How to Make Your Dream to Travel a Reality in 2016
I recently found out that people who travel are most happy before a trip. Although that study also found travellers are no more happier than non-travellers once they've returned. Which makes sense, since us travellers are all too familiar with the post-travel blues. With that aside, I say it's about time to make 2016 your happiest year yet, by making your epic travel adventure a reality!
Time-and-time again people scrunch up their faces and wonder how in the world I manage to travel so much every year. In truth, it's not that hard. Yes, I have the added bonus that I'm my own boss. But I know each and every one of you have at least, two weeks every year of paid annual leave! That means, you could travel for two weeks and get paid for it. That sounds pretty damn good to me!
So, with a brand spanking new year ahead of us, I think it's time we start making our dreams come true, with my guide on how to make your dream to travel a reality!
1. Start researching where you want to go
Now this is the fun part! There's an entire world out there, and you've got to narrow down a location to explore. A good start is looking through Pinterest, your favourite travel blogs, and Instagram. Pin everything you love, and start forming an idea of where you'd like to explore from there. If visuals don't narrow down the search, think about where you're located in the world, and what interests you close by. Once you have a country in mind, start thinking route and logistics. Research how much it may cost, and how long you'd like to go. Websites like Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor Forum are super helpful for the nitty gritty.
2. Put feelers out there
Not interested to travel solo? That's absolutely fine, as long as you accept the fact that people tend to be a little flakey. I can't count how many times I'd had plans to travel with someone, only to have them pull out last minute. Tell everyone your plans, put your feelers out there, and see what comes back. You never know unless you ask!
3. Start saving!
Unless you have some savings behind you already, you unfortunately won't be able to book your flights just yet. Start living frugally. Make your own coffee instead of buying one every day. Bring your own lunch to work (left overs are great money saver!). Ride your bike instead of driving, with the added bonus for your mental and physical health. Limit your dinners and drinks out to once a week/fortnight – instead, have people over for dinner or a drink, or a coffee on weekends. Buy your fruit and veg from your local markets instead of the supermarket. I could go on. There are plenty of things you can do to save money, you just need to limit yourself.
Once you have enough for the flights, book them right away! Use Skyscanner to find the best flights available, and book through the airline's website. If you'd like the comfort of having a travel agent available just in case, ask them if they can give you a better deal – most of the time they can cut their commission from the price – or ask around different travel agents. Once you've booked, there's no going back. Booking is quite literally, your ticket to making your travel dream a reality!
5. Get planning and live your dreams
Now that you've got your flight outta here in your hot little hands, it's time to plan the rest of your big adventure and work towards your savings goal. Try to budget how much money you'll need for your trip, and make sure it's achievable. If you like to be organised, book and plan your accomodation, transport, and any activities that need some of that pre-booking magic. Start counting down the days, and realise, hey, that wasn't so hard!
Tell me, how do you make your travel dreams a reality?