Envy is a horrible thing to have, so when you are watching your friends and family travelling the world while you’re stuck in your 9-5, it isn’t exactly the ideal situation. So, how do you reverse that envy and go on an amazing trip of your own? With the right balance of preparation and budgeting, you yourself can afford to go on the trip of a lifetime, not just once, but whenever you so feel like it. Follow the below tips and get started on your planning:
Decide on your destination
I’m sure you’ve always thought that you’d love to go to a certain place or two in your lifetime. Mark down these places and we’ll do a little background research. Here’s what you need to consider:
- The general cost of food, drink, public transport and accommodation. Although it may be cheap to actually arrive at your destination, you may find that you will eat through your budget once there.
- Use Skyscanner with the ‘cheapest month’ or ‘whole month’ setting to see when the cheapest flights are throughout the year. Mark down the price for the cheapest doable flights to assess its viability in your budget.
- Do you need a visa to stay in the country? Countries such as United States, Canada, China, Russia, Algeria and most African countries still require some form of visa from British citizens, so bear this in mind when thinking of timescale and budget.
- Think of whether you’ll have to get vaccinations. Depending on the disease, these can cost a fair bit of money, which all adds up when putting together your budget.
- Think about how much travel insurance will cost for the city that you are going to. You can compare this using any of the major comparison engines.
Start putting a budget in place
Here we can work through an example together. Let’s say that I want to go to New Delhi, India for two weeks in February from the 1st – 15th. I have provided a variety of origin locations so that it is a bit more relevant for all nationwide. All prices are based on searches made on 24th August 2017.
For UK citizens, you will need a visitors visa in order to travel to India; however, this is what is called an e-visa, which is more like the visa waiver program (ESTA) in the United States in which everything can be done online and the costs and process time are minimal.
Price – £60
Waiting time – around 4 days
Travel insurance is advised wherever you go in the world, but even more so outside of the European Union. If you fall ill or anything happens to your luggage or flight, your insurance will cover everything, given the right policy. This is something that you wouldn’t want to pay out yourself, believe me!
Price – (for a 5 star rated policy) £37.79
Coverage – up to 90 days, £0 excess, £unlimited medical, £3,000 cancellation, £2,000 baggage
The recommended vaccinations for the average UK citizen are currently Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid. Luckily, here, all of those vaccinations are mostly available through the NHS for free; however, you can also get them administered in a private clinic for a fee. Depending on your background, you may also have to have a Yellow Fever vaccination, which will usually come at a price of around £50.
Price – £0 – 50
Flights will obviously depend on the airport that you are flying out from. As such, I have added quoted flights for a variety of UK airports. The quoted dates are 1st Feb 2018 – 15th Feb 2018.
London Heathrow – £338 return
Manchester – £385 return
Glasgow – £419 return
Belfast – £486 return
Of course, there are many forms of accommodation that are available in today’s day and age. Airbnb, for example, is increasing popular; however, for this plan I’ve quoted a nice hotel in the centre of New Delhi.
Price – around £40 per night (total £560)
New Delhi, and India in general, is extremely cheap compared to the UK. There are a number of ways that you can measure this, for example: The price of the average pint of beer is £1.50; a meal in a normal restaurant costs around £3.05; a one way ticket on public transport costs around 31p. As such your budget does not really need to be much more than £25 per day.
Budget – around £25 per day (total £350)
(From London) £1,345.79
How to save
So, if you are on the minimum wage, doing 40 hours a week, you are likely to take home something around £13,071.68 per year. This means that the total price of your trip to India is just over 10% of your yearly earnings.
If you could save just over £100 every month out of your wages and put it into another bank account or draw it out and keep in a savings tin, you would be all saved up after 12 months. Obviously the more that you can save every month, the quicker you’ll save up to your goal.
Remember, you don’t have to book everything straight away. You can book your flights first, then your accommodation, then everything else within weeks of your trip. Saving for your trip should be gradual, but also remember that the sooner you book your flights and accommodation the better. The later you leave it, the more expensive it will be.
Tips on saving money
– Instead of going on a night out every weekend, limit it to once or twice a month.
– Switch your energy tariff and save hundreds of pounds per year.
– Switch your broadband deal.
– If you feel like you aren’t being paid enough for the hard work you’re doing, look for a new job while you’re saving.
– Look into doing some freelance work on the side of your day job.
– Make use of coupons and vouchers.