This coming fall is the first fall since I was 3 years old that I am not going back to school. Halleluuuuuujah. I truly never felt as though this day would come, but here I am and it feels wonderful & weird. You know when you look out at the ocean or lake and the colour of the water blends into the colour of the sky and you can’t tell where one ends and the next begins & it just feels like a never-ending space? That’s kinda how it feels to be done school. Open. As a way of celebrating, I am saving up to hopefully go away to Europe in the fall. Saving money is HARD when everything in life is so expensive, but we’ll see how it goes. (My backup plan is to go next spring).
I’ve been to France, Spain and Italy, so my goal is to hit a bunch of my other bucket list destinations. This is where I plan on going:
· London, England
· Amsterdam, Netherlands (*Side note: in grade 6 we were all given a country that we had to research and then create a presentation on and I got the Netherlands and I’ve wanted to go ever since. I brought in a cheese platter. It was a hit).
· Berlin, Germany
· Prague, Czech Republic (beyond excited for this one!!)
· Vienna, Austria
· Budapest, Hungary
· Zagreb, Croatia
· Basel, Switzerland
I will be passing through other places along the way (France, Belgium, etc.), but these are the cities I will be staying in.
I’m planning on doing this trip solo which is exciting because I’ve never done that before. Something super intriguing to me about travelling is meeting new people but only having them in your life for a short period of time. They can be so impactful and you’ll create extraordinary memories with them but then (usually) never see them again. Some of our fondest memories may be of people who we knew for a few days or a week. I think that’s part of why people fall so in love with travel. It’s a blank slate. I think it will be a good way to start off my post-school life.
I’ve been looking into doing a Contiki tour for part of this trip so that even though I am going solo, I will not be alone for the whole thing. I’ve heard amazing things about Contiki tours. They have hundreds of different tour options across the world, so there’s almost definitely a suitable one for everyone. Contiki has three different types of trips: In-Depth Explorer, Iconic Essentials & Discoverer. Each type of tour caters to a different crowd, different budget, and different experience. The one I’m looking into is an Iconic Essentials trip and it covers my trip from London to Vienna & then I would be on my own for Budapest, Zagreb & Basel. Iconic Essentials means that you cover the most ground in a tighter time frame & on a smaller budget. These trips are perfect for people that want to see a lot of different places and experience the highlights of each place, without completely breaking bank.
Until my trip, I will be doing lots of research on the places I’m going, so that I can make the most out of my time there. If anyone has any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!
Tips on Saving Money for a Trip
The main aspect of saving money is prioritizing. Since pretty much everything is expensive, you’re going to have to decide what is really worth spending the money on, and what you can pass up on. When I’m saving for a trip, I make sure I’m still having fun and doing the things I love – hanging out with friends, making art, concerts here and there, etc. But I cut down or completely cut out on eating out, shopping for material items, and other things that are wants instead of needs. There’s a difference between wants like hanging out with friends, creating, going to concerts, etc. and going out for dinner a few nights a week and buying new clothes and what not. The difference is simple. The first set impacts us long-term and adds to our character, our happiness and helps us create long-lasting memories. The latter are things that impact us short-term. Eating out, shopping, etc. when it is unnecessary, are things that may make us feel good in the moment or for a short period of time, but overall will not leave a big impact on our lives. Figuring out which aspects and things in your life will create long-term vs. short-term impacts, will help you decide what you can cut out for a while in order to save some money.
If you have steady income, you can also set aside a certain percentage of each paycheque to go towards your trip. If you think you’ll have a hard time sticking to this on your own, you can go into your bank and they can help you set it up so that a percentage of each cheque goes straight into your savings.
You can also save for trips by looking into what types of debit/credit cards your bank offers that help you earn points towards travel. I currently have the TD Platinum Travel Visa Card & it helps me earn points towards travel and also gives me discounts when booking through Expedia for TD.
There are so many options to help you save for a trip, the main trick is just setting your mind to it.
The time to travel is now.