Every year you say it, you dream it, you believe it: “This year, I’ll visit my dream destination”, “This year I’ll finally visit that part of the world I’ve always dreamed of!”.
Yet another year goes by and you’re still dreaming of drinking your Havana in Cuba and disappointed as you are, you run to the bar while you should be looking hotel rooms and ticket prices online.
Hold on for a second there. Think to yourself: Is this a smart move to make? I do agree that a visit at your local bar will cheer you up but what if you skipped the visit and save those money you would spend so eagerly to actually take that trip?
How is this possible? Simply by following my 12-step guide below to make it a year to remember! Are you ready?
Start taking notes…
Plan your trip
To organise a trip is actually half the fun! Start planning yours now!
- Choose Destination
Think big and include destinations that might seem far away or way off your budget to visit. Anything’s possible, so pick a place!
2. Pick the Season & the Date
Summer or winter? March or August? Pick your most preferable season to travel and an estimated date. Avoid travelling in December, April, June and August – you pay double the price during the peak of the touristic season.
3. Ask for a Leave at Work
After you’ve picked the dates for your trip, I suggest you’ll make it official by asking for a leave. At least two months prior to your trip, ask for a few days off, so that someone covers for your place and everything runs smoothly while you are away.
4. Tell Everyone
By publically announcing it to friends and family, you will feel even more determined to take the trip! It’s proven that by publically sharing a goal, you are more likely to realize it than keeping it to yourself. Plus, you’ll never know who might be seeking for a travel partner to take that same trip with!
Let’s talk finances
There is one thing to have an estimated budget for your trip on your mind and actually knowing what you’re more likely to spend.
- Estimate the Cost
Dedicate 2 to 3 days to do a small resarch regarding the hotel rates, ticket prices, public transportation tickets, museum fees and the overall general cost of your trip. Add an extra 20% to that and voila: now you know the estimated cost of the trip!
2. Set up a Travel Fund
Buy a piggy bank and start adding money to fund your trip. Alternatively, you can open a separate bank account to transfer part of your monthly salary there!
3. Make small sacrifices
What’s your daily habit? Morning takeaway coffee? Happy hour cocktails after work? Smoking? You can sacrifice one of your daily habits in order to save money for your trip. It’s definitely not easy but it’s totally worth it!
4. Pay for a part of your trip
When you’ve saved enough money, it’s time to proceed with some of the payments: buy the airplane tickets, make a downpayment to the hotel, book a tour you would love to take. By paying for a part of your trip, you’ll feel motivated to continue and super excited too!
Prepare for the trip
- Check your passport
Check whether you’ll need just your ID or a passport. If don’t have a passport, apply earlier and if you have one, check whether it is still valid. For distant trips, your passport should not be expiring in less than six months.
2. Apply for a visa
In many countries a visa is required to pass the borders or the airport gates, so check whether you’ll need one in your destination. Υοu can apply for one at the embassy or even have a travel agency issue one for you with an extra fee.
3. Get medical advice
Whether you have any health issues or not, you should do a mini check-up before traveling. If you’re traveling outside Europe, you should check if there are any mandatory vaccinations or specific medication you should take before visiting the country.
4. Buy a travel guide
The last and probably the most important step towards your future trip is to buy a travel guide. Pick one from Lonely Planet and leave it by your bedside table so that every time you go to sleep or wake up, you’ll be looking at it and prepare for the trip. Read it before the trip or during your flight and be prepared to explore your destination of choice!
Another great motive to get you to book your plane tickets is by incorporating some everyday habits relevant to your destination in your daily routine. Take some classes, learn to cook a few different traditional dishes, find groups of your country living in the country using social media and ask them for advice or practice speaking the language with them!
This is going to be your year – I can feel it!