The Art of Travel: Part One – Planning
Travel offers a world of opportunities, from learning new cultures to new languages and exploring exotic cities to meet new friends. Travel also enriches confidence, openness and creates a greater sense of self. So why then do more people not travel? For many it’s money, for others its time and for some it can seem like a daunting task… “where do I start?”
How about right here with my new series The Art of Travel. Where I’ll help you with tips and ideas to aid in the travel planning process, what to do before you go as well as how to travel well. And finally how to handle the aftermath of travel. In this Part One – Travel Planning, I’ll offer a basic approach to help you with making the simple decisions to help you plan your next trip. In Part Two – Before You Go, I’ll introduce you to travel apps and lists to help you with your travels and make sure you don’t forget anything. In Part Three – Travel Well, I’ll give you helpful hints and methods to travel well and enjoy your trip. And finally in Part Four – Aftermath of Travel, I’ll introduce you to ways to cope with the returning to home blues, wanderlust and how to relive and share your travel experiences.
I’m an avid researcher, list maker and lover of all aspects of planning. And I thought what better way to encourage and inspire others to travel than by helping ease the anxiety and stress of travel planning with some helpful tips. I hope to offer great ideas and helpful direction from what I’ve learned from planning three Europe trips, a month-long West Coast solo trip as well as dozens of road trips. I’ll also be including some awesome travel blogs that also provide some fabulous tools to help you on your way.
First – Make the Choice!
Decide on where you want to go. It seems simple and it is but sometimes we need to be reminded to take that first step. Don’t know where you want to go? The choices are endless! But if you need a little extra help with inspiration on where you want to travel to check out Pinterest, and boards like We Travel We Blog and Wanderlust to catch sight of somewhere that piques your interest.
Want to learn more about a place before you decide? Then try reading some amazing travel blogs like Bemused Backpacker and Don’t Forget to Move for places to go backpacking. Or The World is a Book and eTramping for more comfort on a budget. Maybe a little luxury is what you want then check out Travelling King and Points and Travel for location ideas. And maybe you’re like me and travelling solo than be sure to check out my Pinterest board here!
Second – How long?
Deciding on how long you plan to travel for can be as easy as scheduled vacation time or school breaks. But you can also have more open options. And this is when you’ll have to factor in weather for your desired location, if you want to attend a particular event as well as cost, off-season vs. peak season. One factor in deciding on how long you can travel for is your travel budget. Or maybe you’re ready to leave it all behind and travel long-term.
Third – Add it up!
Now for the dreaded part of many a travellers nightmares, how much?! Many think they can’t travel because travel is expensive, and leave it at that. There are many factors to consider when thinking about the costs of your trip. What kind of travel do you want? Cheap? Comfort – Budget? or Luxury? If you can deal without the added bonus of your own bathroom, privacy and noise then free accommodation like couch surfing or dorm rooms in hostels will work. These can cost merely a few dollars and go up depending on where. Perhaps you like your privacy and a little more comfort but still want to keep the price affordable. Maybe a private room in a hostel, or budget hotel, or bed and breakfast is more to your liking. Then there are those where it’s all about indulgence and luxury. One thing to remember is to always account for emergencies and extras, always round up and add a few hundred (depending on where you’re going and for how long).
Did you ever try to add up a rough estimate of what a trip might cost? You’d be surprised at how much you can save to put towards travel if you’re willing. From making your coffee and lunch at home, cutting down on extras like movie night out (try staying in to watch a movie), drinking and partying it up at the clubs (try a fun gathering at a friend’s place), can all add up. Just think, even if you just stop buying your morning coffee (averaging $1.50) that’s a savings of almost $550 a year! Maybe you can’t do without your coffee (I totally understand!). Try putting away $25 a week – that’s $1300 savings in a year! Every penny counts if you are serious about living out your dream of traveling. All it takes is a little wise travel planning.
Do you need help with travel planning? Let me know in the comments below.