Very often, when people know that I’m traveling, their first remark will be, “Wow, traveling again?! You’re damn rich.”
There are people who choose to spend like a king when they’re overseas, and there’s people like me who stretch their dollar even when overseas.
Travelling = Going on holiday
Travelling is different from going on holiday. Many people often tell me how much they love to travel, but what they really like is a holiday. It makes me cringe when people call themselves a traveller as they don’t realise the difference. The former can be more taxing and often takes up more time while the latter the contrary. More importantly, the money invested is the key difference between the two. Travels are done with stricter and tighter budgets while those on vacation are able to afford a little more luxury.
Traveling is expensive
Traveling need not be expensive. My greatest feat so far: $80 for a return ticket to Taipei and back, luggage inclusive. Granted, it was the airline’s birthday promotion, however there are lots of deals out there these days especially with the availability of budget airlines! Don’t be tricked easily whenever you see the word “promotion”thinking it’s really cheap when it’s not.
Do lots of research. Use apps such as Skyscanner or Agoda. Find out a rough estimate of the costs of living in the destination you are visiting and gauge if you can really afford your travel! My trip to Boracay for 8 days costs a total of $680 with expenses, air tickets and accommodation inclusive. This is considerably high as compared to other backpackers but I wanted to be a little lax with my spending.
Sometimes, the simplest thing in life is just enjoying the sunset view or just sitting by the roadside having a bowl of noodles. If you are prudent enough, travelling need not be expensive.
Travelling is easy
Anyone who has gone on a trip for more than five days can tell you that it is not. Whether you are on holiday or backpacking, a long trip is more than fun and adventure. If you have signed up with a travel agency, it could be as they would have planned a schedule and arranged everything for you, but longer travels often require some form of planning and understanding of the places that one is visiting.
Solo travel is difficult
Just as it isn’t easy, it isn’t difficult as well. If this is your first time backpacking or travelling alone, it can be overwhelming. Not only that, the thought of spending time alone in a foreign environment and the stigma that comes with doing things by yourself can be intimidating.
If you have no idea where and how to start, go with somewhere you have some knowledge about. Check out what people have to say and see how their itineraries are like and take reference. Everyone has a different style when it comes to travelling and there is no one size fits all. Comb the internet, investigate, and plan. When you have done enough research, it gets much easier.
Solo travel is dangerous/ scary
I can’t emphasise enough how much I get this, especially as a female solo traveller. People around me often assume that I would be placed in dangerous situations but this hasn’t been the case. Stay alert, read up, do your research and you should be fine! Trust your instincts, if you feel uncomfortable at any point of time, excuse yourself and leave. Ultimately, take good care of yourself and never compromise your own safety.
At the end of the day, travelling is an activity that many enjoy. A city-dweller myself, it is liberating to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city as we unwind and immerse in the local cultures of a different environment. The recipe to a great travel experience? Read up, research and have fun! Afterall, travelling should always be enjoyable.