I have been very fortunate to travel to some pretty amazing places in my life. I’ve walked along the Champs-Elysees at night in Paris, looked at the Roman Coliseum at twilight, and looked at the cool statues in Vigeland Park Oslo. I’m not rich, I don’t have a trust fund, and I paid for all of my travels myself. So, if you’re in a similar situation I have some advice for you.
Travel for me is fuel for my soul. I love the process of thinking of where to go to next, who I’ll meet, what food I’ll eat, and wondering what I will see when I arrive. My travels have broadened my worldview and have helped me become a global citizen.
So, here are some pieces of advice for you.
- Begin to dream about where you would like to go.
- Narrow it down for the time that you’re currently living in. Not every trip is appropriate for the moment that you’re in.
- Connect your interests to the place you would like to visit. So, there was a long-time in my life when I was obsessed with all things French. The obvious trip for me was to go to Paris. But before that trip I was: learning French, going to French events, eating French food…you get the picture. If you love incredible waterfalls, great steaks, and wine then Argentina should be on your list
- Set a time frame and be honest with yourself. I recently discovered that my shorter trips were just as valuable as my long-term trips. The value of each trip was having the ability to go and experience somewhere new.
- Create a budget and then add another 25%-Things always happen when you travel. You may decide to stay longer, leave earlier, or a family emergency could crop up.
- Research, research, research-The more you research the more real your trip becomes to you. Research: transportation, food, activities, etc.
- Work (and save) like crazy!!
- Be open to alternative housing options. I almost always stay in hostels in countries new to me. The hostels I’ve stayed in have been fun, multi-aged, offered breakfasts, and had kitchens that you could use. Some even offered activities, bar-b-ques, and travel assistance
- Buy food from the grocery store or farmers’ market
I am currently preparing for a trip that I have delayed for 10 years. I had to be flexible about the dates because I currently work a full-time job. Also, it’s a long-haul trip so I’m looking at ways to cut the flight costs. Happily, I will be housed for free for entire trip. There is a lot of talk about balancing out travel and taking care of financial goals. I would just say that if you’re going to travel-save money in ways that don’t endanger safety, USE CASH, have a backup plan, and have fun. By the way, I’m not telling you travel with wads of cash. If you’re using your credit card have the cash to pay it off when you get back.
If you’re looking to experience the rush of traveling and make some coin, why not share your local knowledge with other travelers using Vayable?
The world is out there-go explore it but don’t be a financial fool.