New Year, New You: Top Tips for Aspiring Travellers
Do you have an urge to explore the world but never seem to travel further than your commute to work?
Do those mid-week dreams of golden beaches disappear as soon as you look at your bank balance?
Make 2014 the year you make it happen. It really isn’t that difficult!
First off try travelling in your own back yard. I’m guilty myself of overlooking amazing food and places in the surrounding area. Whether there’s a museum in your town you’ve never been to, or a national park a day trip away, try exploring your local attractions.
If British beaches just won’t cut it then decide where you would like to visit. If you can narrow your focus onto one or two destinations it’ll make the process of saving money that much easier, as it’ll be a more realistic dream. Throw a dart at a map if you’re really struggling to make up your mind!
Make a photo of your dream destination the background on your laptop, your phone, pin it up at work… put it anywhere that you’ll see it often. Seeing those swaying palms or wild jungle images will keep reminding you of what your saving for and how it will all be worth it.
Decide on a cash target. How much you’ll need will completely depend on where you’re going, how long for and your travel style. Make it realistic, research how much accommodation, food, travel and attractions cost. Don’t forget extras such as visas and vaccinations.
Save, save, save! When you’re spending your cash, just think do I really need this? If the answer is yes, then think if you can get it cheaper elsewhere? Simple! You may need to eat lunch at work but it is cheaper to make at home. You don’t need a brand new plasma TV. Everything you spend is taking you one step further away from spending six months on Thai beaches. So think before you buy!
Don’t think curbing spending means you need to become a social recluse. Just watch a movie at home rather than going to the cinema. Cook dinner for your friends rather than going to a restaurant. At the end of a night out skip the kebab (or pizza or chicken & chips) and have something prepared ready for you at home.
Before you know it by watching those pennies the pounds will start mounting up. Once you’ve adjusted your spending habits you can budget how much you actually need to spend per month and how much can be put into savings. At this point your target amount can be given a target date to be achieved.
I find once my flights have been booked my motivation for saving and learning about the destination increases threefold. No need to make any more excuses, go by yourself if needs be, just do it!
Enjoy 2014 – the year to explore the world!