As much as the city that we all call home is awesome, at this time of year, many of us can't help but be consumed by wanderlust as our thoughts turn to more exotic locations. We dream of swapping wet snow for warm sand, and a Double-Double on the TTC for fresh coconut water on a tuk-tuk.
World travel is getting easier and easier, meaning more people are getting involved and stepping out of the Canadian bubble to see what this crazy planet has to offer. Whether you've always dreamed of hiking Machu Picchu, eating food at a market stall in Southeast Asia, or sharing a kiss with bae under the Eiffel Tower, there are a few things that you can start doing to help make your dream a reality.
The way that you prepare for your epic trip depends on what kind of traveler you are. Everyone has their own unique approach to world travel, but they largely fall into a few different travel styles. Depending on which of these resonates with you the most, here's how you can prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.
The Free Spirit
If you're The Free Spirit, you'll take a very open approach to traveling. You may have a couple of places you know you want to see along the way, but you have faith that everything else will work itself out, especially if you're traveling with a Super Planner (see below), who'll sort it all out for you. You’ll go where the wind takes you, and if that happens to be to the top of a ravine with a bungee cord tied around your ankles, you’ll jump, and love every second of it!
So, how does someone who's happy for someone else to take the reins prepare for travel? Start by getting at least a couple of must-sees together in a travel bucket list so you don't miss anything- you don't have to tie down a route or a schedule, though.
It would be a good idea to get vaccinations and insurance sorted so when you're questioning whether you're on the bus to Argentina or Bolivia, you'll still have your bases covered! Other than that, get your backpack full of the bare bones basics and pick up the rest as you go. Listen to the advice of the people you meet traveling, they're experienced and will help guide your trip to make it even more epic.
When it comes to raising sufficient funds for the trip, looking into options like investment management programs would be a good fit for you. These are accounts in which someone else takes care of your money, investing it in profitable places and managing your money to give you a nice return further down the line. This method takes the complexity out of effective investment, giving you time to focus on more important things like what you're going to call your travel blog.
The Super Planner
You not only know which countries you are going to, but you know every city you want to see, the hostels you'll stay in, the local delicacies you’re going to try (and the best restaurants to eat them at) and that, all to a tight schedule.
You know the devil is in the details - get each small thing right, and they’ll add up to something awesome. You like to be in control, and you’ll reap the rewards when you’re out there by not missing a single thing - no travel regrets for you!
If you're The Super Planner, you can prepare by researching the cheapest city in that area of the world to fly into from Toronto and begin planning from there. Use travel books, blogs, and review sites to get recommendations for beaches, must-see landmarks, or off-the-beaten-track secret spots, then use Google Maps to start connecting the dots.
When it comes to the all-important backpack packing, your biggest challenge will be cutting down what you're taking. You've got your head screwed on - how likely is it you will actually need to use that Emergency Rainforest Survival Kit?
When it comes to saving for the trip, you like to know where your money is and what it's doing for you, so a good place to start is self-directed investments. By doing the research and being in control of precisely where your money is going, and how much of it is going into each investment, you'll get the best returns. With total control over your investments, you can use all the latest news and research to make informed investments and grow your money faster. It's way more efficient than a mason jar by the front door for your loose change!
You want to see the world and have new, awesome experiences, but you also want to enjoy the finer things in life. You’d rather avoid the 12-hour coach ride with no AC and questionable washrooms and fly to your next destination - that'll give you more time to settle into your hotel room right? A months-long trip living out of a backpack probably isn't for you, but spending a few weeks in one or two luxurious locations is your idea of the perfect getaway.
You also know that this kind of travel can't be done on a shoestring. Getting your savings in order is a priority if you want to unwind in that spa in Bali anytime soon, and speaking to a financial advisor for an investment experience tailored to you will help you access the higher-end options out there. That way, you can get your money working for you, and enjoy returns way higher than whatever interest rates you're currently getting on your savings from your bank.
Advice For Every Backpacker
However you want to travel, do it fearlessly. It doesn't matter which of the above types best describes you - embrace who you are and see the world on your own terms. Everyone will have their unique approach to world travel, including how they save for it and working out which method of money management is the best fit for you is easy once you know where to look.
No matter how you choose to approach your savings plan, simply doing a little research before taking that first step will ensure you find the right fit. You'll be swapping #travelgoals for #travelgram faster than you might think!