How to travel the world in 8 steps

How To Travel The World in 8 Steps

 “Oh, you’re so lucky you get to travel so much!”

“How do these teenagers get to travel so much?”

“Where do you get the money to travel the world?”

These are just some of the questions I get asked when people stumble upon my YouTube channel, blog, social media accounts or lately, in the comments of media articles about my ‘love story’ with Mattias.

I could never comprehend how people can imagine that being able to travel is something that’s hard to do. Or that if you do, you’re just lucky. I’m of the view that if you want to do something bad enough, you’ll prioritise it. Maybe I’m just ultra-privileged but even growing up in a household where my parents would work two jobs each and struggle to pay for necessities, we still put aside time and money to travel now and again.

So, if you so badly want to travel; or if you look at other people who travel and think to yourself that they’re so lucky; or if you just assume that travel is for rich people… well, I’m writing this post to debunk your beliefs.

1. If you want to do it, you’ll find a way – NO EXCUSES.

Being able to travel doesn’t boil down to luck. If you’re looking at other people wondering why they get to travel and you can’t… well, that’s the first problem. Your mentality is what’s stopping you.

I truly believe that if you want to do something, there’s nothing stopping you except yourself. I’m going to ask you three simple questions:

– Do you value travel?
– Are you willing to put it higher on your list of priorities?
– Are you going to stop making excuses?

If you answered yes to all the above, you may continue reading. If you answered no to all of them, what are you even doing here?

2. There is always money to be saved

Right, I get it. We all need to scrape the scraps to get by in life. Some people need to scrape harder because our capitalist system is inherently broken (hooray for the disparity between rich and poor… *note sarcasm*)! Even though we might be on the edge of being unable to pay for our phone bill or mortgage, I believe that there’s always a way to save money. For some, it’s a lot easier because our income is greater than our expenses, thus putting aside a percentage of your weekly/fortnightly/monthly wage into a savings account is easy.

For those people who end up with no savings at the end of the month… well, there’s always something you can cut back. I get so antsy at people who complain that they can’t travel because it costs too much, but for some reason find the money to buy a packet of cigarettes, splurge at the bottle shop or even go on a shopping spree at their local mall. OR, they’ll even buy the latest phone at the highest monthly price! STOP IT. You don’t need these things. Stop buying them and save your money for a weekend trip. Done.

One last thing – you can always do a side hustle. Work your butt off to earn extra pocket money during your free time. Airtasker is a great application to find extra jobs here and there. Take up babysitting. Become an English tutor. Build someone’s IKEA furniture. There’s always money to be made if you look for it.

So in summation:
– Get a job
– Save a percentage of your income to go towards travel
– Give up some of your unnecessary luxuries
– Hustle like you ain’t hustled before

3. Look for opportunities

First Days in Switzerland

^ That’s me on one of my first days in Lausanne, Switzerland
as an ‘In-Country Study’
 student! (2014)

Sometimes a brilliant opportunity is just waiting for you to take it up. You probably don’t even know it exists yet. This is kind of what happened to me and how I could travel so much in 2014.

If you’re about to embark on your higher education, look at university degrees that offer overseas study as an option. I picked up a double degree in Communications and International Studies, simply because there was a year of compulsory study abroad. Like, hello? Heck yeah. Because it was a compulsory component, my university covered the cost of flights (and with Emirates) and my student visa. I was also able to get a loan from the government and a small scholarship to cover my first semester in Switzerland. All other costs like student accommodation, food and extracurricular travel all came from my own pocket.

You don’t have to be a student to look for opportunities, either. If you’re feeling brave, take a year off work and get a working-holiday visa. Use that year to travel and build your networks while you’re overseas. You can work while you travel too. You can even look for jobs that require you to travel a lot. For example, Mattias got himself a job as a filmmaker/videographer and he gets to travel across Australia and sometimes overseas to film events.

There are also lots of competitions and giveaways with phenomenal travel packages as prizes that you can enter. Yeah, maybe being the winner might come down to ‘luck’ but what luck do you even have if you don’t even try? Right?

In summation:
– If you’re a student, look at study abroad options
– Consider a working-holiday visa
– Look for jobs that require travel
– Be on the prowl for amazing holiday giveaways

4. Luxury travel vs. Budget travel

I think a lot of people automatically assume that you can’t have a great travel experience if you’re on a budget. That, somehow you need to be like those travel bloggers on Instagram who always seem to be at 5 star resorts with their own private Jacuzzi and a photographer that follows them around to capture that perfect shot. Nah, that’s not what travel is like for most people.

Sure, if you have the money you can go ahead and book yourself a fang-dangly resort. Or… you can be like me and book a mid-range hotel to sleep in at the end of the day, and spend the rest of the day lounging around said fang-dangly resorts. A perfect example was when I was at the Whitsunday Islands – I booked a pretty dodge hotel at Airlie Beach and spent my days island hopping and chilling at the fancier resorts.

– Budget airlines are your best friend
– Sometimes you just have to sacrifice instant comfort for unforgettable experiences

5. Determine your limits

Me on a cruise in Norway!

^ My biggest limit?
A cruise from the North of Norway through the Arctic Circle. (2014)

This ties back to the whole luxury vs budget point. Here are three questions I want you to ask yourself (and answer).

– How much are you willing to spend?
– What are you willing to spend money on?
– What aren’t you willing to spend money on?

It’s easier to set your budget and your limits once you’ve answered the above questions.

Let’s put it into practice from an example of one of my holidays. In 2014, I wanted to go to Norway. Norway is my happy place, therefore I was willing to spend up to $4,000 for two weeks. Doesn’t necessarily mean that I was going to spend that much, but I put that budget into place. What was I willing to spend money on? Well, I wanted to be able to cruise around the fjords so I was willing to spend money on a cruise. I wanted to experience some fun activities while on the cruise like riding Icelandic horses on Lofoten Island, so I was willing to spend money on that. What wasn’t I willing to spend money on? Extravagant cruise-ship meals. Instead, Mattias and I packed our own instant noodles to cook in a little boiler (but occasionally I would treat myself to an ice-cream sandwich from the ship’s café).

6. Be on the look out for free activities

Free activities are the best activities. Did you know that there are free walking tours in many major cities around the world? They’ll ask for money at the end, but it’s up to you if you want to tip for their services. Even tipping something small as $5 is cheaper than going on an actual tour, and who knows who you might meet! Usually you’ll find other tourists who know of free or inexpensive activities because they’re in the same boat as you.

Some other free activities include going for a hike, taking a dip at the lake or beach or just perusing through the city and taking photographs. You don’t have to paraglide from the alps or buy a ticket to Disneyland unless that’s something you’re willing to spend the money on.

7. Buy groceries instead of eating out at fancy restaurants

Unless you’re a total foodie, you don’t have to eat out all the time. Eating out is probably one of the most expensive parts about travelling. My eyes literally popped out of their sockets the first time I saw how much it cost to dine out in Switzerland. That’s not to say that you can’t have a nice meal every now and then, but if you’re on a budget you might want to consider going to the local grocery store and getting some breakfast food and snacks.

Cooking up a feast at an AirBnB with travel buddies can add a whole new experience to your travels. Not only is it cheaper than eating out, you’ll also get to see what grocery stores are like in a whole different country!

Quick Tips:
– Pick one or two meals that you can splurge on at a restaurant/café
– Cook a feast with your travel buddies and split the cost
– Be amazed at what other country’s grocery stores have to offer
– Purchase healthy snacks to fulfil your hunger levels in between meals

8. Anywhere in the world is worth going to

Leonie doing vlogging duties

^ A nice Sunday stroll is all it takes. (2016)

Lastly… you don’t have to jet set to the other side of the globe to have an awesome travel experience. Everywhere in the world is worth going to – even your own backyard. I live in Sydney and I always thought that I had to leave my city to ‘travel’. But guess what? There are billions of people in the world who would love to travel to Sydney, and here I am thinking I need to go to the other side of the world!

Do yourself a favour. This weekend, go travel. Do a little road trip to somewhere you’ve never been before. Take a train to a nearby town. Pack up your tent and go camping with a mate. Ta-da! You’re travelling.

Let me round up this post up by asking you these questions one more time:

– Do you value travel?
– Are you willing to put it higher on your list of priorities?
– Are you going to stop making excuses?

If you answered yes to all these questions, then GO OUT THERE AND TRAVEL! And if you still answered no… then stop calling me lucky.

Happy travels!
Leonie xo.