Ok so we got this far, 12 days and 5 thumb prints later I can finally tell you the tips on how you can plan your trip.
I remember when I started my first trip back in 2009 I think it was. I shat my pants (in a good way though) but was overly excited.I wasn't really scared because
I am an easy person and not affraid to go to strangers and talk to them. So that was an easy step for me.
But what about you? I guess you are going on your first trip and don't really know where to start ey?
Well, then I don't really know what to do with you. Nah, just kidding I'll try my best. To follow these tips are very simple and once you read them you will go:
"Damn, common sense!" Trust me on that one.
No. #1 - Decide where you want to go
It is essential to know where you want to go so you can work towards that goal - right? Some people just can't set on a destinations, simply because they love the thrill of the planning around and reading about all the countries in Lonely Planets or anything like that.
But you have to make a decision. So rather than saying "I am going to Africa", say exactly where you want to go: "I want to go to Cape Town" and once you get there you can keep going.
No. #2 - How long do you want to go for
People always ask me: Oh traveling is so expensive, How much money would I need etc. etc.
Let me tell you once thing. Traveling does not have to be expensive. And it isn't. It all depends on how you want to travel.
So I can't really tell you how much you will spend if I don't know where you are going and how long for. You won't be able to figure out how much you need, if you haven't decided how long you want to go for.
No. #3 - Research the costs of your destination
Now we need to lay down the details. You can travel completely for free if you are a shoestring traveler but I like spending the money I worked hard for. So now that we have covered where you want to go and how long for, I want you to research the cost of living there. How much is the average on food, restaurants, hostels, hotels and attractions. Do you want to stay with locals, go backpacking or stay in luxury hotels. For this you can go on the web or check out some guide books. Once you did your research you can work out the average amount of £ you need. Make sure you round up your average cost, since it is always great to have some extra cash aside in emergencies or unforeseen situations.
No. #4 - Start saving the crap out of life
Now this is sometimes the biggest issue for people.
But alot of times, no money - no fun. Not always but sometimes. Get rid of your bad habits that sometimes take 100's of £'s out your pocket. Some example.
*Cook for yourself
Learn how to cook, stop eating take away or eating outside in restaurants. The food they make you can make it for a 1/4 of the price if no even less.
*Stop the Starbucks
On Average we spend about 3.50£ on a cup of coffee. That is on average 105£ per Month. Over a year that is over 1200£. I am sorry but do your maths guys. With that money I was traveling through the Philippines for 2 months and you can do that to.
Make your own coffee or hopefully your office job offers free coffee like mine. Everytime you get paid. Put 100£ for your Starbucks aside.
I will give you more tips on how to save money in this article.
No. #5 - Get a Travel Reward Credit Card
Whilst you are working on Number.4 do also Number 5.
Travel Credit Cards are such a convenient way to get rewards like flight miles. In the UK travel hacking is a bit harder but if you already have a Tesco Club Card then you can already convert your points in flight miles. Isn't that great?
Try to find a card that gives you a great signing up bonus like 25.000 Miles.
I have a British Airways American Express that I try to spend as much as possible with. Because for every £ I spend, I get one mile.
You want to know more about travel credit cards?
No. #6 - No Transaction Fees
Make sure to get a bank card where you won't have to pay transaction fees and hopefully/maybe also no conversion fee. Do not give your hard earned and saved money to your bank. Get two of them. A visa and a Mastercard. Because not everywhere do they accept both, so it always comes in handy to have a spare card. My absolute favorite is Monzo.
The app is bloody easy to use, the card looks great in its glowing orange color and the app gives you INSTANT notifications on how much you have spend where and how much you have left on your account. No transaction fees, nothing. Absolutely brilliant. Thumbs up for them.
No. #7 - Book your flights
So once you have done Step 1 - 6 it is finally time for the exciting part.
BOOKING YOUR FLIGHTS, WUHUUUU!
Just a little tip, you can use your flights miles for this or if you don't have enough yet follow these steps.
1. Book 6 months in advance on long haul flights.
2. Book 2 months in advance for short term flights. Can you even say it like that? Jesus, I am sorry the word just doesn't want to pop up in my head.
Read also: How to get the cheapest flights. LIKE EVER!
No. #8 - Book your accommodation
We have covered this topic before so I won't repeat myself.
Simply because 99% of their accommodation are cancellation free and no pre-payment is needed on those.
And if you click here, you will get 15GBP off of your accommodation.
No. #9 - Sell your Stuff
Make sure that you sell unnecessary things especially if you go on a long-term trip. Sell your X-Box, your games and everything else to get some extra cash to blow.
Maybe you can speak to your landlord and check if someone else can live in your room and pay the rent whilst you are gone. That means you have just saved 400£ every month that you can spend on activities and everything else. It is worth it.
No. #10 - Start Packing
I think this is a very difficult topic. What am I going to wear, what do I need to take with me?
I won't cover it all here but this packing list has got you back.
No. #11 - Get your travel insurance
Nothing else said. You will never know, what happens!
No. #12 - ENJOY IT.
That's my last tip for you. I could've written a lot more but to be honest I don't think it was all necessary to go in here. So I have only told you the most important past.