Okay so travelling the world might sound a little excessive, a little beyond your current capabilities and financial situation but it’s not impossible.
I’m a huge believer that travel broadens the mind, it helps you grow as a person and gives you a sense of achievement. Life is a very precious thing and we soon get wrapped up in the daily grind of it all, before you know if your’ll be pushing 40, with 3 kids working like a dog and dreaming of retirement.
So why not make the most of it whilst you can, whilst you are free from commitments and reasons not to go…. I’m now going to quote that really annoying saying: YOLO-You only live once!! And it’s true you really do!
Put it this way if you died tomorrow (okay the chances are slim) but if you did, would you be satisfied?! Would you be okay with your life, with what you had achieved, were you happy? If the answer is no, then you need to make some changes because there is no benefit in dreaming unless you make those dreams a reality right? ‘I’d love to go there’ doesn’t get you there but booking a flight and making a plan does.
Why do we put off doing the things we want to do in life, the places we want to visit.We can come up with a million excuses, ‘it’s not the right time’ or ‘I’ve not got the money yet’, but who’s to say that next year will be the right time or that in 5 years time you will have the money.
I’m doing my best to travel the world one country at a time, I’m not in a position to backpack the world and i’m not actually sure i’d want to mainly because i’m greedy and want to have it all (i.e. job/mortgage/money) So I’ve made a conscious decision to take as many holidays as I can and annual leave is strictly reserved for actual holidays-imagine my reaction to ‘Friday’ wedding invites (only joking)
It’s really not as expensive as you might think and I go to great lengths to fund my travel obsession, selling on eBay and doing extra jobs where I can to make the cash. So if I go on 7 holidays this year just know I’ve worked my arse off to pay for them and you can do the same. Maybe skip that expensive drunken night-out as you wont remember it the next day anyway and do you really need to buy that new outfit or spend £15 whilst queuing in the petrol station. All those little spends soon add up and before you know it, you’ve wasted £100 on crap each month. £100 that could have paid for a low-cost return flight somewhere random and a night’s accommodation. Take one Friday date night a few weeks ago, we were thinking about going to a nice restaurant for dinner and it would have easily cost us £100, so instead I suggested booking two return flights to Copenhagen for £40.00 each and ‘dining-in’- now that’s my kind of date night! 10 items sold on eBay and the hotel was also paid for.
Low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and the newer Norweigan Air have some amazing prices on European and even US flights. I’ve seen return flights to great places like Rome and Copenhagen for under £40.00, last year I visited the Christmas markets in Cologne for £19.00 and Dublin for £20.00 the year before.
- Comparison sites such as SkyScanner are fantastic for looking at flights, search the entire month rather than specific days to see how the price varies throughout the month.
- Consider flying from a different airport as the price difference can be huge, for example flights to Reykjavik from London Heathrow were triple the cost of a flight from Luton. Don’t forget to factor in getting to the airport/parking costs, always look for a voucher code and compare parking prices.
- For weekend breaks away consider flying first thing on a Saturday morning rather than late on a Friday, the flights are often cheaper and you will save on 1 nights accommodation. Nearly all hotels will let you drop off bags if you’re too early for check-in.
- Don’t dismiss B&Bs/Hostels, we automatically search for hotels but there are some beautiful alternatives at much better prices. At the end of the day will you remember the toiletries in the hotel or the fantastic breakfast buffet-probably not! (see my Rome review for a great B&B)
- Sign-up to travel deal websites like TravelZoo and Secret Escapes for inspiration and special offers. It’s also worth signing up to Airline newsletters for special deals on flights, nobody likes to miss a sale 😉
- Always use cashback sites and coupons when booking travel for extra savings! I booked my Copenhagen hotel via Booking.com and earned £5 in cashback-cheers.
- If you are looking at long-haul destinations think about flying in-directly if you can spare the time, airlines such as Norwegian have some great deals on flights to New York and Las Vegas via Oslo, or make it a twin-centre break and stop over in Norway for a night.
- Open a holiday account- A good friend of mine has a savings account purely for holidays, her and her partner pay £150 a month via a standing order into their holiday kitty, which means they always have the cash should they come across a good deal
- Last-minute isn’t always cheap, Use sites like Expedia and Booking.com to reserve rates at hotels you might want to stay in, for example: I’ve reserved a room for next year at my fav hotel in NYC. Reserving it now means I’ve secured a great rate and should I not go well i’ll just cancel. It’s all about being on the ball.
You will never hear an older/wiser person telling you not to travel and see the world, it’s probably one of the biggest regrets our parents and grandparents have. We are so lucky that travel is far cheaper and more accessible than it was 20 years ago and therefore we should milk it!
If you’ve a burning desire to see the world or travel to a special place, make it happen! Time is a very precious thing so spend it wisely whilst you can, I really believe you can have it all it just takes hard-work, planning and some ‘shrewdness’.
I would love to hear what travel deals you’ve managed to find so be sure to add a comment below