How to stay motivated while you save for travel

It might take years of deliberation, or just a weekend with too much wine, a guidebook and a credit card, but eventually, there is a point where you know that you’re going travelling. You just know that you are willing to quit work, book a flight, pack your bags and go.

Usually, without a big win on the lottery, there is a fair amount of time from deciding that you’re going, to actually getting on the plane.

How to stay motivated for travel

 

Perhaps, it is going to take you a year to save the necessary money; maybe you need to finish University or get to a suitable place career wise.

This can be a tricky time and can take some real determination and will power to keep your savings on track and not lose your when yet another Monday rolls around you’d you’ve still got 50 more to go.

Here are some hints and tips to get you through those tricky pre-trip months.

It might take years of deliberation, or just a weekend with too much wine, a guidebook and a credit card, but eventually, there is a point where you know that you’re going travelling. You just know that you are willing to quit work, book a flight, pack your bags and go.

Usually, without a big win on the lottery, there is a fair amount of time from deciding that you’re going, to actually getting on the plane.

Perhaps, it is going to take you a year to save the necessary money; maybe you need to finish University or get to a suitable place career wise.

This can be a tricky time and can take some real determination and will power to keep your savings on track and not lose your when yet another Monday rolls around you’d you’ve still got 50 more to go.

Here are some hints and tips to get you through those tricky pre-trip months.

Avoid putting your life on hold

There will be times when all you  will think about is packing your bags and getting on that plane. And as much as you’ll feel like you want to leave right now life is for living. Not just waiting to live. Of course you have to find a balance.

Saying no to friends invitations for nights out while you instead stay in every night eating 20p tins of beans is going to make for a pretty awful time.

More likely, it’s going to lead to big surges where months of hard saving gets wiped out in a single weekend because you can take the austerity any more.

The Catch 22 of course with doing too much now is that most things cost money and if you’re saving for a trip that can be an issue. So:

Concentrate on the free or cheap stuff:

  • Instead of going out for meals or expensive nights out take it in turns having meals with friends. If you don’t know how, Google how to make cheap meals, or even see who can make the best meals for the least amount of money. If you’re heading to countries that have a distinct cuisine then you could theme the nights around this.
  • Have movie nights rather than the cinema, I love ‘classic’ film night where you can pick films you’ve never seen but everyone thinks is a classic – like Taxi Driver :)
  • If you haven’t already then move from gym workouts to home ones, or outside boot camp type stuff. Not having a gym membership is a great way to save money and learning out to workout with all the equipment before you leave, is a good way to ensure that you stay fit on the road. (Check out this excellent site for how to keep fit while travelling – New Fitness)
  • Volunteer, this is a great way to meet new people, do something nice for the world and busy up your time – check out here for ideas –Help X
  • Get a part time job. This is a great idea for lots of reasons, not only do you have more money to put towards your trip. You will meet new people and while you’re busy working, you’re not spending – double bonus. Bars, theatres and cinemas are a great place to start and fun too.

Join travel communities

There are lots of different travel sites online that are a great way to help you keep up your motivation during your pre-travel weeks.

How to stay motivated for travel

 

Check out Boots’n’All and Lonely Planet which both have excellent forums though remember search the sites first before asking any questions as it really upsets some forum veterans to have to wade through the same, already answered, questions.

There are tons of Facebook groups too dedicated to travel and usually travel in the area of the country that you’re keen to visit. And don’t forget Twitter, this is my favourite social media site and I really love the different travel chats – basically Q and A – they have on there. Follow some different travel bloggers and you’ll soon find some great chats to take part in.

(A quick check on Google will give you the up to date links of all the bits I just mentioned)

Get in on Couch Surfing

The Couch Surfing community isn’t just about free rooms. In fact it’s not really about that at all. Well it is and it isn’t. You can find people who will let you stay for free, but really it’s much more about meeting new people, experiences cultures and making new friends.

Couch Surfng also has perhaps the friendliest groups on the internet. They is pretty much always someone there to answer questions and they do it without the attitude you’ll find elsewhere.

And while you’re still at home, if you can, think about hosting people, it’s a great chance to talk about travel.

Plan and better still make your planning super visual

For many, me including, researching is almost fun as the actual event. Well it’s not, but it is still really cool to do and a great way to build the excitement and anticipation before you get around to the real thing.

I do or have done the following while I’m passing the pre-trip hours back at home:

  • Bought and wading through to the point of near memorisation the guidebook
  • Read tons of travel articles and collected them into Everynote
  • Created a Twitter list of all the travel Tweeters I like
  • Made an ‘Eyes on the Prize’ calendar for my wall at home – all filled in with goals (raise a grand by this date), and surrounded by pics of things I want to see – I think this was a weekend with a lot of wine involved
  • Made a Pinterest Board of all the things I might want to see on my trip – great one for people who work in offices but would rather play online than work 
How to stay motivated for travel

 

Learn a language

If you are going to spend a few weeks in a particular country then learn some of the language. If you’re going to five countries or ten you could learn how to say, hello, goodbye, please and thank-you. Or perhaps you have six months planned in South American, and you have a year before you’re ready to go, then take a Spanish class, or do some self-study (there are tons of free resources on the internet if you spend five minutes with the Google).

I really love italki as you can find native tutors here and the lessons are super cheap. (Turns out if you click this LINK and join italki – both you and I get credit for lessons. I would be promoting the site regardless of this btw as it’s cheap and great).

Learning some of the language can not only make your trip easier (always great to be able to order food, ask the times of things and say thank-you – yell for help!), it can also give you a better understanding of the people and culture of a place.

 



Make an Epic Quest

This is like a bucket list but much cooler and without the ‘before you die’ element to it. I could tell you all about it here, but if you look HERE, you can check out my Epic Quest and get full details of how to start your own.

What things did you or are you doing pre-trip to help you get through those months of saving before the big adventure?

 

Let me know on social media – my favourite is Twitter – but you can click any of the links at the bottom of the page – I’d love to hear from you.

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