and my father.
“There’s a big age gap between my sister and me, so I always watched her from a very young age while backpacking.
“I decided from then on that I wanted to experience all the different cultures the world had to offer.
“My dad also worked overseas for a lot of his life and I would say I’m a lot like him on that front, I like the hustle and bustle of ever-changing environments.”
His last trip was to Bulgaria.
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She told us: “My last trip was supposed to be Denmark but the universe had different plans for me.
“The majority of the 29 countries I have traveled to have been within the past two years.
“My friend and I were talking about it recently and I actually visited 17 countries between my birthday last year and this year.
“Pretty crazy when I think of it like that!”
His videos discuss the best bars to visit, scenic spots to see, and the do’s and don’ts of traveling on a budget.
Barely 21 years old, she travels alone and stays in hostels reserved for women.
While mixed dorms are generally less expensive, Ciara prefers to stay in single-sex dorms if the hostel offers that option; not only for safety and privacy, but also because she wants to escape snoring men.
Talking about her accommodation to her viewers, she said, “I stay in hostels to meet people.”
She added: “Feel the fear and do it anyway when it comes to hostels.
“Some of my best solo travel friends have been made when we both stay in the same room and share toothpaste or check in on the weird guy downstairs.”
NEW FRIENDS IN NEW PLACES
While traveling, Ciara has met so many people from all over the world.
In her videos, she mentions that a favorite part of traveling solo is that she doesn’t have to consider anyone else’s plans, which means she can work entirely on her own schedule.
TikTok users found the solo aspect of traveling daunting, with one person commenting, “Where/how do you end up meeting people? I would be so nervous.”
In response, Ciara emphasized the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone, saying, “Being nervous or embarrassed is natural at first.”
Ciara advises anyone traveling alone to book hostels that have organized events, such as pub crawls or walking tours, as these are the best ways to meet people.
CHEAP AND EASY
Traveling on a budget, Ciara aims to spend no more than necessary on each trip.
She gives advice on traveling cheap, saying: “Never chose priority over Ryanair or extra luggage.
“The less space you have, the fewer things you will bring and realize that everything is fine.
“I spent 89€ in 3 days in Venice.
“This included the Vaporetto (water bus – the most expensive thing in Venice and the cheapest way to get around).
“I think my flights cost me less than €100 for the whole trip and my accommodation was similar.”
She points out how easy it is to travel on the cheap and even created a “travel budget planner” to help other backpackers plan a trip with minimal expense.
However, Ciara mentions that it’s always worth spending the money on experiences that will create lasting memories.
She said: “For example, in Croatia, going snorkeling or a boat trip will set me back more but also give me memories for life.”
Opening up to her followers, she recounts her experiences so far, detailing the importance of learning from different cultures and appreciating the moment you are in.
She’s also created eBook digital travel guides to buy for €4.99 that go into more detail about specific countries, including bucket lists, must-haves and printable templates.
To follow her traveling journey, Ciara can be found on TikTok and Instagram as @ciarabutlerrr.