So, you want to travel around the world. Maybe you just graduated college and aren’t quite ready to join the 9 to 5 workforce, or maybe you’ve already been in the workforce for a few years and need a break. Whatever the circumstances, you will want to plan as soon as possible! Here are some universal tips that will help everyone from the seasoned traveler to the amateur traveler:
1.Choose where you want to go.
Regardless of whether you’re planning a trip around the world or just planning to hit a few countries, you’re going to want to be specific about where you’re going. Once you choose a destination (or destinations), you can categorize your trip into achievable goals. Planning becomes much easier if you know which country and/or city you will visit, because it allows you to do the preliminary research that will keep you well organized throughout the process.
2.Get a budget and stick to it.
First, figure out how much money you want to spend on the entire trip. Keep in mind that this number will be made up of various expenses (airfare, accommodation, food, excursions, travel insurance). Once this number is established, check the average daily costs for your location to get a rough estimate of how far you can travel.
3. Decide how far you will travel.
Once your budget is determined, you can see how far you will be able to travel. Divide your budget (after airfare) by the average daily expenses, and that’s how much you’ll be able to travel for.
4. Look for deals.
Before you book your flights and/or accommodations, make sure you’ve searched high and low for any possible deals you might be missing. This includes deal websites, get recommendations from local friends/family and take advantage of special promotions. It may seem like a daunting task at first, but the money you save will be worth it when you realize that you will probably be able to add extra excursions.
5.Book your flights.
Once you are sure that there are no standing offers for your destination, go ahead and buy your plane tickets. Airfare is usually a bit cheaper on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so if you can buy your tickets then, make sure you do.
6.Figure the accommodations.
Once everything else is out of the way, do some preliminary research on what kind of accommodations are available to you in your various destinations. Hostels are great and budget-friendly ways to live in different countries while still being able to meet some new friends. Although it may sound silly, look hostels advertising rodent pest control, and daily maintenance services. These services ensure you have a clean and affordable stay. If you have relatives or friends in that particular country, make arrangements in advance to stay with them so you can save even more money.
7. Inform the banks that you are leaving.
Regardless of how far you will go, make sure that inform your bank that you will leave the country. Why? If you normally make purchases in Louisville, Kentucky but suddenly start making purchases in Paris and Hong Kong, the bank will think the spending is fraudulent activity and block your card from further purchases. Nothing is a bigger vacation bummer than realizing you don’t have access to any money.
8.Purchase travel insurance.
Many people jump on buying travel insurance because they have a good medical insurance plan and think that nothing will happen on their trip. What you may not know is the fact that travel insurance covers much more than medical emergencies. Travel insurance also covers canceled flights, stolen goods, family emergencies at home and much more. It’s only a few dollars a day and it’s well worth your while.
Just before you leave, make sure you are packing all the essential travel items as well as items in case of minor emergencies such as lost luggage or stolen items. Make a packing checklist a few weeks before your trip. Why? This makes it easy for you to add items to the list as you think of them, instead of trying to think of everything the night before.
Once you’ve done all of the above, you’re ready to go! Grab your passport and boarding pass and get ready to have an incredible time. Make sure you take lots of pictures so you can show your friends and family how much fun you had when you get back. Above all, be ready to accept the fact that you have just caught the travel bug!