For many people the biggest barriers to travel are having the time and money. If you are able to plan ahead, travel can be accessible to anyone at any budget. The following is a simple guide to starting on your travel journey.
- Save your pennies. Let’s get real travel is not cheap and unless you are wealthy it’s not something you can just do at the drop of a hat. Before you start planning anything about your trip start a travel account. Set up your bank to have an automatic deposit into a separate saving account. This may not be a lot of money, maybe you can only afford 20 dollars out of every paycheck but assuming you are paid twice a month that’s 480 dollars a year! Do not touch that money for anything but your trip.
- Figure out how much your trip will cost. Successful travel is all about planning. Once you have an idea of the cost you can figure out how long you will need to save for it. A dream trip suddenly will have a date attached to it, not just some vague time in the future.
- Think about your vacation time. If you are lucky enough to accrue vacation time at your work figure out how long it will take to you have enough time to take your trip. Think about vacation time the same way you do money. You may have to sacrifice a long weekend here and there in order to have enough time saved for your trip. If you do not get vacation time at your work make sure you budget for the time you will be on unpaid leave.
- Start to research- I get old school on this one. The internet is a great source but I still prefer travel books. Having a book about Morocco or Hawaii on your nightstand is a constant reminder of your travel goals. I love to dog ear the pages and markup all the places I want to see. Travel guides tend to get very specific about the prices of food and lodging so they are great for budgeting the day to day expenses of your trip.
- Pick what you want to splurge on and what you can save on. Dream about staying at 5 star beach resorts your whole trip? Well that’s going to cost you. Figure out what is most important to you. Would you mind staying a hostel for a few nights so you can afford that helicopter tour or guided trip? Going out to eat can get costly as well, be open to buying food from a local market and packing lunches. Most hostels have kitchens and can save you a lot of money.
- Remember for many travel locations your biggest expense will be your airfare. While there are many destinations that can get expensive there are others that are relatively cheap once you arrive. For example a flight to Thailand can cost up to 1500 dollars but you will likely spend less than half of that while there.
- Pull the trigger! Life will not wait for you to take your dream trip. Save, plan and do. Set a date for yourself and buy that plane ticket!
Do you have any other tips for reaching your travel goals? What is holding you back from traveling? Please share in the comments!