Traveling is an activity that most people dream about. If you are interested in traveling then you may have a lengthy list of destinations and cultural landscapes that you’ve been collecting for the past years or simply just the desire to explore the world. Traveling could be classified as one of the ultimate “grown-up activities.” It requires money, courage, and quite a bit of planning. You might choose to do it out of fun or because you reached the “I hate my new job” stage and require a stress-free week.
Once reaching adulthood many people realize that now they no longer have to go on vacation solely with their family members or relatives, but can plan a dream holiday with a group of close friends.
Whilst it sounds like an incredible experience that you may want to do as soon as possible, the realization that you are an adult that is now legally allowed to do this might scare you for a moment. You may find yourself thinking about your safety or asking yourself “how will we not get lost?” It is important that before leaving the country to visit a foreign land you feel more or less confident about what is yet to come. Not many people are born ready to sail or fly across the world so completing some thorough research on the location should put your mind at ease.
Below you can find some useful tips concerning how you can prepare for a trip when you are new to traveling.
Tip 1: Form a plan.
As simple as that may sound, you have to have a plan of action even if it’s quite simple. This may involve forming a group with your friends and then sitting down together to decide what place you want to visit. Some questions to discuss would be: “Which continent should we visit?” “What culture do we want to explore and learn more about?” “How long should we stay there?”
Tip 2: Research into transport and accommodation.
Yes, this will probably be the stage when you realize that going on vacation is more challenging than you thought.
Sadly you can’t just get on a plane and fly to your beach destination. To depart for your well-deserved vacation, you have to organize how you will physically get to the destination. This mostly requires you to extensively Google phrases like “flight from New York to Italy.”
A way to speed up the process is to select an aircraft company or two and search within their sites. There you will be able to add the dates of your departure and the possible return date. These websites are useful because they usually give you several options (e.g.: morning, afternoon, and evening flights). This will allow you to gauge what the quickest and most budget-friendly route is.
Tip 3: Stay calm.
Previously you probably have heard a horror story or two from friends or family members regarding flying. This might mean a canceled or delayed flight or damaged or lost luggage. Unfortunately, these things happen and you should mentally prepare yourself for them.
Whilst a delayed flight and a missing connection may feel like a disaster it’s important that you don’t panic and keep your cool. You may arrive a day later, however, do keep in mind that your travel was only postponed and not canceled. Worrying about something that you cannot change will just result in more anxiety and might extensively ruin your mood.
Instead of being sad, perhaps try to view the situation as comic and as an opportunity for you and your friends to explore the wide selection of shops within the airport as well enjoying endless amounts of Costa Coffee pastries with a hot brew.
Tip 4: Don’t forget to budget!
Whilst it’s great that all of you managed to agree on a destination, flying from the USA to Paris is quite costly (especially as students).
One way to get around this is to select a cheap aircraft company (and their economy seats as opposed to business class). You should also consider whether you will need seven pairs of shoes for five days as the less luggage you take, the cheaper your ticket is.
Another tip to obtain a ticket for a good price is by purchasing it early on. If you are sure that you have a month of holiday in June then there shouldn’t be a reason for you to wait for the prices to go up. However, it’s not only the price of the plane ticket you have to consider but the cost of the hotels, the local public transport, and the money you want to spend there.
Even though this can be a very overwhelming thought to face and might even remind you of your job search frustration you shouldn’t worry as it’s not as difficult as you think. Yes, it’s time-consuming, but with a pen and paper in hand, you can probably complete your research within a day.
Try to calculate a fixed sum that you can spend during a day. Don’t forget that you will probably be dining at restaurants and visiting cultural landscapes which may have an entry fee. Do account for unexpected payments such as taxis if you get lost and emergency hospital fees.
Tip 5: Consider the weather.
This may appear as a small thing, however, when you find yourself standing in the pouring rain in shorts and sandals (and without an umbrella) you’ll be cursing not looking up the weather, and packing accordingly.
Do have a quick look at the weather forecast and pack a jumper or two and a pair of long jeans as rain clouds could appear unexpectedly. If you choose to follow some of these tips then you can not only save money but could have a stress-free vacation without any shocking surprises!