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Fired up with enthusiasm
17th July 2017
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17th August 2017

Stop dreaming… start travelling

Leaving school can be daunting. Having been in education for 13 years the change can be a shock and the prospect of getting a full-time job or going to university straight away can be unappealing.

Don’t despair – travel is an option that is becoming more popular and more accessible every year. It offers a fantastic opportunity to grow in confidence, learn valuable life skills and visit places that you wouldn’t see on an average holiday.

WHERE TO GO

If it is your first solo trip, Interrail round Europe is wonderful, easy and there is a great pack with the ticket for route planning.

South-East Asia is a classic backpacker’s destination. Travelling is easy, the beaches are second to none and you will meet like-minded travellers. Finally, there are Australia and New Zealand for stunning scenery and much to do!

If you are feeling more confident, South America is my personal favourite. Every day is different, from snowy mountains, higher than any point in Europe, to sun bathing in the desert. People are friendly, animals are fascinating and the experiences you can have are beyond unique. I will never forget snorkelling in the Galapagos Islands and looking down to see a ‘shiver’ of hammerhead sharks!

Redworth Caledonian Associates Ltd

ABOUT THE WRITER

My love of independent travel stems from my eagerness to try new things.

Before graduating I worked and saved to fit in trips during university holidays, and took time out before and after studying. Travel is accessible to everyone and needn’t get in the way of ‘real’ life. I keep my family and friends updated on my journeys by writing my blog. For more travel tips visit my travel blog.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

Costs depend on where you go and what you do. As a rough guide, if you are willing to stay in hostels, budget £10 a night for accommodation and, if you cook often, £10 a day for food. £20 a day for activities can include sight-seeing and nights out, but if you are going to be very busy, bear in mind that this figure could rise.

To fund your adventure:

  • Be up front when searching for a job. Make sure potential employers know you intend to travel. References are important when you return!
  • Don’t spend unnecessarily. Do you really need that new woolly jumper?
  • Hold back. Living at home with little social life may be boring, but it’s worth it!
  • Don’t plan far ahead. Booking activities from the UK is often more expensive than when you are there and it’s never too complicated.

Whilst you are away:

  • Cook your own food. Many hostels have kitchens and you will save a lot rather than eating out, especially in Europe and Australasia.
  • Use local transport. A cost saving alternative to paying hiked up tourist prices is to travel with locals. In India, I squeezed into an 18-seater bus that accommodated 39 people, a goat and 2 chickens!
  • Read blogs. Speaking to other travellers and reading their blogs is a great way to get tips on cheaper ways to do things.

TABITHA’S TIPS

  • Communicating with home is easy, as is keeping in touch with worried parents. Most hostels have free Wi-Fi and if you are going somewhere out in the sticks, be sure to send a message home with a heads up! Don’t, like me, forget to tell your Dad you will be travelling alone in Colombia for three weeks!
  • Stay safe. Be aware of your surroundings and cautious of people. Always be polite until there is reason not to be. Don’t let fear of what could go wrong ruin a trip, but make sure you are alert at all times.
  • Before leaving, research visa requirements, inoculations, currencies, plug sockets and flights between countries. Your local travel agent and travel nurse will be able to help.
  • There are many reasons why travelling is a great decision: memories, people you meet, food and thrills. If you have made the decision to travel this year, have no regrets and seize every moment, and if you aren’t sure whether to go or not, you can do it!
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