Planning a long trip can be a daunting task. Where do you begin? What’s step one? What’s step two? What’s step three? It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the beginning, especially when you haven’t done something like this before.
Step 1 – Decide Where You Want To Go
Defining where you want to go sets a goal to work toward. A lot of people talk vaguely about travel. They never say where they are going, just that they are going. Picking a destination is immensely important, as it gives you a definite goal. It’s a lot easier to mentally get behind “I am going to Paris” than “I’m going to Europe.” Not only will your trip become more concrete for you and easier to commit to, but it will make planning easier as well.
Step 2 – Decide the Length of Your Trip
How much does it cost to travel? I have no idea without knowing for how long you’re going away. You can’t figure out how much you need to save if you haven’t decided on how long you’ll be in your destination. After you say “I’m going to Paris,” add “for 10 days.”
Step 3 – Research Your Costs
So you know where you’re going and how long you’ll be there, but to really nail down how much money you need, your next task is to research the costs in your destination at the style of travel you want. Do you want to backpack, or would you rather stay in luxury hotels? How much are hostels, hotels, restaurants, and attractions? Knowing will allow you to estimate how much money you’ll need for your trip.
Now you have a concrete goal to work toward.
Step 4 – Start Saving Money
Time to start saving! Write down all your current expenses so you can determine where you are spending money and how you can cut back. People bleed a lot of money every day through small purchases: that bottle of water, the dollar for that snack, that extra coffee. All of that adds up and creating this breakdown can let you know where you need to cut and save.
Step 5 – Buy Travel Insurance
While a lot of people think “I’m healthy, I don’t need travel insurance. I won’t get sick,” travel insurance is much more than just medical protection. It covers you when your camera breaks, your flight is canceled, a family member dies and you have to come home, or something is stolen.
Travel insurance is something you will need on the road. You never know what might happen, and most health plans won’t cover you overseas.
Step 6 – Enjoy Your Trip
Go on your trip and have fun! Head to the airport, board your plane (don’t forget your passport!), and enjoy the fruits of your labor.