Gamers whining about the lack of fast travel are missing the point. This isn't Skyrim.
Play it on hard mode, and all the minor quest that would seem like an annoyance are suddenly a dangerous adventure in their own right that have to be prepared for smartly.
Once you have played through the game two or more times it will be clear to you how smartly the game is put together. In truth, the map isn't very big, at least not compared to its contemporaries. You can run from one side to the other in ten minutes, if you know where you are going. When you are new though it will seem huge, and if you are playing on hard mode you will feel a wonderful tension ala Dark Souls because every enemy encounter can kill you if you aren't careful. The thing about the hard mode is that you won't get hit often, but when you do it will almost always be a one shot. So make sure you save a lot.
The story grants you fast travel appropriately at the point in the game that it would be annoying to not have it, and if you save some money you can simply purchase all the fast travel items you want. Having some sense of how to prioritize quest and travel efficiently will go a long ways. For instance, instead of doing main story quest A, traveling to capital, and then going back out to side quest b, do the two of them in one trip if they are located in the same region.
Dragons Dogma is not a game for dummies, but it isn't DKS either. It is a very pleasant balance between the two extremes. I highly recommend playing it on hard mode however, not because of some silly elitist pride, but because the game mechanics really shine their best on hard mode.