Have you ever dreamed of getting away from it all? Of going on a vacation and seeing all the sights the world has to offer?
Travel ranks high in the list of things everybody has to experience at least once in their lives, and there is no better time to start than when you’re still young.
Think about it: at a young age you’re still fit and able-bodied, you don’t have as many responsibilities tying you down. Spending weeks at a time in an unfamiliar place can build character in ways sitting in an office all day cannot.
But what if you don’t have enough money for travel? The good news is you don’t need to be a high-roller to have the time of your life. You can just as easily go on the adventure of a lifetime by following these budget-friendly travel tips:
1. Prepare months in advance
Can’t decide between backpacking solo and going on a road trip with your friends? Whichever route you take, make sure you prepare well ahead of time. If flying abroad, start shopping around for affordable plane tickets as early as six months before. If going on a cross-country drive, keep updated on your car insurance policy by learning the exact procedures you need to follow in case of a road emergency.
2. Learn more about your destination
No matter where you plan to go, you should do tons of research on your planned destination. In this case, the Internet is your friend; visit Trip Advisor and/ or local tourism websites for recommendations on must-see destinations where you’re headed. You can also use this time to dig up alternate routes, restaurants, activities, and backup sleep accommodations you can check out as your Plan B.
3. Get creative
Travel is the perfect opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something different. Instead of shelling out big bucks on a five-star hotel room, try staying at a hostel or look for sleeping arrangements through websites like Couchsurfing. Conquer your fear of heights and try ziplining, take a tour of all the local museums to expand your cultural horizons, or bring out your inner Indiana Jones by going on a nature hike.
You might even take the opportunity to earn while you travel. You can make it a goal to work as an au pair in Europe or perhaps a fruit picker in Australia for some months after you finish college. Such opportunities give you the experience of a lifetime. You can look up summer jobs as early as now to give you ample time to prepare.
4. Stay safe
By going off the beaten path, naturally you’ll also be dealing with higher amounts of risk. Stay on alert whenever you hop in a taxi or take public transportation. Watch out for pickpockets and don’t be reckless with your personal belongings (especially your wallet or passport). And unless you want to lose your smartphone on the road, resist the temptation to take gratuitous selfies during every leg of your trip.
5. Don’t be a jerk
As the saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Put that classic Pinoy hospitality to good use by being polite, extending a helping hand to fellow travellers, and saying “thank you” whenever it’s appropriate. Maintain healthy boundaries so that your kindness doesn’t get abused. When something goes wrong, think rationally instead of losing your temper. Who knows, you might even make a new friend or two!
Yes, every vacation has its potential for both the good and the bad. You might come across a beautiful knickknack at the night market, or get into a minor mishap with the local cuisine. What matters is making the most out of your trip, not to mention having a great story to share with your other friends when you get back.
Unlike buying a new car or gadget, travel is one of those big-ticket investments you make more for the experience than its utility. So long as you go into your trip with the right mindset and attitude, you are guaranteed to have a great time.
What about you? Have you got any fool-proof travel tips of your own?