How to plan your 2018 travels

Happy New Year!

It’s the time of the year when most of us pick up new goals to achieve and for many of us  “travelling more” is a common intention.

From my experience a successful year of travels often coincides with planning, less talking-more action and smart travelling.

So take notes, screenshots and travel smart & hard in 2018!

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Fes, Morocco June 2017. Shot by @WilliamAdoasi

Tip #1 Shop around

Do your research on flights, holiday/travel deals, accommodation & all of that travel goodness.

I often use a few flight/holiday comparison websites such as Google Flights, Skyscanner and Kayak to compare prices.

Ask friends & families who have previously been to destinations you are planning to visit. Social media platforms are also useful tools to gather holiday inspiration and travel advice. Twitter’s hands down my current fave!

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Solo trip to Paris for under £100!

Tip #2 Maximise your annual leave days!

I created a whole blog post on how to make the most of your time off work: “secrets to maximising 25 leave days” – because who isn’t trying to maximise their holiday days at work?!

My favourite tips from the post:

  1. Buy holiday days (if you can)
  2. Travel around bank holidays/public holidays (more on this below)
  3. Avoid taking days off to simply sleep (that’s what the weekends are for!)
  4. Put yourself forward for international work opportunities

Tip #3 Utilise 2018 UK Bank Holidays/Public Holidays

Travel March the 24th, return April 8th – that’s a 16 day holiday and you only need to take 8 days off work! (This applies to the UK Bank Holiday).

Despite being more expensive to travel during public holidays I tend to…

  1. Travel just before or right after the public holiday! Flights are cheaper and you still get to make the most of the added public holiday day
  2. Book in advance to reduce costs
  3. Travel into a smaller airport, the flight price is usually cheaper

Booking a flight into an airport which serves budget airlines tends to be much cheaper. I’ve noticed that these “budget airports” are usually situated quite away from the city so make sure you arrange transport into the city (or your accommodation) beforehand.

Tip #4 Use your airport layovers to explore a new city

Airport layovers are not always dreadful. Last year I intentionally planned a 6 hour layover in Kuala Lumpur before heading to Singapore for 20 hours.

I didn’t have to pay for accomodation (many airports now have comfortable sleeping pods or there’s always the option to book a flight that leaves early morning the next day meaning you’ll sleep on the plane – win win!)

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Quick exploration of Kuala Lumpur during a 6 hour layover

Tip #5 Get yourself a Monzo, AMEX, Revolut and/or Starling Bank card!

Monzo, Revolut and Starling Bank cards allow you to spend money abroad at no extra costs. My fave is currently the Starling Bank card as it’s completely FREE to use (the other banks charge on ATM withdrawals after a certain limit).

Accumulate crazy airmiles with an AMEX! AMEX card holders also get free airport lounge access & hotel room upgrades.

Tip #6 Travel SOLO

We all know planning a holiday with friends can be as tragic as working on a group assignments at university so why not travel solo?

Travelling solo gives you the freedom to do what you want, when you want and how you want!

If fear is holding you back check out a post I wrote on travelling solo: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Travelling Solo and feel free to contact me with your solo travel questions.

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Santorini, Greece. Shot by @NigerianAbroad

Tip #7 Save!

Many of us do not have the luxury of travelling from Monday to Friday for work so we’ve gotta’ go to work so we can make money to travel. It’s life lol.

If saving is not your thing make it your thing! This is a goal I’ve set myself for 2018.

Saving as little as £1 a day into your travel fund can get you on 3 return flights around Europe after 3 months of saving!

Here’s a few saving strategies I’ve recently adopted:

  1. I opened a savings account that doesn’t come with a debit card. The only way I can spend the cash is by going to the physical bank to withdraw and I won’t be doing that (lol).
  2. I opened a Fixed Rate Bond savings account with Virgin Money. This savings account prohibits withdrawals until an agreed date in the future. I get to enjoy the benefits of having the best interest rate on top of my savings because of the long term saving plan. The interest on these type of bank accounts tend to be more than your regular current account.
  3. I have multiple mini side hustles which fund my travels. Find out what you love doing and discover a way to make it financially sustainable for a certain period of time.
  4. I avoid eating out for lunch and often bring a packed lunch to work.
  5. I cancelled my expensive gym membership! To keep fit I picked up long distance running which is free!
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Explore. Venture. Go. Travel. Live!

Tip #8 Book the trip!

Don’t leave it too late. Take the time off work well in advance, book that trip and you’ll know what you’re working with.

Quit procrastinating as the best travel deals are grabbed waaay in advance!

 

“The only thing you’ll ever regret is not doing that one thing”.

 

Happy Travels and Live Your Best 2018!

Doyin

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