How to Start Traveling


Shea Duplechain

5/4/20237 min leer

Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy
How to Start Traveling.

Being able to immerse yourself in other cultures around the world and put your fingers on the pulse of history and art is a wonderful thing that everyone should indulge in. With my experience and passion for traveling, I'll help you with building a roadmap for all of your travels.

Step 1. Why do you want to travel?

Whether you think this is an easy question or a hard one, it is undoubtedly the most important one. Figuring out why you want to travel will not only serve as your compass but also the fuel that will power your engine of inspiration and get you out the door. Your “why” for traveling will be at the core of all of your adventures, and will determine when and where you go. For me, I started traveling because I love cities. I’ve grown up in a low density rural area for all my life, and large cities are something that have always interested me and eventually became my motivation to travel. Being able to experience sprawling cities like New York City and Los Angeles was truly captivating. These experiences furthered my interest and led to my first trip abroad where I got to walk the streets of beautiful cities like Amsterdam, Paris, and Rome. Finding your “why” does; not, need to be a difficult process, it can simply be whatever your interest is at the moment. Also, your “why” is not something that you will have to hold on to forever, as your interests and passions change, so will your reason for traveling. In addition to cities, I love history, and my passion for it is becoming more of a reason for traveling and helps me determine desired destinations.

The main reason for having a “why” is to help with where you want to go and what you’ll do once you're there. For example, if your reason for traveling is because you’re a foodie, your experience on a trip to Italy will be different from a person who is going there because they love art. You may go to the same areas, but your reasonings for being there will have different intentions since you're on different adventures. That's one of the many beautiful pleasures of traveling. Finding a reason to travel is a great way to start and build a roadmap to places you want to see.

Step 2. Where to and When?

So you’ve got your “why”, now where to? Figuring out where you want to go is the most exciting step in the travel process, but should be done carefully. Deciding when and where to travel comes with a lot of thought. This step will decide a lot of matters such as the obvious, when and where you go, but also what you pack, how long you go for, how much you’ll spend, even how you’ll get there. If your reason for wanting to travel is to see the most beautiful beaches in the world, well, beaches around the world do not share the same weather conditions at the same times of the year. You wouldn’t enjoy the Australian beaches in July like you would at the same time of year on the French Riviera. Maybe you started traveling because you love fashion. New York, Paris, Milan, are all obvious options, but when should you go? Traveling, especially when on a budget, is all about maximizing what you can do. International fashion week in a lot of cities around the world is in February, so it would make a lot of sense for someone traveling because they love fashion to travel during this time frame. Not only would you be able to experience various types of events and experiences that only happen during that time of year, but you would also be able to meet other travelers that are there for the same reasons! Time of year does not always come into play, but it is something to keep in mind when planning a trip. Another factor to keep in mind as well is that some places in the world experience tourist seasons. This can affect things like prices for food and accommodation, but also accessibility or ease of entry to certain areas.

My last bit of advice for this section would be to set a realistic time frame leading up to your trip. When planning a trip, specifically when budget traveling, it's not wise to rush into it. Give yourself a healthy amount of time to research and save up for your trip. This will only help you go in more prepared and financially secure. When I plan a trip, they are usually months in advance. From my own experiences, I give myself around five months to prepare for a trip. This helps me calculate how much money I will need to save up not only for the trip but, also so that I am still able to pay for any bills or other expenses at home while I'm away and when I get back.

Step 3. Create an Itinerary

You’ve figured out why you want to travel, and when and where you want to go. Now the only thing left for you to do is create your itinerary and budget out your trip. Thoroughly planning out what you will do on a trip ahead of time will help with your day to day experiences but also minimize your stress. I know from my own experiences that traveling, especially for the first time, can be stressful. Arriving at a new destination can be very overwhelming, and without proper planning you’ll find it difficult to figure out what to do there. Planning ahead is the best way to avoid unnecessary stress and mistakes, especially when traveling to a new country with a different language and culture.

When I'm planning a trip, I like to watch videos and read articles about the place or places I am going to visit. This helps give me a better understanding of where I'm going but could also help with things to avoid or look out for while I’m there. From here I make a list of all the things I want to see or do and begin to organize the best way to go about that. It's important to be realistic when making an itinerary. You don't want to add too many points on your map, as you’ll likely burn yourself out, but you won’t be able to enjoy all of the sites and activities properly. You also want to be mindful about the distance between activities. Try to organize your itinerary in a way that you can save time and energy when going from one thing to the other. If you're exploring a new city, maybe visit one section of the city a day. This will keep you from going from one end of the city to the other and save you time. While it's good to have an itinerary, don't feel like you have to live and die by it. You may come across places or get recommended something while traveling that peaks your interest. Its okay to stray away from your itinerary, or even forget it while your there, as its main purpose is to make you more familiar with where you're going and give you something to fall back on.

To learn How to Plan a Trip

Step 4. Budget.

Creating a budget for a trip may seem daunting, but it can be a simple process if done right. The way that I budget is by finding the large expenses first and slowly narrowing it down to the small daily expenses. The first expense I usually look at is transportation, which is often the cost of the plane ticket. If you have any other large expenses for transportation like a euro rail pass for example, then I would include that as well. Figuring out the cost of your transportation will make it easier to set a budget as the cost for these things can be seen ahead of time, whereas budgeting for things like food is normally more of an estimate.

After transportation I would say accommodation would be the next set of expenses to look into. Depending on how you're planning to travel, I would say that this is an area that will determine what the rest of your budget looks like. Going for cheaper accommodations like hostels will allow you to spend more money on food and activities, whereas more expensive accommodations like hotels or airbnb’s will be more costly and cut into the rest of the budget. I personally do the cheaper option of staying in hostels. For one because I like to prioritize my experience while traveling over my accommodations, but also because hostels are actually really friendly places that allow you to meet other travelers and are just as nice as hotels often time.

Now that you have a better idea of what your travel and accommodations will cost, you can start the last part of the budgeting process. This section is usually whatever you're willing to spend after your main cost. Food and activities are usually the main expenses here, but other activities like shopping could also fall into this section. If you know of any museums or facilities that you are planning to visit, their ticket prices would be a good place to help fill in this area of the budget. By now you should be able to figure out how much you would be willing to spend each day and that will complete your budget.

It's important to have healthy and realistic standards when creating a budget, especially in your day to day expenses. Budgets are not made to see how much you can spend, but more so how much you would be willing to safely spend.

Enjoy your trip!

My time traveling has led me to some of the greatest times of my life. Its opened me up to different cultures, foods, ideas, and people that I otherwise would not have encountered. Traveling can seem like an intimidating and costly experience, and it can be, but if done right it can become a liberating and wonderful experience. Part of the reason why I wanted to start travel blogging is to help alleviate some of the stresses and confusions of traveling, but also help those who think it's unattainable. This guide is something that I've used and still use when traveling, and I believe it can be a great starting place for you. Safe travels!