Here is some advice I would like to share with you that I have pieced together before travelling and while on the road. You can take it or leave it. But I hope it helps some when you think about what you need to do to live the dream of travel that you may have only thought about until now.
Don’t think you can’t travel because of lack of funds. Start saving now. Do you really need Starbucks everyday? Do you need to go to the movies once a week or rent movies all the time? Think of what you can do away with and start saving money now. Think of how much money you will have saved if you didn’t go to Starbucks everyday for that cup of coffee. Money spent on things of this nature could go towards making your trip a reality.
Don’t let Fear dictate your life. Don’t let it control you. I am glad I didn’t let fear get a hold of me when one of my friends backed out of a six month backpacking trip to Europe. I ended up taking the trip by myself. Best thing I could have done for me. It enabled me to work on my shyness and step out of my comfort zone. I met so many people during my travels and had the best time of my life. How different my life would have been if I let fear control my life …….. I would still be that shy girl scared to talk to strangers. Scared to take chances. Sometimes you have to stop fear in it’s tracks and leap into the unknown. New adventures await you!
Anyone can travel! It doesn’t have to be something you only dream about. Make it happen!
1) Think about where you want to go. How long do you want to be gone? Do you want to quit your job and travel for months or years? Do you want to be gone for a few weeks?
2) Think about how much you need to save? How much money do you think you will need for transportation, hostels, food, places you want to see in each city you visit. For instance, you can’t miss seeing the Mona Lisa in Paris or the Coliseum in Rome. Or galleries, museums, tours that would interest you. It isn’t about just seeing new places. It’s about experiencing what each place has to offer, us, the traveller, to these places. Yes, we do need to stick to a budget or we would go broke. But don’t let your budget hold you so tight that you miss out on really seeing these places. Maybe you could miss out on that one beer or spend less one time so you could spend more on something else you really want to see.
3) Try to pay for as much as you can beforehand. Can you pay for your transportation before you leave? Of course, flights can be paid for before you leave. What about rail passes? Which ones are the best for you? Look into which pass would take you into the countries you want to see. Or what about Busabout? Yes, I am hyping this because I took it years ago and it, for me, was the best decision I ever made. It allows you to stay in the cities within its route for two days at a time before you move onto the next city within it’s circuit. But remember this was years ago so I am sure the way it works is different now. Still something to look into if you want to go the bus route instead of taking the train. Look into these two options as well as flights between cities. Explore your options to see which ones will get you to the cities you want to see in the least expensive way possible. But also within the timeframe you are looking at for your trip. If you are looking at two weeks, then taking a flight between cities might be faster so you can experience those cities with more time on your hands. Or if you have a couple of months then the train or bus might work better for you. Explore all the options you have at your fingertips.
4) Hostels vs. Hotels vs. Campsites. Again depends on how much you want to spend. What is your preference? Do you even have a preference on where you wan to sleep. How close do you want to be to the city center? Or does being away from the city appeal to you more? Budget how much you want to spend on a bed or room for the nights you will be gone.
5) How much do you want to spend on food each day? For me, I can get by with $50 a day. I know I can use the money I don’t spend one day for the next day. I know some days I may spend more and other days I may spend less. But it is always good to have an idea of how much money you will need for food or for that matter anything that you know you will need $$ for ie transportation, accommodation, food etc.
6) Spending Money — yes, you might want to buy souvenirs while you are travelling. You can’t go on a trip and not come back with something you bought from that country.
7) Research ……. I found this to be the best thing I could have done for every place I have seen. If I didn’t research the places I wanted to see then I wouldn’t have realized, for me, that Busabout was the way to go when travelling through Europe for three months. Or taking the train or tour was the best option when travelling through London and Paris with my mom. Or renting the car would work best when travelling through Spain. Again research as much as you can before you go.
Last but not least. Be Spontaneous! Realize you don’t have to stick to an itinerary if you have one planned for your trip. Things change when you are on the road. For instance, I went into Belgium one morning and as soon as I got off the bus, I changed my mind, and took the next bus to Amsterdam. Or changing my mind about going into Romania. Ended up going to Poland and visiting my Uncle instead.
Your trip is what you make of it. Be Spontaneous! Have Fun! Travelling is all about new experiences, new adventures, meeting new people and seeing more of the world around us.