The superhero believes in time
Step 2 – How long do you want to travel for?
So you’ve picked a destination and you have a basic itinerary. Now what?
Well… you need to know how long you want to travel for, because if you don’t, you have no idea how much money you will need. This advice is especially important for first time travelers. Plan your journey, it will help in the long run.
Type of trip
A 3 week trip to San Francisco can be more expensive than a couple of months in Laos, so you need to know where and how long you plan on staying in your favorite destination.
Is your destination an expensive city, a cheap countryside, a tropical island?
Depending on where you want to go, you can find out how much things might cost you. You can start using the worksheet I created with some useful links and resources to get some ideas going. Download the worksheet here.
Do you want to hitchhike, rent a car, stay in hotels, live off peoples couches, go camping, live in a tree?
If you know the style of the trip you want to do, then you can also understand how long you will be able to do it for. Traveling at night, for example, can help you save some money, because you can sleep on the bus, or on a train. Having a daily budget can help you separate the things you absolutely need, from the things you don’t.
When you travel, you need to establish what is a priority for you and what isn’t.
If going around museums is more important to you, then save money on something else, like accommodation, or food.
Guess what? The same thing applies if you are more into food. You’re gonna have to say no to that expensive art exhibition.
Again, if you put the money where you want it, all the other things you don’t have access to, don’t become a sacrifice, but a mean to allow you to do the things you chose to do.
Be happy about it and have another mango.
Limit your spending
If you want to stay in a place longer, limit your spending.
Cook your own food, shop at a local supermarket, buy cheap local foods, avoid restaurants and expensive night clubs, walk instead of using transportation. Choose experiences over things.
At the same time, if you go to a place and there is a “must” thing to see, don’t skip it, just because it costs you a little extra. You will save money on something else that is less important.
When do you want to start your adventure?
As well as you need to decide how long you want to travel for, so you can create a daily budget, you also need to know when you plan to start your adventure.
You need to know when you want to start your journey, because it will be easier to work a plan backwards than forward.
Let me explain how this works.
I am sure this has happened to you at least once in your life.
Answer this question.
How many times have you skipped a day at the gym?
I bet it happened a lot of times.
Now answer this other question.
How many times have you missed an important flight?
Most likely, this number is close to ZERO.
Isn’t it strange?
You seem to be perfectly capable of being on time and catching, I’d guess, all your flights, but when it comes to go to the gym, you don’t mind being late, or to simply stay at home and play Subbuteo.
Not going to the gym is OK, you can always go some other time. There is really ZERO consequences in not showing up, apart from getting fatter. :)
But missing an important flight is kind of a big deal.
First of all, it is a pain in the ass.
Second, you wasted some money and time.
If it was an important flight, you let yourself and other people down.
There are a lot of negative consequences in that choice. Therefore, in order to avoid them, you made a clear commitment. You showed up. You did what you were supposed to do.
And that’s what you have to do now.
Pick a hard deadline
Look at your calendar and pick a date, if you think you need 10 months to get ready for your trip, cut that in half. Whatever your date is… cut it in half!
Pick a hard deadline, not an easy one. I’ll tell you why this is better.
Do you have the date now?
Do it now!
Think of that date as the important thing you cannot miss in your life.
In fact, as soon as you pick your date, tell EVERYONE about your new adventure and WHEN you are going to leave.
This will make you more likely to stick to your plan and help you focus on the things you need to do to get there.
Being accountable for what you say is very important.
If you don’t tell anyone, you can easily lie to yourself and avoid the shame.
Don’t be afraid to expose yourself out there, and tell everybody about your amazing upcoming adventure.
When you do those things you are VERY likely to start looking at each day and what you do on a regular basis in a completely different light.
Something magic will happen and…
… You will stop doing the following activities:
Wasting more time
Wasting even more time
Spending your time with people who waste your time
And instead you will focus on:
Starting saving money, for real!
Spending your time with people you care about
Being more thankful for the comforts you have
Work harder & smarter
Picking a hard deadline will force you to concentrate on what really matters and avoid any other distractions from your life.
This is what I mean when I say work backwards instead of forward. Because if you do the opposite and you start changing only a few things here and there and carry on with your life, sooner or later, you will give up or forget what you have learnt so far.
You will find new excuses. A new TV series to watch. Another hobby to start.
Life will take you somewhere else.
You will go back to that beautiful place you visited before. Nowhere.
Think about the times the backward-system worked brilliantly for you.
It took you to your first day at school
It made you show up for a final exam
It made you drive miles to see your favorite band performing live
It made you complete all your important assignments or tasks
And helped you so many other times…
All those things happened because you knew in advance when and where they were taking place and the stakes were high. So you showed up, you worked harder, you made a commitment to be there, and you made it happen.
Going on a big adventure is a big commitment as well and you need to approach it with the same attitude.
You need to know exactly when, so you can start making the changes I talked about and commit to your plan.
This sounds simple, but it is the hardest part of your travel adventure, because if you don’t do it, the rest will not happen.
Exercise 04: Set a hard deadline
Type in your worksheet the DATE when your adventure will begin
Make it as close as possible to avoid having your mind playing tricks on you
Tell EVERYONE you know WHEN you will go
Objective: The purpose of these exercises is to make you reliable and to truly commit to your goal. If you can do that the rest is easy. All you’ve got to do is plan ahead how you will get there and what steps you need to be ready for your trip. I’ll help you with all that.
It is time to book your flight!
The next chapter is about booking a cheap flight to your travel destination.