Want to travel but not sure where to get started?
Well you're in luck, because I've been there and I want to help you see the world. I've highlighted the process I go through when planning a trip and included helpful resources to make travel more affordable. Together, we're going to cure your wanderlust.
Figure out what kind of trip you want to go on. Think about how you will be traveling. Will this be a luxurious trip where you stay at nice hotels or will this be a budget travel where you stay at hostels and couchsurf? There is no wrong answer here, and both can be mixed. But in order to plan, you need to first figure out the purpose of your trip.
Once you've picked the purpose, then pick a destination. The purpose can be dependent on the destination, so both are good starting points.
Set a budget. Budget is everything. Most people think you need to be rich to travel, but that isn't true. Yes, money does help but there are plenty of resources available to make travel cheap and even cover the cost. It all depends on how you use these resources, and some require planning. You need to figure out what majority of your cost will be and where you can save money. What to consider in the budget? Flights, transportation, food, accommodation, activities, laundry, and misc.
Tourist vs. Traveler. There seems to be a stigma around the two, like you're either one or the other, but in reality, I think there is a time and place for both. I, for one, am a mix of both Tourist and Traveler, it just depends on the trip and my purpose. I am more driven by an end result when I am a Tourist. The definitions I resonate with for tourist and traveler are this: As a Traveler, my time is less defined and my budget is tighter, I'm there for the experience of being there. As a Tourist, my time is more defined and I typically spend more, because I've set a plan for what I want to do. A trip can include both mentalities.
If all of the above already seems like too much, then not to worry, let's try a different approach. Have you considered going on a trip where majority of the details are already planned? Some of the best trips I've been on have been fully planned and it is very convenient not having to worry. Since the majority of the work is being taken out and handled by someone else, you have to take that into account and realize the price includes the planning work. Stay tuned for more.
Favorite travel blogs:
- One Step 4Ward - Johnny Ward has made a goal to visit all the countries in the world and maintain an income all the while.
- A Little Adrift - A great blog especially for budgeting round the world travel.
- Never Ending Footsteps - Lauren has been traveling the world for 4 years and does a great summary of the amount she spends in every country. She has some great stories as well.
- Take Your Big Trip
Affordable Travel Resources:
- Couchsurfing - Need a free place to stay with like minded travelers? Couchsurfing is an awesome community of travelers who open up their home and allow you to stay with them free of charge. Some of my coolest travel experiences have been with the people I've couchsurfer at their home. Make sure to read the reviews and use common sense before you stay with a person.
- Workaway - This is one of the coolest resources I have ever found. You can volunteer on projects around the world and get your accommodation and food covered in exchange for volunteer hours. The projects vary.
- Wwoof - Live and Learn on Organic Farms
- HelpX - This is similar to workaway. I haven't used this one but know of people who have and its another great resource for traveling on a budget. Keep in mind it requires you to volunteer some of your time, but in return you can save money and have the ability to travel.
- Hostel World - If you're planning to travel on a budget then definitely check out hostel world. Its the best way to find affordable places to stay. You can even book private rooms that are just as nice as hotels but much more affordable.
- Remote year - For anyone who has a job that allows you to work remote then this opportunity is for you! You have the chance to travel to a new place each month for an entire year and all accommodation is taken care of, including a workspace for you to be able to work your normal job.
- Backpack Consulting - Discover the world while helping local start ups.