“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss,
I am obviously a big fan of travel and encourage people to just go explore the world and meet the people of their destinations. My aim is to create friendships and relationships across borders, see the world and grow personally. I do this by combining days off with leave, public holidays and unpaid leave to maximise the opportunities. Work Hard. Play Hard is definitely my motto! Too many people do not use their leave to the maximum. We have three score and ten (more or less) years on this earth. Do not live with regret.
My seven key tips for making the most of travel:
- Purpose with definite goals: Where do you want to go through your life? What about this year?? are you wanting to rest, explore or do both? This year, I aim to add Laos and Japan to my country list. Eventually, my aim is to have visited 99 countries (I am up to 64!). The goals help me set my budget. How much money will I need? Where will that money come from?
- Plan thoroughly: If I want a beach holiday, I don’t want to visit that country during rainy season. If I go to Japan during Cherry blossom time, then I will expect to pay more for accommodation. If Cherry Blossoms are not my primary concern, then I will choose a different time of the year. Venice is huge fun if you want to be there for Canrivale. Venice is a huge nightmare if I am there during Carnivale but just want to see the city. I avoid flying through the US Northeast in Jan and Feb because there is a good chance my flights will be disrupted.
- Pay Thriftily: I am a traveller who likes to maximise my money. To get the best fares – I play with different websites, dates and airports. I now beat main street travel agents 100% of the time! Leaving one week earlier or later can avoid school holidays and reduce prices dramatically. One day early has saved me hundreds of dollars. Likewise. flying into one city in Europe and taking a 10 or 2o Euro train ride to my destination can also save hundreds of dollars and allow me to see more of Europe.
- Push for a decent seat– I pay for leg room. I choose airlines with better seating. I search for upgrades. I buy and use air points to get Business Class travel at Coach prices. I make friends with check in agents. These things are designed to avoid my length being cramped for those hours of air flight.
- Pack light- less luggage reduces stress, removes the necessity to check-in and allows ease of movement in airports, train stations and at destinations. It is extraordinary that people travel with litres (gallons) of bathroom products. Most of these can be decanted and many can be bought at your destination. There are chemists and supermarkets across the globe!
- Purchase travel insurance-my one stay in hospital in Cambodia cost more than all of the travel premiums I have ever paid. And Cambodia is a cheaper destination than other places!
- Promote Kindness. Travel is such a privilege. How can I make other people’s lives better? I aim to make better environmental choices, treat people with respect, buy locally made, donate a percentage of my travel budget to local charities, and offer to volunteer where I can. If I can afford to travel, I can afford to make a difference to other’s lives.