Why Should We Travel?
As anyone with a travel bug or a penchant for getting away from home will tell you, travelling is good for the soul!
There are few things more heart wrenching than spending months cooped up at home, living on an endless cycle of working, sleeping, eating and repeating.
You’re ready to see the world and travel – perhaps you want to visit Ibiza, or maybe you just want to see some local sights.
If you’re new to travelling, or perhaps you want some inspiration on how to make the most of your next holiday, we’ve got you covered.
Pack your suitcase and get ready for your complete guide to travelling in 2021 and beyond!
The Essentials of Travelling
Of course, there’s more to traveling than just packing your suitcase and boarding a plane.
There are so many little steps in between that you need to keep in mind in order to ensure that your holiday is a success each step of the way.
Here are some of the essentials of travelling that you need to know about.
Check for Visas and Travel Requirements
The first thing to do, especially if you’re going abroad, is to check for visas and travel requirements.
In order to enter some countries, you may need to apply for a visa, depending on the length that you plan on staying in that location.
You can check whether a visa will be required for your trip here.
For instance, if you’re going to visit a location like France or Spain then you may need to check the post Brexit rules for travelling in Europe.
How do you obtain a visa? First, check the Visa requirements. You will also need to ensure that your passport is valid – some countries will specify that the visa is valid for a minimum of 6 months.
You should also buy either a return or an onward ticket. Some immigration officers may specifically ask for this.
It essentially demonstrates that you don’t intend to illegally stay in the country for a certain amount of time.
If you aren’t sure whether you will need a visa for your trip, you should also have a look at the country’s embassy and consulate website for further advice. Not all countries will require a visa for shorter visits.
Some countries may also require that you get all of your main vaccines before you travel.
This is to ensure that the country doesn’t end up dealing with a potential outbreak on their shores as a result of having someone that hasn’t been vaccinated entering the country.
The Center for Disease Control’s website will tell you everything that you need to know about what vaccinations you need to visit certain countries.
Alternatively, some countries may not require a visa. They may, however, have specific requirements that you must follow
When you’re going travelling, you also need to think about travel insurance.
Travel insurance is especially important if you become ill or get injured while you are abroad in a different country.
Not every country has the same standard of medical care as your own country and your current health insurance also may not cover you when you’re travelling abroad.
For instance, Medicare will not cover you if you are travelling outside of the United States. If you’re in the UK then you will need to check the rules for travelling in Europe.
For this reason, you will need to purchase travel insurance. Depending on what kind of travel insurance you get, you will likely get coverage for the following:
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Returning your Remains to Family If You Pass Away
- Any other medical expenses
In the U.S, It is the law that a citizen is treated if there is a threat to their life regardless of whether they have health insurance, but this may not be the same situation in another country.
You could be held hostage if you cannot pay immediately, or you could be left to die if you don’t have the money.
In short, acquiring travel insurance is essential.
Acquiring travel insurance doesn’t need to be difficult either. To buy travel insurance to travel internationally, you should look for a quote online.
There you will find all of the available quotes to cover what you need. You should ensure that your insurance includes the key things that you need, such as medical cover or coverage for disasters.
Save, Save, Save!
Before you embark on your travels, it’s essential that you start saving.
No matter where you’re going, you are going to need money to spend on things like food, activities and the upfront costs for accommodation.
If you aren’t sure where to start with saving, here are a couple of pointers.
Consider How Much You Will Need to Save
The very first thing that you will need to do is figure out the amount that you are going to need. Consider the location that you will be travelling to.
Some countries are going to cost more to visit than others, and then with extra activities added on top, you’re looking at needing to save a lot more money.
A trip that’s further away from your home is also going to cost more than a trip to a closer location.
You should also think about the length of the travel. It seems pretty obvious to say, but it’s going to cost you more money to take a trip for 2 months than it would to take a trip for two weeks.
Create a Separate Savings Account
This is Budgeting 101! If you want to save for something then it’s best to keep your savings money separate from your everyday money.
If you don’t then you will be more tempted to spend that money on other things.
You can save in different ways. You may wish to set up a separate savings account with your online banking provider, or you can choose to go for a retro savings jar where you put your spare change.
Either way, keeping all of your savings in a separate place helps you to keep track of your money easier and you won’t end up accidentally spending your travel money on that cute outfit.
Do Your Own Cooking
We all love food, but sometimes it can cost us a lot of money. It can cost even more when you’re eating out all the time at restaurants and fast food places.
Takeaway delivery services are making it even more likely that we spend excessive amounts of money on food.
If you choose to eat out or even get a take away then that’s fine. However if you were to do this every day, Imagine how that adds up over the course of a month, or even a year?
If that money was put into savings you could save for your dream trip in pretty much no time at all. As an added bonus, you may learn to cook all kinds of new recipes, and it may even be healthier for you too.
When you do fancy having a meal out, have a look online for restaurant coupons or promotional vouchers. They can save you a lot of money if you’re smart about it!
Reassess Your Monthly Bills
Bills can eat up a large chunk of your monthly income. It stands to reason then, that by making a couple of adjustments you could probably make some big savings.
Something as simple as changing to a cheaper gym membership – or cancelling it altogether if you aren’t using it.
You don’t necessarily need to go to the gym as there are plenty of ways to exercise for free, especially with technology now.
You can also look around to see if there are any ways that you can reduce spending on things like energy and WiFi bills too. Price comparison sites are very handy for this.
What to Pack?
Packing – for many it’s one of the most stressful parts of going travelling.
It doesn’t need to be stressful though, so long as you pack in advance and do a checklist of the key things that you need.
Of course, what people pack is up to them, but there are some general guidelines that you can follow. Here are the key things that you should have in your suitcase:
Well, this one is kind of obvious, but if you’re travelling to a different country then you will need a passport in order to do so. Make sure that your passport is up to date, though!
If you’re travelling to a different country then you’re going to want to bring adapters. For instance, plug sockets in European countries are usually different from those found in the United States or the UK.
You don’t want your mobile phone to die within a few hours of landing at your destination and then you can’t charge it for the remainder of the trip. Get an EU adapter to save any hassle later on.
Make sure that you pack all of the clothing that you need. This includes socks, underwear, everyday shirts and pants, and stuff for going on nights out.
It’s also a good idea to pack a smaller, thinner bag in your suitcase that you can put your dirty laundry in. This is handy as it means that you won’t get your dirty and clean clothes mixed up.
It’s also a good idea to pack a tiny bit more clothing than you think you will need so you have spares.
Also look to get a few light layers and some warmer layers – though this will largely depend on where you’re going.
Dress appropriately for the climate – if you’re going to the arctic then you aren’t going to want to be wearing shorts and a tank top with flip flops! Bring your laundry detergent with you too!
Before you go on your trip you should check that you have the right currency for the location. Your dollars aren’t going to be much use to you if you’re travelling to Italy where they use the Euro.
If you forget to bring your money in advance though there’s no need to panic as you can change your cash in the airport – it’s just going to cost you more money to do so.
Make sure that you bring with you the essentials – a brush, a comb, hair spray, toothpaste, toothbrush and more. Anything that you need to have with you to feel fresh each morning.
You should bring some shampoo and conditioner too, alongside soap, deodorant and a facial cleanser. If you’re going to a hot climate then you will also need some sunscreen.
Benefits of Travelling in a Motorhome or in a Caravan
Perhaps air travel isn’t quite your thing, and you rather the taste of life on the open road. If this is the case, then perhaps travelling in a motorhome or a caravan is a better choice for you?
But what are the benefits of each of these options?
You Don’t Need to Worry About Your Luggage
One of the biggest benefits of having a motorhome is that you can keep all of your luggage inside of your motorhome. You don’t need to worry about luggage conveyors or people losing your luggage in the airport.
You don’t need to do things like limiting foods and liquid, and you don’t need to carry your luggage around everywhere with you. There’s no weight limit either, so you can bring everything you could possibly need!
A motorhome is designed to be like your home away from home. This means that you will have everything from your kitchen to your bathroom while you’re on the move.
This may make you and your family feel a whole lot more comfortable.
While you will benefit from having a plan while travelling in a motorhome, your plan does not need to be so rigid as you have a little more plan to do whatever you want.
You can take some time to explore things without being held back by time limits in hotels and you don’t need to wait for any public transportation either.
You also get a little bit more versatility, so you could travel for a short amount of time or for a few months as you have no limitations.
Sure, you could invest in a stationary caravan in one particular place, but why not just buy your own? Simply hook the caravan up to your car and you can take it wherever you want to go.
Unhitch the caravan and secure it into place, and you have your own little mini hotel for you and the whole family for a fraction of the price.
Just like with using a motorhome, you can also take trips for longer amounts of time as you don’t have to spend so much on hotels.
Travelling is Easier
If you’ve set up your caravan to stay in one place, then you can simply take your normal car on journeys with you.
One of the issues with motorhomes is that wherever you go your motorhome must come with you, and perhaps you aren’t comfortable with that.
With a caravan you can leave it behind while you take your car to see the sights.
Otherwise, the benefits of caravans and motorhomes are very similar and both can save you a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on things like hotel fees.
They are also a great way to make memories with friends and family while you see the world!
Lone Travel or Group Travel?
The next thing you need to consider is whether you intend to travel alone or as part of a group.
There are reasons to do both – if you want to travel alone then you don’t have to feel like you have no choice but to travel with others.
Travelling alone can be incredibly rewarding. It allows you to set a schedule that works solely for you, and there’s no need to consult with others about what they want to do.
If you don’t want to visit a theme park, then you don’t have to! If you want to visit a museum then you can do that – there’s no need to wait around to see what everyone else wants to do.
This level of freedom is pretty enticing for many people, and it’s a good chance to grow and do something a little different.
On the other hand, many people enjoy travelling in groups which is also a great choice. When you travel as a group you have the opportunity to connect more with your loved ones – or even strangers!
You get the chance to make lasting memories with people all while you’re seeing the world around you.
When you travel with a group you are somewhat limited as other people will dictate the things that you do and the things that you don’t do.
You don’t even need to go with people that you know – there are plenty of travel groups that you can join where you can connect with totally new people.
There are some things that you should take into account, however. For instance, one of the biggest benefits of travelling as part of a group is that you can often split the main costs between you.
Often buying a room for a group instead of a room for one is much cheaper, not to mention that you can divide eating costs between you.
Some locations also provide you with reduced cost group admission, such as for some museums.
Travelling alone has a lot of benefits but it can also be a little lonely. If you are feeling alone, then don’t be afraid to reach out to people.
Something as simple as having a call to your family or distracting yourself with some TV or a book can make all the difference.
You also need to be careful if you’re travelling alone in locations that could be potentially dangerous.
For instance, for dangerous hikes it may be worth joining a group that’s also going to be doing the same thing. Safety in numbers is important!
Ultimately, it’s your choice but these are just a few things that you should keep in mind before making your decision.
5 Health Benefits of Travelling
Not only is travelling fun, but it also comes with a whole bunch of health benefits! Here are just 5 of the health benefits associated with travelling!
Just one of the main benefits of travelling is that it can help to reduce your stress.
You’ve probably been there before – you’re sitting in work and thinking to yourself just how much you need a vacation.
Perhaps you’ve been bogged down with a stressful new project for a big client, or maybe being home is just feeling a little too much for you right now as you stare at yet another load of unwashed dinner plates.
You can relieve some of that stress by hopping in your car, motorhome or on a plane.
In fact, one study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that people who were travelling home after vacation felt less anxious than they did before they left home initially.
Seems a little obvious, but it really hammers home the point that if you want to feel less stressed, going on vacation may be a good choice for you.
The problem with stress is that it can often affect things around you like your work and your relationship, so if you want to improve the rest of your life then reducing stress can certainly help.
Going travelling may just give you a whole new lease on life and a new attitude to boot.
Find Yourself While Travelling
Life can be difficult at times.
Because of this, it can also be harder to find yourself in such a confusing world.
When you travel, you often have a little bit of time to think.
Seeing new things and new cultures can give you a rare opportunity to reassess your life. It can help you to figure out what you want and the things that are important to you.
Travel allows you to think about things that perhaps you had never considered before. Exposure to a new religion may have you evaluating your lifestyle and your choices.
You may just return home as a whole new person with a fresh, enlightened perspective on everything around you.
It could be because you’re not working, or because a vacation allows you to escape from the stressors of everyday life, but travelling can be very beneficial for helping you to feel happier.
There are a number of different reasons for this.
The first is that we adapt to things and objects – they only make us happy for a short amount of time.
On the other hand, our experiences and the things that we have done can stick with us for a lifetime.
Just merely remembering something good that happened on vacation can be a great way to give you the warm fuzzies for a while.
In addition to this, when we travel we can sometimes improve our self confidence.
This is likely because we are exposed to new opportunities to do things, and you can do them at a pace and a level that suits us as individuals.
This is a very rewarding experience. Perhaps you’ve chosen to go skydiving.
Maybe you weren’t particularly good at it but even the decision to do it in the first place can be beneficial for your self confidence. You may even begin to learn a foreign language – an achievement in itself!
Travelling gives you an opportunity to take a step back from everyday life. You have new experiences when you travel, and you feel much freer when you’re exploring the world around you.
Not to mention, being outside in general and getting some time in the sun can be very beneficial for your mental health.
Want to get smarter than you already are?
Book your next trip and maybe you’ll win the next Nobel Prize!
Well, maybe not but we can dream, right?
There are a number of different reasons why travelling is so good for your brain. For starters, when you travel to new locations you’re often curious.
You want to understand that location, you may want to learn the country’s history.
Perhaps you’ve decided to brush up on the country’s native language before you visit. When travelling, you’re exposed to all new sorts of cultures and social systems that are different from your own.
You learn about a whole new way of life, you learn about new climates. These sorts of observations stay with you – they may even help you to win a pub quiz or two when you get home!
It can also help you to become more open minded and accepting of ways of life other than your own.
Not only that but travelling can inspire creativity. You may be more inclined to try and paint this new location, or maybe you get a fantastic idea for a new novel.
When you get home, you may remember something that happened on the trip that inspires you.
You also feel independent – this encourages you to think critically instead of relying on other things like search engines to answer your questions for you.
When you’re travelling, you’re also encouraging yourself to remember things better. You usually have a better attention span because you’re actively trying to take in everything that’s going on around you.
This helps you to learn languages better, and it may even help you to learn your own language and words better.
Create Memories and Make Friends
Sometimes the day to day grind of life can cause us to lose sight of the things that really matter – our friends and family.
That’s why travelling can be so beneficial – it gives us the opportunity to make new, lasting memories with friends both old and new.
It’s a great way to reconnect with people.
Travelling can be a fantastic way of connecting with family, too. Perhaps you’ve moved out and haven’t seen your parents or siblings for a while.
Going on vacation may give you all a chance to reconnect in a neutral space.
Sure, it may be a little crazy, but it’s the experience that matters. It’ll also be a chance to reconnect with your closest friends, enjoying all new foods and cultures that you may not have been exposed to before.
Studies have even shown that people who have experiences together, such as sharing a bar of chocolate, enjoy that experience much more when there are people with them.
We can discern from this that going travelling with loved ones may also be more enjoyable!
Not only that, but some people may prefer to travel with a new group of people, meaning you can make new relationships along the way.
You may even meet your new best friend or a new partner while travelling. These are the things that you remember for the rest of your life – not the new laptop you bought.
Travelling is all about how we interact with the world around us.
Of course, not all countries and locations are the same, and we need to be mindful to be respectful of the environment and the life forms around us.
Conscientious travelling is important. But what exactly is it?
Conscientious travel is all about not only enjoying your experience, but it’s also about making a choice to make a positive impact on the location and the people around you while you’re visiting.
The last thing you want to do is leave a negative impact on a country that isn’t your own (or on your own country, for that matter!)
Here is how you can be a more conscientious traveller.
Eco Friendly Travel
Making eco friendly travel choices is a great way to be a conscientious traveller. This may mean avoiding certain types of travel like cruises.
Cruise ships have a huge carbon footprint, and that’s just one of the issues.
A better option may be to take a train or bus with a group, so long as it works with your specific plan.
Not to mention that you’re helping to reduce CO2 emissions by taking a bus or a train as there’s one less car on the road.
Eco Conscious Living
Reduce, reuse and recycle are terms that apply outside of your home country, too! Make smart choices about your products, try to stay clear of any plastics if you have the choice of paper or cloth instead.
You could carry around a water bottle that you could reuse, and choose not to do an excessive amount of laundry. Going on vacation is also a great opportunity to reduce your reliance on electronics.
Be Respectful of Local Customs
While you may not necessarily agree with them, some countries have traditions that you should adhere to. For instance, a woman may be expected to cover up to enter places of worship.
You may not necessarily agree with the custom, but it’s something that you should still respect. You’re a guest in that country, after all.
Some rules are also for the greater good too, such as not visiting certain areas beyond a set time of day. Respect the rules when you visit a new location.
In many places tourism can really drive the economy, so shopping locally can have a huge impact.
Instead of heading to the supermarket to buy your favorite chocolate bar, why not try a new kind of chocolate from a local grocer? You may even find that you have a new favorited bar of chocolate as a result!
You can have the knowledge that you’re helping to put food on the table for a local family too.
It can be especially fun to visit local souvenir stores – imagine all the goodies you can bring home for your friends and family!
In addition to this, you should try to stay in somewhere like a local hotel rather than in a Premier Inn, or a small family run campsite or farm.
This is yet another way that you can support the local community, and it helps to keep people employed. Bonus points if the hotel or shop supports local charities or causes!
Before you go on your trip, it can be helpful to do as much research as possible.
Research local traditions, and if the country has a native language that’s different to yours, try to learn as much as you can before you even board the plane. These small things can make a big difference.
Stay Away From Unethical Attractions
You should be cautious of any unethical attractions. Certain things such as riding donkeys are not always good. Do your research and check beforehand – it’s best not to support things that aren’t ethical.
Summary – Work, Travel, Save, Repeat!
You are now ready to start exploring the world in 2021! These are just some of the main things that you need to know about travelling, especially if you’re new to it.
Travelling can be an enriching experience, so as long as you follow the right steps you can be sure that you will create memories to last a lifetime.
All you need to do is save, pack your clothes and explore more of the world around you! You may even find yourself along the way.