What to Consider When Planning your Next Trip
There are a lot of things to consider before taking your next trip. Whether your traveling for 2 weeks, 2 months or even 2 years there is going to be a lot of planning to be done. For me I found the most expensive part of it all was leaving the country. From the passports, visas, insurance and flights not to mention settling debts and bills before leaving home. Watching your money dwindle down can be quite daunting. Don´t get me wrong all the planning, organizing, applying and even counting down the days can be very exciting. but also overwhelming at times but the overall result is well worth it.
Let’s go back to the very beginning! You´ve decide you want to start travelling.
5 Ways to Help You Save Your Cash
Bank Account with Interest:
If you´ve just started saving then we got a minimum of a few months before you leave, why not start up an account that builds interest. Deposit money into it every week, put a block on it so you can’t touch it till you leave and watch the interest grow!!
Make A List:
Write a list of your weekly bills: Electricity, Rent, Fuel, Food etc. Add your Savings to it and why not make it fun. Trick your brain by giving your savings a name so it’s like you owe someone money each week.
Cut Down Cost:
Look out for sales such as 2 for 1 bargains and compare prices on items at your local stores. Shop at thrift stores or markets or even shop online, buy in bulk to save or Ask yourself ¨"Do I really need this. ¨
Sell / Buy Stuff Online:
When buying things for you trip try before you buy! E.G: Go into a store try it out, feel it and get the size, color and code. Search for it online guaranteed you will find it cheaper for the same quality. Do some research on social media sites: Facebook has buy and sell pages all you have to so is search your area.
I believe the best form of inspiration Is visualization! Now a-days we have the wonderful world of the Internet so you can pretty much research anything you want. Take this opportunity to learn about your preferred destination. What I did was put a $20 dollar note up on my wall and I just added extra zero´s. Tranforming it into $20,000 dollars. Around the money, I placed images I wanted to visit from all over the world. Every day and every night I would gaze at my goals and it would motivate me to go to work. That year my goal was to reach $20,000 at the end of that 12-month period I had saved a total $24,000 dollars.
$pendings Before You Leave
Like I mentioned before, you are going to spend a lot of money before you leave. It will consist of a lot of planning and researching. Here are some helpful tips to make it a little easier.
If you haven’t got one yet don’t worry, go to a place that takes photographs and ask them to print them in color. let them know it is for your passport. Then go to your local post office, embassy or consulate and fill out the appropriate documentation. You will need to provide appropriate evidence such as birth certificates, photo I.D, etc. You will need to pay a fee and wait for a parcel in the mail. If you are in an embassy or consulate most of the time you will receive it straight away.
Look at government websites or ask at your local embassy or consulate, otherwise just google your countries immigration laws and entry requirements. If a visa is required you will need to complete a form, show appropriate documentation and proof of who you are, pay the fee and wait for a response. E.g.:
- Smartraveller.gov: is the best site for Australian travelers.
- Travel.state.gov: is good for North and South American travelers.
- Research your local government websites
There are so many different websites you can look at online and compare prices. Perhaps you have a preferred travel agent that you´ve been going to for years or you may have collection of frequent flyer points. The great thing about this day and age is the various possibilities that make travelling very easy to accomplish. Some preferred sites I use especially for comparing flights is: Sky Scanner (My favorite) Expedia, CheapOAir and Cheap Tickets.
Note: Some destinations require proof of a departure ticket upon arrival otherwise they may refuse entry.
Just like the flights, you will find a lot of travel insurance websites online. Compare prices most sites will ask you personal questions about what you plan on doing on your trip and that will determine how much you will pay. Lonely Planet is a good place to start or try Insure My Trip or World Nomads. Also, you may require Immunizations such as yellow fever or typhoid shots. Depending on the country make sure you research before entering as you may be refused entry.
What to Pack
Depending on how long you’re travelling for I´ve put together a basic guide of necessary items for all different types of travel.
Please Note: Research before you board the plane as there are a lot of restrictions towards what you may bring with you. There are limitations on liquids, bottle sizes, sharp objects, aerosol cans etc. Be safe if unsure pack it in your backpack.
- Passports and Copies (leave some with family members), Credit cards, Cash, Visas, Insurance papers, Boarding pass, Immunizations papers.
- Laptop, phones, music devices, chargers, cameras, earphones etc., neck pillows, travel blanket, snacks for plane, books or magazines, sunglasses, socks, spare clothes, jacket, Kleenex wipes, hand sanitizer, water.
Main Luggage / Back pack:
- Shirts, pants, underwear, socks, running shoes, boots, flipflops, jeans, shorts, swimwear, thermals, rain gear, jacket and/or hoodies, scarves, hat, beanie, towels, oversized liquids and aerosols.
- Tooth brush and container, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, hair ties and hair brush, soap and loafer, deodorant, sunscreen, face wipes, sanitizer, Q tips, tissues, wet wipes and toilet paper.
First Aid Kit:
- Band aids and bandages, vitamins, water purifier tablet, alcohol rub, Aspirin, cold and flu tablets, cold pack, emergency blanket, thermometers, ibuprofen.
- Day pack, tent and poles, sleeping bag, sheets or blanket, sleeping mat, knife, lighter, flashlights, bug spray, portable utensils, pots and pans. etc.
On the Road
Once you´ve landed at your destination you will be feeling a mix of emotions from excitement to nervous. Dont worry you will be well on your way to exploring, meeting new people and probably partying too. Depending on how long you’re travelling for I´ve provided an easy guide to help maintain your budget while on the road.
- Hostels rather than hotels: Hostels are cheaper and more social than a hotel. Some have common areas and bars where you can meet new people, some can provide a lot of entertainment and others can be very basic try HostelBookers, Hostel World or Hostels.com. Otherwise why not wait till you get there. Talk with the locals if you’re looking for cheap rather than luxury as you most likely won´t find it online but through word of mouth!
Sign Up To Couchsurfing: This is for Short term stay with Locals that live in your desired location. Create a profile if you haven´t already and socialize with people from all over the world. It’s a referral based setup, once you´ve stayed somewhere people with comment on their experience and you will do the same. This will build up a reputation, the better comments the better the chances someone will let you stay at their house.
- Camping / Hammocks: Campgrounds and trailer parks can be quite expensive so walk around. Speak with locals on good cheap places to camp, sometimes bars or restaurants by the beach will let you set up your tent for fee. After dark Public beaches in tourist areas can be known to have campers sleep overnight as long as your packed up by the next morning. Google camping forums in the nearby and view comments see of other people’s experiences.
There are many volunteer websites that offer the basic exchange of food and accommodation in return for 20 to 30 hours of work a week. They differ depending on your location but most will offer accommodation with between 1 to 3 meals per day. Some may offer a food allowance or some may offer cash in hand work all depends on what you agree upon. Create a profile indicating what your likes and dislikes are, what work you can do and where you’re travelling. There will be a fee usually lasting a couple of years. Work away, Helpx and woofing are the sites I have used in the past however like I mentioned there are a lot. Do your own research and find the ones that best fit your needs.
Public transportation is by the far the cheapest way to get around in most worldwide destinations. Combi vans, buses, trains, last minute cheap flights and even boats (depends on where you are). If you’re looking for an even cheaper alternative and are open to try new things I recommend Carpooling. It is the new age in sharing the cost of fuel in long distance trips. Carpool World and Ridesharing are some popular sites or you could always do the old fashion hitch hiking if your game. HitchWiki is a hitch hikers guide to the Galaxy! 🙂
Cash In Hand Work:
Work on the road, like I mentioned some volunteer options will give you extra cash if you work more hours. In top tourist destinations, all around the world you can find cash jobs like call centers or selling tickets. These will be paid by commissions and bonuses. If you are talented and are game try being a street performer, play music, fire twirl or juggle. Anything to help accumulate some money even if it’s only enough for your next night’s accommodation or a bus ticket to your next location.
In Ecuador I sold chocolate rum balls in the park. A friend of mine played guitar and sang songs on local buses and did so throughout various Latin American countries. 2 girls from Argentina they sold sandwiches and sweets in tourist locations. It just goes to show if you have determination, willpower and work towards what you want the possibilities are endless.
Motivational Documentary: Must Watch!! The Secret.