Getting Started – Baby steps
So you’ve always wanted to head out travelling but not sure about getting started? We all know the reasons that keep people from heading out: money, job, don’t know where to go, etc. There are so many more reasons to go… and it’s easier than you think.
Step 1 – Talk to yourself
If you haven’t left yet, than it’s simply because you haven’t convinced yourself to go. Once you truly believe that you are going, everything else will fall into place. You don’t need to tell anyone else right away. Wait until you have things a little more concrete before others know. People will tell you the reasons not to go… but trust me the reasons to go are much more persuasive.
Step 2 – Establish your limits
Most travels have one of two major limits: time or money, sometimes both. If you know that you only have a couple of weeks of holiday, then pick a place that is closer that might make a bigger dent in your bank account. More time available may mean forking out more for the initial ticket but expenses whilst travelling will be significantly reduced.
Your limits will narrow the criteria. Then you need to ask what is most important to you. Ease of travel? Comfortable surroundings? A good story? A place none of your friends have been? Learning a new language? A genuinely cultural experience? A good party? Search some of the criteria that are the most important to you, and certain locations will start to become clear.
Step 4 – Budget
As you become a seasoned traveller you’ll be able to do it better and cheaper than the guide books. But the first time you travel, you should budget conservatively, using a guide book or online references to help come up with rough estimates. This way, you should have enough left in the coffers to jump off that bridge in Ecuador, or SCUBA the great barrier reef, or take a week of surfing lessons in Costa Rica.
Step 5 – Timing
Maybe your timing will be dictated by your vacation time and thus should be part of your criteria when choosing a place, or maybe you can move your vacation time to suit your travels… either way, travels change drastically if
you’re there in high season or low season. If you have the luxury of picking when you travel, then find the season that suits you best. High seasons are high seasons for a reason… sometimes it has to do with the weather, or the animals at the destination, but other places (Galapagos for example) have high seasons that correlate directly with typical vacation times, and have very little do with the destination itself.
Step 6 – Buy your ticket
If you’re feeling adventurous, buy a one-way ticket… I always do, and never regret it. (Although make sure that you’re destination will allow you to land on a one-way ticket, bribing your way into a country is a lot more difficult than bribing your way out). If you are willing to forego a bit of comfort in your flight, then many cheap sites exist to help you knock down the price of your ticket. Orbitzcheapoair, cheapair, cheapflights, expedia, kayak to name a few. Or simply search for cheap airfare and you’ll find your way.
Step 7 – Get out
If you haven’t told people, than you might want to tell them now… or simply send an email from said destination. If you plan on returning to your job, than it might be wiser to give them slightly more notice… get your travelling ass to the airport, and begin identifying as a worldly citizen that has caught the travel bug.