As many would experience, planning a trip could be daunting. Common questions would be, “Where will I begin? What will be my next step? Am I doing this right?” Having those thoughts is pretty common especially for first-time travelers. Making a decision to travel is already a step forward. Once you have convinced yourself that you want to discover different places, the rest of the process will just fall into place. One problem that causes a person to be hesitant to travel, though, is finance. But all of those reluctant thoughts will ease once you get to enjoy new places. It is one of life’s greatest investments.
Many have shared their personal experiences when traveling, and you can surely learn from that. This article will guide you step by step on how to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the wonders of the world. You might want to hold on to your credit cards as you might want to book your first flight after reading this guide.
Step 1: Decide Where You Want To Go
Deciding where your destination will be is an important step. Having a travel destination in mind can make you create a concrete plan that will be easier for you to commit. Let’s say you chose Paris. From there, you could already research the places and determine where you want to go. Also, you will have an idea about the culture, food, and even the currency. This will lead you to work on your money management skills as well.
Step 2: Decide the Length of Your Trip
When you have determined the length of your trip, you can somehow get a clearer picture of how much will you be spending. For example, you want to stay in Paris for five days; then you will need a hotel for five days. This will already help you list down which places to go, restaurants to eat in, and things to do.
Step 3: Research Your Costs
This next step will unlock your money management skills for your goal is “the cheaper, the better.” First, try to think if you’re going to bring a backpack or trolley. From that you could already determine your transportation from the airport. Will you take a taxi or bus? If you want to save money, research the cheapest way that could get you from point A to Point B. The same goes for your choice of hotel and restaurants. If you have the budget, then go for the luxurious ones. But if you really want to enjoy the culture without hurting your credit card, then try to research places where the locals stay and their favorite spots.
Moreover, you could always ask on community websites. Try to ask for recommendations on Facebook. From hotels, to restaurants, to tourist spots, everything is in there. Just don’t get carried away with all the suggestions. Focus on your goal, and you will be good to go.
Step 4: Start Saving Money
The first tip in saving money is to write down all your expenses. Determine where you will spend most of your money and try to cut back on all unnecessary expenses.
Let’s go back to Step 2 and 3. If you have done your research and have determined your cost, then you could set your money goals. For example, for five days in Paris, you will need $1,000 aside from your plane ticket. Commit yourself to a timeline such as “in ten months I will be going to Paris.” There are more or less 305 days in 10 months. Then you will need to save $100 per month, and that is roughly $3 per day. Go back to your expenses and see what you can sacrifice. Instead of buying coffee every day, brew your own as it is way cheaper. Try to cook your own meals instead of buying take-outs or eating out. You will be surprised at how much you can save. You could also make this money management skill a habit.
Step 5: Get a Travels Rewards Credit Card
This next step is one of the most underrated. While you are working on your savings, gate a travel credit card, and earn a sign-up bonus. You could redeem miles and points that could lead to free flights and free accommodations. Some of the cards have bonuses that could reach up to 50,000 points when you meet their minimum spending requirements. You will be surprised that those points can give you a free flight. But don’t get overwhelmed and go on signing up for every card that you could encounter. Having 3-4 travel cards is enough, and you can focus on those.
The collection of points and miles can sometimes be tagged as a “travel hack.” Travel experts shared that they use it to cut costs and enabled them to travel longer. Who would not want to travel at a lower cost? These travel cards can be your travel buddy.
Step 6: Stay Focused and Inspired
Find ways that could feed your desire to go out and travel. The planning stage could be quite a challenge, especially if you are a first-timer. Some people tend to be hopeless because their family and friends are not supportive of it. But it is really up to you. If you want to keep your spirits high, then there are tons of ways. Join Facebook groups that focus on travel and learn from others!
Conclusion: Traveling is one of the most significant investments that a person could have. It is even therapeutic to some. The first time will be scary, but you will be surprised by the places that you have already discovered. Just keep in mind, to always set your goals, do some research, and be good at your money management skills. e
Based on Materials from Nomadic Matt
Photo Credits: Artem Beliaikin, Pixabay, Pixabay