2. How much will it cost?

This is a tough question to answer because obviously until I get out there, I don’t know how much I am going to spend. What I have learnt though is that traveling is expensive (and I haven’t even got on the plane yet.)

Now obviously there are cheaper and there are more expensive ways to do everything when it comes to going away so don’t take this as the only price tag on everything but this is going to be a run down on what I have spent so far. I think if you are planning a trip away it is important to establish your main priority. For example, if you want to be able to go away for a long time then budgeting is going to be key and you may have to stay in cheaper places or do less activities as compensation. Alternatively, if you aren’t as bothered with how long you are away then you can always splash out on places you stay or what you go to see/do. I see myself as somewhere in the middle. I want to go for around 3 months but also don’t want to miss out on adventures so will therefore be happy to come home sooner if it means that most of my days out there were jam packed with activities.

1. Tour of Asia

It is no secret that group tours are always more expensive than if you were to make the exact same trip yourself. With the extra cost however comes experience, 24/7 help and the ease of knowing that all your travel and accommodation is sorted. I am going on a 30 day trip around 4 countries in Asia with all travel (excluding flights there and back) and accommodation as well as various activities and meals.

Cost: £1,499.00

2. Flights

I have only booked my flight out to Thailand so far, as I am not quite sure where my travels are going to take me, and as with my tour, I decided to spend a bit more for some extra ease of mind. It is a lot cheaper to get a flight with a stop over but seeing as it is my first big trip away I chose the more expensive direct flight. I am flying with Thai Airways and leaving early January.

Cost: £579

3. Insurance

I think insurance is something that some people easily overlook but it is actually one of the biggest necessities for travel. Yes I can see how it might be viewed as a waste of money, as it is something you don’t actually want to use, but the cost of medical attention or loss of possessions can often be triple the amount of an insurance quote – it is definitely worth it for the peace of mind! I went for platinum cover with a company called Cover for You and added in an excess waiver and extra cover for activities and gadget loss.

Cost: £209

4. Visas

These vary a lot depending on which country you visit and your nationality so these facts and figures may not apply to you. When traveling from the UK for short periods of time, some countries don’t require a Visa (New Zealand, Thailand & Vietnam) therefore won’t cost you anything but others aren’t as simple.

Laos: $35 (purchase at the border)

Cambodia: $30 (purchase at the border)

Australia: £20 service charge (if you want a visa to work whilst in Australia that costs around £400)

5. Injections

Whilst writing this blog post I have come to the conclusion that I have probably gone about everything in the most expensive way  and injections sadly also fit into this category. You can get quite a few injections on the NHS but be sure to book in an appointment 6 – 8 weeks before you go. I forgot to do this so wasn’t able to get time off work or an appointment in time at my GP. As a result I went to Boots to get all mine done, which was easy as you could go on weekends, but also horrendously expensive. I also opted to get all the injections they offered (hepatitis A & B, typhoid and Japanese encephalitis) as a few of the diseases are passed through mosquito bites and I am like candy to those pesky bugs! Be sure to get proper medical advice about the recommended vaccines for where you are going and use your own judgement to weigh up which of the optional ones you want to get.

Cost: roughly £400

6. Belongings

I may have splashed the cash on all the other things on this list but I am saving all the pennies I can on belongings. For all the big items, like my rucksack for example, I have asked for them for christmas and my birthday as a way to keep my own costs down. When it comes to items like clothes and shoes I am just digging out all the old stuff in my closet that I don’t mind getting ruined and only buying essentials like a first aid kit to bring with me. I will give a ball park estimate on how much I think it would all cost to buy yourself from new but there are lots of clever ways to save on belongings.

Cost: £500

What I really want to get through in this post is that there is no official cost for traveling. There are areas some will want to spend more in and others will use as an opportunity to save and that is all totally fine. Seeing as this is my first big trip on my own, I didn’t want to leave much up to chance. In most cases therefore I chose the more expensive options that came with more security. Hopefully this will be a helpful guide if you are thinking of going traveling but aren’t sure just how much it is going to be.

Merry Christmas and happy travels!

Go and grab another cuppa on me, Em x

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Holiday without your parents?

Growing up means that a lot of things in your life change. You have to put yourself to bed and cook yourself dinner and, at some point, you may have to go on holiday without your parents. From my experiences, holidays with your family are easy as all you have to do is turn up on time and magically your parents have set everything else to fall into place, so when they’re no longer vacationing with you there are a few more things you need to think about.

  1. CHECK IN ONLINE – On some airlines, more specifically the budget ones, you have to check in and print your boarding passes off at home before you’ve even thought about leaving for the airport. When you book your tickets it is a good idea to check the boarding pass policies of the airline you are flying with and check in when they tell you to so you’re not left stuck in the airport
  2. KEEP ALL IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS IN ONE PLACE – As well as those boarding passes you’ve just printed, it is a good idea to print out any confirmation emails or information on the accommodation you will be staying in abroad as well as any activities you may have booked. Once you’ve done that put all of that in one safe, secure folder to keep on you at all times during your travel. (LITTLE TIP take a photo of all of the information as well so if worse comes to worse and you lose the folder at least you will still have all the information)
  3. EXCHANGE YOUR CURRENCY BEFORE YOU GO – Even though it is possible to change your money up at the airport, and in the country you are visiting, they normally have the worse exchange rates. Therefore it is better to look online for the best exchange rates (the post office, your bank, travel agencies) and get it done before you go. (LITTLE TIP when you change your money up some places offer a buy back guarantee which means if you come back with some spare euros, for example, they will exchange them for pounds at the same exchange rate you bought them for)
  4. MEDICINE – Remember those times you’ve got a headache on holiday and you’re parents have been there with some paracetamol? Well now it is your turn to be your own medicine cabinet. I’m not saying you need to bring a whole pharmacy but pack some pain relief tablets, some plasters, some aftersun and some antihistamine to put on any bug bites (as well as enough of any other medicine that you may have to take)
  5.  SUITCASE WEIGHT LIMITS – Whilst you are checking if you need to check in early (see what I did there) you should also check what weight limit you have on your luggage so you don’t arrive and end up having to wear 5 of your dresses onto the plane because your suitcase was too heavy. (LITTLE TIP if you don’t feel like paying the extra £40 to have a suitcase checked in remember you can bring smaller suitcases on as hand luggage which, most of the time, don’t have weight limits they just have to be a certain size or less)
  6.  AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION AT BOTH ENDS – Not only is it important to have a plan to get to the airport on your home side, be that by bus, train or the taxi service that is your parents) you should also have a plan as to how you’re going to get from the airport you land in to your accommodation. Some hotels offer shuttle services whereas others can be reached by public transport. If you want to get a taxi make sure you budget that into your holiday plans.
  7. INFORM YOUR BANK ABOUT YOUR TRIP – Now that your money is all changed up you shouldn’t really need to use your card abroad but nevertheless it is a good idea to tell your bank when and where you are going so if you do use your card abroad they won’t cancel it due to fear its been stolen.
  8. ADAPTORS – There is nothing worse than finally arriving on holiday and realising you can’t charge your camera you were going to use to take all those insta-worthy photos because the plug sockets are different. Before you go away google what type of socket they have in the country you are going to and make sure you have a suitable adaptor. These can be bought at the airport but normally for a rather high price. (LITTLE TIP if you’re planning on traveling around countries then invest in a universal adaptor that has lots of different socket options)
  9. PACK A TOWEL – This is one I never really think of then get really annoyed when I forget. If you’re planning on heading to the beach on holiday or going hiking to some waterfalls you will need a towel to dry off. Some accommodation may offer them but most are only to be used on site so bring your own to avoid any soggy taxi rides home.
  10. BRING YOUR PASSPORT – This one is rather self explanatory but also probably the most important of them all. Before you leave the house ( and the hotel at the other end) triple check that your passport is in your bag so no matter what you will be getting on that plane.

Now that you’re all prepared and feeling like a proper adult there’s just enough time to give your parents a kiss goodbye then you are ready to head off on your next (grown up) adventure.

Where are you guys off to this summer? Do you prefer family holidays or trips away without your parents?

Go and grab another cuppa (or maybe an iced tea) on me, Em x

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