Posted by The SoleSisters on -
You've waited long enough.
Last year you said it would be this year. And you've been telling yourself that for 3 consecutive years now! Are you just going to sit there patiently waiting for that early retirement check or until you can find yourself someone to travel with? If you wait until you're ready, you might end up waiting your entire life.
It's time to light a fire under your a$$ and make travel happen for yourself in 2014!
Here are a few things you can do to make 2014 your year of travel:
|Photo Credit: Antje Herzog|
Where would you like to go? This can be as easy as looking at a map and crossing out places you want to visit. To be more realistic, ask yourself some essential questions:
-Will you easily secure a visa/entry pass to those places?
-Will you get the best value for the money you will spend there?
-Are you comfortable to travel there alone?
If you don't have too many vacation leaves to spare each year, consider how many days/weeks you can spend in each place. If you're location independent like myself, think about whether those places have fast speed internet so you can continue to make money while traveling.
And don't forget to set deadlines. Plot your destinations on a paper calendar or planner so you know exactly when you have to make those trips happen.
|Photo Credit: Villy Yovcheva|
The simplest way to do this is to think of a daily budget then add a 30% buffer. For example, think of everything that you will spend for each day of travel:
Accommodations - $10
Food - $10
Tours/Entertainment - $10
That makes it $30/day. Of course it differs from person to person and depends on which destinations you choose. You can add more for shopping, drinks, etc. Once you have your daily travel budget, add a 30% buffer (or whatever percentage you're comfortable with) to the equation which can cover your travel insurance, transportation costs and unexpected expenses. And don't forget to include the cost of your flight, if you need to fly to your chosen destinations.It's better to overestimate your budget.
If you're thinking about Southeast Asia, check out this detailed backpacking budget guide.
|Photo Credit: OTA Photos|
Now that you have an idea of how much your trips will cost, you can start saving for your escape fund as early as January 1st. Hopefully you still have some leftover money from your Christmas gifts and yearly bonus. Get motivated to work more hours or start doing some some freelance work. This might be a good time to clean your place and get rid of things you no longer need. Why not sell some of your clothes, shoes or gadgets at a garage sale to make more money?
Make a commitment to set x amount of money from your paycheck each month to go to your escape fund. Better yet, make it auto-deductible so you don't get tempted to use it for something else.
4 Eliminate unnecessary expenses
Another way to get more funds is to stop spending on unnecessary things. I can never stress this enough: you can live on less and you will be better for it. You can stop drinking those expensive frappucinos/cocktails every day. Cook more and eat out less often. You can always find creative ways to look great without spending a fortune on clothes and accessories. If you can do without those weekend ecapades, just save and wait for your big trip.
|Photo Credit: Mies Herma|
This will be the most crucial part in making 2014 your year of travel. Instead of just dreaming, planning and hoping it will all happen for you, why not make yourself accountable? How do you manage to do that? By creating consequences for failing to execute your plans. For example,
-If I don't meet my target amount of savings towards my escape fund each month, I will post embarrassingly awkward photos of my 13 year old self.
-If I don't travel to a beach destination by June 2014, I will pose in a bikini for our annual office photo.
-If I don't move to Indonesia by September 2014, I will say yes to that dorky guy who's been asking me out since forever.
Get creative! And the more details, the better. Make sure you let friends and family know about your plans as well as the consequences. So that they can call you on it when you're slacking.
If you want to add more fun to this exercise, let me invite you to post your plan and consequence if you fail on your facebook status and tag us: /WeRsolesisters. We'll keep an eye on you!
|Photo Credit: Mike Baird|
Main Photo Credit: Red Agreda Photography
Starting the year right,
Sole Sister Lois
Lois is the Editor-in-Chief of the female travel blog wearesolesisters.com. When she's not having adventures around the globe, she can be found surfing, surfing someone's couch or giving motivational workshops and retreats.