Monday, 24 June 2013

Make Your Dream Trip Happen


 Tired of liking everyone else’s travel photos on Instagram? Don’t just sit in your cubicle, daydreaming of your own trip—make it happen! Here’s how.

Set Your Goals

So you’ve been staring at the same island paradise postcard on your corkboard for the past five years. You won’t come any closer to crossing it off your bucket list, until you actually start planning your trip. Decide exactly where you want to go, whom you want to go with, how much you need, and file that vacation leave already! Set things in motion, alert the universe, and opportunities are bound to pop up (plane fare sales, travel fairs, and contests with grand holiday prizes!).

Don’t be afraid to dream big, even with a small budget. In his book The Sketching Backpacker, an illustrated travel journal published by R.O.X., author/artist Robert Alejandro shares, “The backpacking trip was an eye-opener—the fact that with a relatively small amount of money, you could actually travel and see some of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth.” Alejandro, who took three months off work to backpack through nine countries (Southeast Asia and parts of China) with four friends, says, “We agree that it isn’t a ‘splurge’ but rather an investment on yourself.”

Do Your Research

After you’ve set your sights on a destination, figure out how to get there, where to stay, and what to do. Read up on it, and quiz friends who’ve been there before. Travel blogs, crowd-sourced apps, and the wildly-popular Trip Advisor also provide helpful, realistic reviews (and directions, too). Don’t forget to check out visa requirements, and make that appointment already. These days, you don’t even have to rely on a travel agent (unless your suki gives you a great discount, of course)—simply scour the Web for fares and accommodations to suit your preference and budget. Check out the local tours on offer, or be adventurous and customize your own itinerary. Practically everything is just a click away!

Save Up!
Don’t wait till you win the lotto to go on that much-awaited holiday. Determine your budget, set a deadline, and start saving! When estimating your budget, don’t forget to factor in travel fare/travel tax, accommodations, food, attraction entrance fees, and shopping/pasalubong allowance.

Michelle Calasanz, an English teacher, animé fan and Arashi (a Japanese boy band) devotee, dreamed of visiting Japan since childhood, and finally decided that it was going to be her 30th birthday gift to herself. “Two years before my scheduled departure date, I started saving at least P500 a week, until my travel fund grew and grew. I had a calendar and kept tabs on how much money I saved.” She was so focused on her goal that she hardly ever shopped or ate out; she gave herself a weekly allowance, and followed it strictly, and all bonuses went straight into her travel kitty, too. Her reward? A glorious, life-changing three-week getaway to Japan, traveling from Tokyo to Osaka, mostly on her own. Next stop, London!

Grab Opportunities
If you have a knack for writing or taking great photos, try your hand at contributing to a travel magazine (email the editors!). Who knows, if they like your work, they might send you on assignment (so you get to travel and get paid for it!) the next time around. Keep an eye out for contests, too—you might just get lucky and travel for free!

Surfer girl Camille Cabreira spotted a contest and decided to give it a go. “Thousands of girls joined. We submitted photos and asked our friends to vote. I was so surprised when I was chosen to be one of the Philippine finalists! The experience was beyond amazing.”
So, what’s the top destination on your bucket list?

No comments:

Post a Comment