How To Make Budget Travel Plans

One of the main reasons people say they don’t travel is down to money. A lot of people out there will go on to claim that finances are just an excuse, and it is possible to travel with little to no money. While I’m not going to claim that it can’t be done, I am going to say that it does cost something to travel and everyone’s idea of ‘little money’ is different. Effective travel budgeting takes planning and experience to get right and I want to share some of the realistic things I’ve learnt that have saved me cash on the road.

Of course, the best way to truly grab yourself a budget travel deal is through complete flexibility with both time and place. In this ideal world, there’s no restriction on the time you spend away, what month you go abroad, or the destination you visit. Yet, I know this is not the case for most of us. There’s always something to get in the way. So each of the following ideas are adaptable to the amount of flexibility you have, and some will be more helpful for you than others.

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What’s In My Bag: 1 Month Backpacking List

As this post goes out to the world, my friend and I will be about to (hopefully) make it to Poland. As is the deal with all my June posts, this one is pre-written so there’s a chance I’m not where this post thinks I am. But, if everything goes to plan, I have spent several days exploring Athens and have now come across Europe to see the beautiful sights of Warsaw. From here, I will be hopping over to Prague, then staying in Amsterdam for a while before making my way across the pond to New York. If you haven’t already realised, this is a diverse adventure: packing things that suit all of the stops on this trip is not exactly going to be the easiest task.

But fear not. I have a little experience travelling (pretty) light, and I’m going to do everything I can to keep the weight down for this trip. After all, the carry-on limit on one of our planes is 8kg…

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What I Learnt From the Hostel Snorer in Sydney: Travel Experiences

There’s a lot you can learn about yourself when lying absolutely and totally awake because someone in your hostel dorm room snores. This is a harsh truth I discovered on perhaps my fourth day in Sydney, seven weeks into travelling and on the precipice of the emotionally-taxing journey to find work, a place to live and friends in a new city.

Up until that point, I had mostly managed to miss out on the hostel experience, living a life of luxury some of the time and in situations more isolating and grimy other times. This included a friend’s family home, a room in a stranger’s suburban house, a tent pitched in the humidity of a Hawaiian farm and a whole floor (bathroom included) of a family friend’s cousin’s house. I’ll let you work out which of these fall into the luxury category and which of these fall painfully short of comfortable.

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You Don’t Have To Eat Oysters: An Open Letter to Myself About Making Decisions

Dear 2018 Alys,

Sometimes you wonder if you’re doing the right thing with your life. In this fast-paced world of constructed online identities and overwhelming arrays of things and places and people and opportunities, you often feel lost. I see that look in the hazel of your eyes, your decisions are as uncertain as the shade staring back at you – some people see brown, others green.

But the question that consistently plagues you on some kind of level, whether that’s a buzz at the back of your brain or a drill in your temple, isn’t brown or green. It’s study or work. Distance learning or physical university. Travelling the world or the ease of home life. Healthcare or writing or the media industry. Internships or volunteering. Europe or America or Australia. It’s have you made the right choices so far or should you have done something different? And what’s the next step?

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5 ways to build confidence and lessen anxiety when travelling alone

“Welcome to Canada, the temperature outside is 14 degrees, please stay seated until…”

I sit up in the aeroplane seat, rubbing my eyes and struggling to get my jet-lagged body and sluggish mind to catch up with the whole you’re-now-a-solo-traveller-and-have-to-make-it-alone thing.

A sleepy walk through the airport – one that’s now blended in my mind with countless other airports – plus a train ride, and I’m spat out into the centre of Vancouver. Disoriented, overwhelmed and utterly alone. At this point, early into my solo travels, I lacked confidence in my ability to successfully navigate this new lifestyle, and felt like an intruder in my new metaphorical backpacker shoes.

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Picked up in a stranger’s truck: Hawaii Adventures

Hurtling down a Hawaiian highway at midnight in a stranger’s battered truck is not how I pictured my life would be when I was daydreaming in college exams two months earlier. I was there alone, roughly 4500 miles from the closest person I knew and 7323 miles from my hometown and family, with limited knowledge of my surroundings and a phone with no signal. Apparently I had decided in a state of wanderlust a few months prior, that signing up to stay and volunteer on a farm on the island of Oahu by myself was a perfectly fine idea.

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