How much time in the past year have you spent dreaming about travelling? Think of all those times your mind has drifted off to sunbaking Maldives, backpacking through the Himalayas or eating croissants under the Eiffel tower… Now, ask yourself, why have you still not made the plunge to head overseas? Don’t have enough leave? Low on money? Simply don’t have the guts to buy that plane ticket?
No matter your excuse, that is all about to change. 2016 is YOUR year to travel.
Honestly, my sole goal of running this travel blog is to show how accessible travel can be to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are at university living off noodles or you’ve got yourself a fancy full-time job, there is a magnificent world out there that is begging to be explored. So why not make this your year to see it? All it’s going to take is a little planning, persistence and determination (and following the below steps) and you’ll be on that beach in Mexico drinking Margaritas in no time…
1. Write it down
Don’t have dreams, have plans. You know the easiest way to turn an idea into a plan? Simply write it down! The minute you put pen to paper, the idea suddenly becomes more real. Write a list of the places you want to visit in 2016, the sites you want to see, the experiences you want to have. Pin it up on your wall. Staring at that list every day will bring you motivation and determination to make those things a reality. You are in complete control of your destiny, so if you want to tick off the things on your list, you CAN make it happen.
Now that you’ve written a list of places you want to go, it’s time for some visual inspiration. Nothing motivates me to travel more than photos of drop-dead gorgeous places. Why don’t you try get your creativity flowing and create a mood board? Mood boards are great for visualizing your ideas, goals and dream. Create a collage of the places you want to visit using photos you’ve found and cute scrapbooking materials. Alternatively, if you aren’t as “artistically-gifted”, you could use an App such a MoodAway, which allows you to create mood boards online like the one above. If anything is going to get you excited for a trip, it’s going to be a beautiful visual reminder of where you are going to be once your travel dreams come true!
3. Talk about your plans with others
It is amazing the power of speaking things into action. Verbalizing your plans will make them feel more real, and should motivate you to make these plans a reality. We all have that friend who talks about the trip that they never actually go on… Don’t be that friend! If you are normally that person, prove everyone wrong!
4. See if you can get others on board
If you aren’t wanting to travel solo, you need to start recruiting others to get on board your travel plans! Once you start talking about your ideas with your friends, hopefully someone catches on to your brilliant plan and wants to come with you. As soon as someone else is on board, your plans will feel more real and it will be easier to get pumped up for your trip if you have someone to share the excitement with. The key here is to firstly do a little background check- make sure the person you’ve invited isn’t a flaky friend who is all talk and no action. The second key is to start booking things ASAP. The sooner you lock the trip in the better- allowing less time for second thoughts is probably good thing!
5. Start saving!
Okay, inevitably, this is the biggest kicker. You can have all excitement, enthusiasm, motivation in the world to take a trip, but this is all a little fruitless without the funds to back your plans. The starting part is always the hardest, but once you know what you are saving for and your plans become more real, putting money aside becomes a lot easier. Here are a few things to consider:
A) Realize the value of investing in experience- Buying the latest iPhone may be exciting at the time, but this thrill is very short lived. Science PROVES that we are happier when we spend on experiences and not on possessions (if you don’t believe me, just read this article). Once you realize the value of what you are saving up for, it will become a lot easier to say no to designer dresses or a laptop upgrade. Just know that in the long run spending your hard earned cash on travel is going to bring you much deeper satisfaction that anything that comes in a box.
B) Stop spending on the little things- Thing of all of your daily expenses and work out the things you can cut out. Here are a few easy things to cut:
- Your daily caffeine dose. If you are spending $3.50 a day on your flat white, that is $100 in a month just on coffee! Buy a travel cup and make a coffee before you leave the house…
- Going out for brunch, lunch and dinner. Socializing doesn’t HAVE to be done over an overpriced eggs benny. Suggest meeting friends for a picnic or for a home-cooked meal!
- Gym membership. Let’s be real- you don’t need a gym membership to get fit. Exercise at home or at the park instead- there are plenty of free exercise apps and youtube videos to keep you motivated!
- Fuel. This is a hard one to avoid, but try look for ways to save your fuel usage. This could be car-pooling, catching more public transport or even riding your bike places. Plus, think of the environmental benefits!
C) Set realistic saving goals- Look at your income and set a certain amount aside each week to a separate high-interest savings account to save yourself the temptation of spend it. Don’t anticipate that you are going to save every penny you earn for your trip, normal life costs money as well. If you aren’t realistic, you’ll just find yourself disappointed when you haven’t saved as much money as you anticipated.
D) Set realistic travel goals- Honestly, no matter how much you budget your travel, it’s always going to cost a lot more than you think. With this in mind, if you are on a tight budget, don’t plan an elaborate three-month Euro trip and think you’ll get away with living off $10 a day. Instead, consider traveling to a cheaper country for a shorter duration. You want to actually enjoy yourself when you travel, not entering Bear Grylls survival mode on your measly budget! For more money-saving hacks, check out my five easy ways to save money whilst you travel.
6. Just book it
No more procrastinating, no more excuses. Book your ticket for your dream trip and you will not regret it.