I never knew the world had so much to offer, see, and experience. Travelling to exotic places was something uncommon for me. I always had aspirations to travel but never knew where, when, and how I would get there. In the summer of 2017, I had the opportunity to travel to Juneau, Alaska with family and it changed my life. The second we walked out of the plane and onto the runway, I was completely surrounded by the beauty of nature, snowcapped mountains, and the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen. The entire week was spent sightseeing, hiking, boating, and enjoying time with family. I had no interest in leaving, and it only made my desire to travel burn more.
This summer, I went to Ireland and Scotland for the trip of a lifetime. The trip had been planned 8 months in advance, and there was a lot of excitement leading up to our departure. I was shocked by how welcoming the Irish are of Americans, and driving on the opposite side of the road was an experience. We traveled through Dublin, Northern Ireland, and the western coast of Ireland. From making friends in pubs to walking up to the ledge at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland is such a beautiful country with great people. Edinburgh, Scotland was easily the coolest city I have ever seen, and I would recommend to anyone to go there on vacation. Coming from a family of golfers, I loved St. Andrews and the Old Course. Overall, I had the time of my life, and I am already planning my next trip to go back.
As a 20-year-old college student, I thought it would be impossible to travel with tuition, student loans, and rent hanging over my head. By making it a priority to travel, lots of pre-planning, and saving money throughout the year, experiencing different places, cultures, and traditions can be accessible to anyone.
Planning when and where
Planning is extremely important in making your trip fun, memorable, and affordable! Every trip doesn’t have to be super exotic. It is always fun going to the beach or on a road trip with friends and family (check out roadtripusa.com). The world is so vast and has many different experiences to offer in every part of it! Driving or taking a train could be a lot cheaper than flying. If it does require a flight, book early and seek out airlines that offer less perks but lower fares! Flight prices sky rocket over time. Also, it is important to plan around off-peak travel times. Flying on Tuesdays is usually a lot cheaper compared to other days of the week.
I love to use Airbnb to book places for vacation. The website is super easy to use, and every place I have stayed has been comfortable with friendly hosts. Airbnb has listings in 190 countries. Also, websites like Kayak.com combine rental cars, flights, and hotels into one package, making the overall price cheaper! Kayak even shows you when prices are going up or down. Hostels and motels are also great options. They are usually more affordable, freeing up money to spend on other experiences rather than a bed.
While You Are There
Be flexible! Eating out for every meal definitely adds up, so find a local market and try to cook at home. If you are going to eat at a restaurant, make it around lunch time when you can use a coupon. Also, look out for happy hour specials! Save money on food and drink, so you can see everything you wanted before you leave. Experience the location to its fullest.
Most importantly: have fun, relax, and make memories that last a lifetime. Surrounding yourself with good people always makes the trips more enjoyable. Leave stress, work, school, and all the other struggles behind. Live it up while you are there, step out of your comfort zone, and try new things.
by Mac Warren