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So you’v e made the big decision to hit the road on an epic, life changing trip. Congrats! Deciding to go is the first step in a truly amazing experience that will change you for the better. Travelling is one of the best ways to grow as a person, learn about other cultures and have experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime. But what’s the next step? It might seem daunting for the first timer to make the decision to go, but then what? Here’s our easy to follow guide to travelling for the first timer.
The first thing you will want to work out when you decide to go travelling is where it is you want to go. There are a whole variety of places to go depending on what you personally want and whether you’re okay with pushing the envelope of your comfort zone a bit. Most first timers tend to travel to countries that are at least somewhat similar to their own country, such as Canadians often travelling to western Europe for example. If you’re feeling brave and want to really push the boundaries of comfort though, why not try somewhere a bit exotic such as South America, India, or South East Asia. Of these choices, South East Asia is the easiest – the tourist infrastructure is developed and you won’t run into things that are too shocking, so it’s a good first stop. That being said though, sometimes diving in the deep end is just what the doctor ordered.
The next step you will want to make is to research the costs of flights, accommodation, food and the like in your chosen countries. It’s not uncommon for many of the more “wild” countries to operate on a dollar per day system as a general budget for travellers, such as thirty dollars (USD) per day being a good guideline for almost everywhere for accommodation, food and extras. Some countries will be much cheaper than others so you will be able to create a lower budget, but some countries, especially western Europe, parts of Africa and Australia are known to be budget drainers.
Depending on whether you’re willing to rough it a bit – staying in dorms, living off street food and generally cheaping out when it comes to activities – you can live on anything from about twenty bucks a day for everything. Are you one of those people who struggles to save money because going out with friends and the like is just too tempting? Consider the fact that for a five dollar drink, you can buy a meal or two in a foreign country. Multiply that by the amount you drink on a night out and you have potentially as much as a week or more of travelling money! What’s better? A couple of drinks now, or two weeks in Thailand?
You can score cheap flights to just about anywhere with JustFly. Our only recommendation is that you don’t book too many flights in advance unless you’re absolutely certain of your itinerary and your desires – you never know when you might roll into a place, love it so much you want to stay two weeks, but have a flight to catch in just a couple days. Flight change fees can rack up quickly and end up being an arm and a leg, so it’s better to know for sure in advance where you want to go and book only those flights or just book a flight to the general region then book other flights as you go.
Packing is one of those things that it seems that people are either really good at or really not. Packing doesn’t have to be difficult, but some people really struggle with it. When you’re heading out on a great, epic trip around the world, what you need to do is make a list of the absolutely most essential things to take. Are you going to multiple climates? Take that into consideration. Will it be monsooning anywhere? You will want waterproof EVERYTHING. Even if you aren’t planning on going on long hikes into the bush, take good walking shoes or boots (you’ll thank us later). Check what the weather is like for the time of year in the places you’re planning to go, especially since some regions have opposite monsoon seasons, even if it’s the same country (like India), so you will want to be prepared. Make a list and then start buying quality gear.
One thing you should always invest in is a high quality medicine kit with things like gravol, pain medication, bandages, gauze, alcohol wipes and the like. You never know when you might need it and it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Saving Money On The Road
Inevitably when you get on the road you will likely spend the first few days spending more money than you plan to with the excitement of being on the road. Don’t worry though, this is usually temporary and you will soon settle into your budget. To save money on the road, consider getting food from street vendors and local eateries rather than hotels, guesthouses and restaurants. You will save a bundle this way – trust us!
So if you’re looking forward to your first ever round the world trip, hopefully this useful guide to figuring out the logistics will help you plan so that you have one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences possible. Good luck!