I’m a huge advocate for travelling – hence the blog! It may sound cliché but I genuinely believe it helps develop you as a person and teach you that you are capable of just about anything you set your mind to! These days we are all so busy with our personal rat races that sometimes it’s good to take some time out, really see the world and gain some perspective! And yet time and time again I hear people saying “I really want to travel BUT…” Life is short, so stop making excuses and make the most of your time on this planet! Here are 5 common reasons people choose not to travel and why you shouldn’t let them stop you!
1/ The career gap on my CV will be damaging?!
Actually, most employers will like the fact you’ve travelled as it demonstrates lots of transferable skills! Organisational skills, independence, social skills, perseverance… The list goes on! If you manage to incorporate some volunteering, even better! This may even be something that gives you experience in your own professional field. For example Amazon Promise (www.amazonpromise.org) offer expeditions to the amazon river in Peru for volunteer doctors, nurses and dentists to provide healthcare to remote villages that are cut off from accessible healthcare ordinarily. Organisations such as Volunteer World (www.volunteerworld.com) offer volunteering in all sorts of areas such as childcare, teaching, construction and conservation. The world really is your oyster!
2/ But I can’t afford it!
Okay so if you have bills and debt coming out of your ears and you’re struggling to keep your head above water, I do not advocate jetting off into the sunshine to avoid your money problems! BUT, travel does not have to be expensive contrary to popular belief! Follow these simple tips to keep costs down! I will be writing future blogs with more top tips for cost saving so keep your eyes peeled! Maybe join my mailing list so you don’t miss out!
- use sky scanner.net for flight price comparison and hooper.com to monitor fluctuations in price. This clever website which is also available as an app helps predict whether your flight prices are about to rise or may drop if you wait a few days to help get you the best deals
- shop about for travel insurance – there are some great deals out there. I usually start with money supermarket.com. Banks often offer free travel insurance with current accounts – Natwest offers this!
- Shop about for accommodation. Don’t be afraid to stay in a hostel. It can be a great way to meet other travellers and there are some great ones out there. They are not all dingy noisy less pits as some would let you believe! Another good place to look is airbnb – I’ve had some fantastic deals using this!
- Think about location! A trip to eastern europe is likely to be far more budget friendly than a trip to Italy for example! Budapest is one of my absolute favourite cities with so much to do and is so so cheap.
- Do your research! There are usually great free things to do in most cities such as free museums, parks and festivals! Don’t feel pressured to do all the pricey tourist activities – often you get to know a city much better when you just wander!
- Eat where locals eat and try to blend in! Some places have tourist prices and local prices! Speak a little of the local lingo and ask locals where they eat and drink then go there!
3/ But I need a new bathroom/to redecorate my house/new pair of designer shoes…
Will you look back on your life when sat in a nursing home in your 90’s feeling glad you spent the money on that posh roll top bath or designer heels?! No, thought not. Spend your hard-earned savings on experiences and you won’t look back with regret! Simples.
4/ Won’t it be dangerous travelling on my own?
Yes you have to be streetwise when you travel but with some sensible precautions you can have the time of your life and stay safe! www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice is a great website to do your research and discover where is safe in the world to travel right now! Make sure you stick to reputable neighbourhoods (do your research before!) At night-time take taxi’s rather than walk alone. Uber is now available in many countries making ordering a taxi abroad a total breeze! Ask locals for their advice on where is safe to go. Pay attention to local traditions, try not to stand out and keep your money hidden in a money belt. And if you’re still feeling nervous, why not join a tour where you will have an experienced guide and a ready-made set of friends to enjoy your trip with! I recommend www.gadventures.co.uk and www.intrepid.com. I will also be taking a trip with www.dragoman.com later this year so I will report back soon!
5/ Yeah but I will be lonely!
I can honestly say I’ve never taken a trip and felt lonely! I’ve done solo trips, travelled with friends and with organised groups and can recommend all forms of travel! Hostels are a great way to meet friends even if you just stay for a night or two to meet some friends then transfer to a nicer hotel! Look on notice boards in hostels and hotels for people looking for company to explore with/have dinner with. Www.backpackr.org is a great website/app to meet fellow travellers in the same place as you. A bit like online dating for travel friends! Www.meetup.com has now gone global and so you can make friends with locals wherever you travel with the bonus of knowing you’ll have something in common as groups are set up according to which hobbies you enjoy! Failing all of the above, consider an organised trip as mentioned above. You will have a group of like-minded travellers all keen to make friends and memories together!
So what are you waiting for?! Go book! Now!
Please feel free to make comments! What puts you off traveling? Have you had any positive experiences making friends abroad or have you used any of these apps, websites and companies?