I don’t know how many times my friends have asked me where I am off to next. I seem to be the type of person who always comes home but is never home for very long. I have this addiction, I can’t explain it other than euphoric. The rush of booking a flight, the excitement of counting down the days and packing your bags. Even if it is somewhere I have been before I get excited as if I am going on my first plane ride. The pre-flight butterflies never cease to amaze me. How after flying for 20 years I can still act as if I am 5 years old mesmerized by the increasing height at take off. Mind blown as to how we have advanced in technology to climb to 40 thousand feet for hours on end with no issues. I seem to have this occurring issue however, I manage to put myself and my parents in a financial bind whenever I leave. You could say I have a shopping addiction, however I like to call it ~fashun~. I love to collect things from the places I go, even if its clothes to me its a memory about a certain day and the adventure that came with it.
I’ve been a constant student since the ripe age of 5, taking half a year or a full year off once in those 18 years. For some reason I didn’t use that time to do my travelling, I decided to use my summer gaps instead. Some may say great idea! My parents on the other hand were slightly pissed off. Let me give you an idea as to how much “big trips” can cost you:
- $3000 in flights
- $4000 in travel stay
- $1000 for food and if you want to do ONE safari trip not including any transportation you’d be looking closer to 1500 or 2000
Now I loved Australia, its one of my favourite places I’ve ever been, however they don’t seen to have regular coffee us people from North America have. This threw me off completely. I love a good latté but theres nothing like waking up and making a pot of coffee and sitting in a coffee shop with a book or your laptop, and paying 2 dollars instead of 5.
- $2000-3000 in flights
- Depending where and how long you stay $5000 in hotels or hostels if you’re smart $2500
- $3000 to live average and not party constantly and eat mediocre cheap food
- $200 just in coffee money if you’re a cup to two cups a day drinker like me
- $2500 just in funds to fly any where else or to rent a vehicle to drive the coast (its a lot bigger than a map portrays it)
Now this is a rough estimate of someone who enjoys drinking (I’m Irish Canadian beer is my thing) but the average drink at a bar will run you 12 dollars minimum. Not to mention cover at some places is outstandingly high (girls make sure you are looking damn fine). But when my friend and I flew from Tassie to Sydney, it was only a 3 hour flight but with travel deals it was still costing us roughly 600 with flights and hotel stays and alcohol. We definitely spent more than that (she’s Welsh, now that could lead to a great joke…a Canadian and a welsh walk into a bar…..the Canadian blacks out). Not to mention any of my fellow Lord of the Rings fans out there considering Hobbiton, hotels if you enjoy the high life like myself will run you 150-300 dollars a night, food is also expensive I was only there for 3 days and spent 100 on food, Hobbiton itself is roughly 200 for the tour and a meal and some drinks. The flight alone to New Zealand was 350 one way.
Now Europe on the other hand, you’re going to need $2000 alone in flights, hotels book MONTHS in advance especially if you want to be in downtown Paris. An entire Europe trip you’re looking at close to 10 grand, if you want to shop, eat, fly or take the train places, stay in luxurious hotels, and party like every English rock band. Lucky for us (sorry England) the Brexit has made our lives slightly easier on affording a solid trip to London. Having that dollar close to equal has dropped flights, as well made it MUCH more affordable to enjoy a trip over the pond.
While this all may seem like a f$#k ton of money, compare a trip to Cancun with your friends, or even a cruise. You usually have to pay drinks on a cruise, to get a good cabin with flights included you’re still looking at close to 4 thousand dollars maybe even more. I could be wrong, BUT if you save a little more, and condense your spending which I certainly need to learn how to do, then go on a big trip that you’re going to enjoy longer and have a killer instagram. For the week you’d be in the Caribbean you could be travelling across Europe for months.
Now thats not to say you can’t work and travel. When I was in Australia I was a nanny. I signed up to be apart of Aupair world, which was the best decision I ever made. I met a beautiful family with the most loving boys, the best part? You pay your flight and they give you food, shelter, sometimes transportation, as well pay you weekly or bi weekly. Numerous countries now do this as well. A few people I went to high school with have done this in Spain, Germany, China and all over. Some places where English is not their first language will pay for you to take language classes. So not only are you making money and having an amazing time meeting new people, you’re also learning another language. Most people who are in their early 20’s and have done this, have continued for years travelling this way. My welsh bestie who is currently in New Zealand, travelled all over Australia being a nanny and met the most amazing people, and is now being a nanny in New Zealand. If you want to travel on a budget this is your best option if you love kids. Some people even ask you to only nanny THEIR DOG. Now I’m a dog lover so this blew my mind. You’d still only need to pay for flights and have all of the comforts of home in a new country. There is time frames you can pick under a month up to 2 years. Whenever you have time off your host family is usually more than happy to show you around or you go out and meet people and do weekend trips with them.
If you’re a college student like I am and have this amazing passion for constantly seeing the world and meeting new cultures, I definitely recommend saving all of your pennies, doing your research and just going. Nothing holds us back from doing what we want, and if you want to see the world there really is no better time like the present. As the wise Drake once said, you only live once. You may as well do something you can look back and tell your kids that you have the most amazing time seeing every single country in the world. Your career will always be waiting (finish that damn education though guys, you don’t wanna have to go to school forever) do what makes YOU happy, not what others expect of you.