How Can I Make My Travelling Dreams A Reality?

Tally ho!

“For the past year I’ve had my heart set on going to the UK and travelling for a few months, and I was meant to be saving up all year, but so far I haven’t got one cent to my name, it’s so depressing! I want this to happen so bad, and yet I feel like it is so unattainable, how can I realise my dream?”

Travelling is so much fun! It’s one of my favourite things to do. I love love LOVE the thrill of deciding on a location, doing a whole lot of research, booking hotels & finding good deals, making lists of places to go, packing my suitcase, boarding the plane & the wonder of walking off at the other end!

An idea without a plan is just a dream, & will probably never happen. Picture your journey to England as a bunch of stones across a pool. You need to hop from one to the other, & take steps across to get to the other side. You also need to know how to get from each stone to the next.

In my experience, usually we put off doing things (or they don’t rank highly on our priority list) because we’re not really that excited about whatever it is. Maybe you have some kind of underlying fear about going there — like that you can’t afford it or perhaps you’ve never travelled alone. Put these thoughts out of your mind (use EFT!) & start moving forward! It’s time to start believing you can make it happen. Seriously, I think about 80% of achieving a goal is in knowing you can do it! Millions of people visit the United Kingdom every year, & there is nothing to say you can’t be one of them!

You need to get really enthusiastic about going to the UK. There are about a billion ways you can do this. Rent movies set in Britain, search Flickr for photos of the places you hope to go, make a journal full of ideas of things to do, start talking to people in Britain online, ask your friends who have been about their travels, read travel books & start discussing your plans with someone who is excited for you! Cut out pictures from magazines or travel brochures of the places that appeal to you, & stick them where you’ll see them all the time — at your desk, above your bed or opposite the shower. The more you see these images, the more fired-up you will get! It will also help to focus your intentions & remind you of what you want to do.

The next thing to do is start pricing the trip. Since I am under 26, I almost always use STA Travel for my air travel. I get major discounts because of my age, & I am cool with that! That link will take you to the American site, but there are branches all over the world. Have a look at their deals & get an approximate cost of what a return flight will cost you. The price will change depending on what time of the year you want to go, so take that into consideration. You’ll also need to check out hotels to see what their rates are like. Try Wotif for discounted rooms & Virtual Tourist for hotel reviews!

Flights & accomodation are your major costs, so you should have some idea of a ballpark figure. Then you need to work out how much money you’ll need for food, sight-seeing, buses or trains or taxis, taxes, travel insurance, etc. Of course, the more you budget for, the better, since it means you don’t have to be super-careful about what you spend & don’t have to subsist on noodles or dry chicken sandwiches for the length of your trip!

Okay, once you have those numbers written down, you can start to make a plan. How much money do you have left over at the end of the week, after you’ve paid rent & bills & been to the supermarket? Work out how much of that you could feasibly put into saving for your trip. If you put every spare cent towards your trip, you might start to go a bit nutty, so try not to make a budget you can’t stick to (or that will make you miserable). Then, divide your total estimated travel costs by this number. Your result is how many weeks it will take you to obtain the money needed.

Open a savings account (if you don’t have one already) & organise for an automatic payment to go in there the day after you receive your pay. Then sit back & watch the money build up. When you’re well on your way, start to make your travel arrangements. Don’t dip into your savings unless there is an absolute emergency! Trust me!

Read up on where you want to go (check out books like Wallpaper City Guide: London 2008, You Go Girl London: A Travel Guide Just For The Girls, Time Out London & Frommer’s Irreverent Guide to London). Set a photo of London as the wallpaper on your computer at work. Develop a taste for cornish pasties, bangers & mash & black pudding (just kidding about the black pudding). Collect your friends’ addresses so you can send them postcards of Prince Charles’ head. Work out how to get to Harrods & promise yourself that you will eat at LadurĂ©e (on the ground floor). Read Old London Town, Putting The ‘Rave’ In Travel Since 1983! & How To Pack A Suitcase, all by yours truly! Read Barbelith’s suggestions for fun in London. Look at London in film. You get the idea!

Finally, remember to take some postcards, & have a jolly good time, old chap!