So, You Want To Travel the World? (saving early)

*This post can be applied to individuals of all ages, but is mainly targeted for teens and young adults.

How does dipping your toes in Florida’s warm ocean waters sound, or lounging on the broad edge of Lanikai Beach’s soft waves?  Maybe you don’t do the beach scene, but you’ve always wanted to conquer the 1,665 steps of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Does racing ATVs during a tour in the Bahamas sound more like your kind of afternoon?

If traveling is what you want to do, then go for it! Car rides are usually my form of transportation during 99% of the trips I’ve taken in my 15 years. I haven’t gone too far, but my heart is always set on being anywhere other than where I currently am. Travel is a fun way to experience and learn different things about architecture, world problems, various cultures, historical events, and food; definitely the food. You’ve most likely clicked on this article today for some more insight on how to save money for trips, planning your locations, getting and using passports, learning / understanding foreign languages, and how to switch your currency over to be valid in the country you are currently in. Since I haven’t had experience with everything I’ve previously listed, I am going to share what I am sure of, and leave links to other sources that are experts on specific areas of travel. Enjoy!

Saving Money

When planning any trip, big or small, lengthy or short, you must always be prepared to lose a little cash along the way, whether it be on gas, air fair, food, clothing, supplies, etc. So not only will you need enough money for the necessary things, you must always have extra money ready to go incase of emergencies. You wouldn’t want to be stranded in another country with no money for food, or no way back home.

I’m a teenager, which means I probably won’t be going very far from home until after my many years of school are over. This is a big window for me to start saving NOW. If you’re already over 18 and have a job, this is also a great time for you to start putting money away little by little. Let’s discuss the expenses for which we are saving for.

Transportation:

For this information, I consulted http://www.bootsnall.com

ex. vaca. -150 days, 24 countries = $35,000 ($116/day/person)

-plane ticket for this kind of trip roughly = $5,000 (special rewards programs allow you to earn miles. Being a frequent flyer, etc. can earn you points for free miles = cheaper travel)

How to save enough for this kind of travel:

I know for his birthday alone, my little brother (12) got 200 and something, almost 300 dollars. For Christmas, he got about $100. Throughout the year, he is given some cash here and there, which adds up to well over 100. That is about $500 in a year given to a 12 year old. All that money went into video game purchases of course, but imagine how much he could have had if he saved it for something he really wanted to do in the future…like travel. $500 a year for  3 years is $1500. He will only be 15 by this time. At 16, he could have a job, and be able to add onto his savings, making more than 500 a year. If he makes 6oo up until age 18, because of his new job, he would have about 3,300 all together from age 12. He may be able to save more, get a better paying job, or even work more than one job and increase this amount, but at a minimum, he could earn 3,300 which is almost enough to pay for the plane ticket. Keep in mind, these are the earnings of a 12 year old boy in a middle class home. Many kids in my area make twice as much as him for their holidays and birthdays, and have jobs already. This puts them at an even higher advantage.

If you’re 15 and broke, like myself, I’d say now is a great time to start saving! 2017 is as good a time to start as any.

“In life, you can buy things or you can buy experiences. I have found that experiences make me much happier. For the cost of a used car, you can actually go see the world.” So, stop buying useless things, save for new experiences.

My Plan and a Template for Your Own:

Birthday + Christmas + Random Cash (yearly) +

Extra: chores, side jobs, yard sales, selling (clothes, goods, etc.), actual jobs (yearly)

Minus: expenses, small snacks, goods, miscellaneous items etc. (yearly)

=

Total (multiply by the numbers of years you have before your first travel experience)

ex. Total= 5,000 (yearly). You plan to start travelling in 2024 which means you have 7 years to save. 5,000 x 7 = 35,000 ( EXACTLY ENOUGH TO PAY FOR THAT 150 DAYS + 24 COUNTRY TRIP I MENTIONED EARLIER)

A rough estimate is better than nothing. You got to start somewhere.

Picking Your Locations

You may only have a few places you wish to go, but after you go, you’re going to want to visit other places. Think about the foods you want to devour, the things you want to try, the people you’re dying to meet. List them and take some time to research the places that  have what you’re looking for. Maybe you want a warm ocean to drift in, or a cool evening and some smooth  jazz to wallow in. Get yourself a nice map, a drawing, a list, or whatever you need to mark your destinations. Research the costs of visiting each (food, transportation, hotels, etc.) and calculate your own plan using my vague template, or making one more personal to your living situation. Make sure you’re aware of any crime rates, natural disasters, or big events taking place in the area to avoid anything you don’t want to be involved in.

Obtaining and Using a Passport:

In California, there are offices you can visit specifically to get your passport. Here is the official website that gives further information on the many office locations, waiting periods and costs. It is a very simple procedure to look up offices in your state. Simply search “how to get a passport in [insert your state here].” It is said you can also apply through the mail. Children can possess passports, too. So it’s never too early, or too late, to own one.

What is a passport and why is it important?

A passport is a small booklet that offers basic identification on yourself. It allows you entry into other countries, and if lost, it may greatly delay and even PREVENT you from going back home. There are certain exceptions, of course, but a passport is usually needed to scope the globe.

Communicating and Getting by in Foreign Countries

Don’t worry, you don’t have to learn the language of every country you visit. That’s a bit absurd. You may want to work on learning the basic phrases, and think about obtaining  a translations book, or apps for your desired locations. English is one of the most popular languages, and is being learned as a second language by many all over the globe. I am almost positive you will meet an English speaker wherever you go. I have supplied this site with a translator, because not everyone speaks English, of course. If you don’t speak a popular language, then I definitely suggest learning those basic phrases and things I mentioned earlier.

It would also be cool to make a friend BEFORE visiting, so this way you can have a trusted individual to guide you around or help with translations and things. Start talking to a pen pal, or start using social media sites more to your advantage.

Converting Currency

One of the easiest ways to pay for things in countries with different forms of currency is to use prepaid cards, debit cards, and/or bank cards. Talk to your bank to see if your debit and bank cards can be used in ATMs abroad. There are also ways to exchange your currency before you travel. I will link that information here.

Please, please, please travel if you get the chance. I am targeting this post towards teens and young adults, because we are the future of this world. We should be educated on the events happening, experienced in all the excitement the world has to offer, and well rounded with the many cultures, races, and religions that surround us. No matter what age you are, traveling is something that I suggest for everyone. Being able to personally see the animals you’ve only seen on animal planet, climbing the building you’ve only ever seen in movies, and eating that dish you’ve only ever imagined the flavors of, is an opportunity of a lifetime that is not available to everyone. If you want to travel, I hope this article provided some more insight on the reality of the process. If you have any stories, advice, or would like to point out any mistakes with my information, please feel free to do so in the comments or contact me using any platform offered on the “Contact Me” page (located on the home screen menu). Thank you, and enjoy your new year!

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