'Discovering how to get started' is for all the curious cats out there.
Our goal is to reach out to those who want to travel and invite them to JUMP. If until now, you've just dreamed about travel, we would like to help you. If you are the least bit curious about discovering new destinations, new cities and cultures then this is for you. First things first, get your passport (if you don't already), pick a destination and start researching. Lookout for tips along the way.
1. GET your passport ! It can feel like a catch 22 at times. ''Should I get my passport or just wait until I find a destination to visit ?'' We can tell you from experience, you'll keep going around in circles and time will pass you by. Especially that now you can get a passport valid for 10 years. So the first and best thing is to get your passport.
-Serge: this was my problem for many years. I didn't feel the need to get a passport which also prevented me to travel internationally. I guarantee, if I had my passport years earlier my life would be very different right now.
2. Make time to travel. A passport alone will is not enough to get you moving. First of all, everyone needs vacation, no matter how much of a workaholic you are. Annual vacations and time off is healthy. Even if it means losing out on some potential sales.
-Serge: Many of my colleagues in the car business would worry about lost sales and commissions. Two things, 1. money isn't everything and 2. if it bugs you that much, travel during low business season. It's healthy to take time off, even if it means running around in a foreign city. For example, I found that travelling got my creative juices flowing. It would help me not only recharge but find new purpose. New ideas would come flowing and when I got back to work I was ready and motivated to charge again.
3. What's your budget? We often hear this excuse, 'I don't have money' and 'travelling is expensive'. Do you have $500, $1,000 or $2,500 to spend? Are you bad at saving money? If so, don't worry that's still a common problem. First, figure out what your budget is. Once you know how much you can spend then it's easier to orient yourself. If the amount is too low you can roll it over to the following year or plan something smaller and closer to home.
Tip to save money
-Lia: One thing that really helped us was putting money aside every week. We found this trick on FaceBook and it helped us 2 years in a row. We can't take credit for this idea but we can't find the original post either. But, the idea is to put money in a jar or box every week. So we did it every Sunday for 52 weeks. It's best if you start at the very beginning of the year (like a new years' resolution). The first week you put $1, the second $2, then $3 until you get to week 52 = $52. It's easy at first with the small amounts but like everything else you have to stick with it !
'What's in your wallet?'
Another tip. Get a credit card where you accumulate points and charge every possible thing you can on it. This way you can eventually pay an entire round trip with your points! Some credit card companies will give you a jump start of 15,000 up to 25,000 Aeroplan points. Often times, the most expensive thing in a trip is the plane ticket. Here's a quick link to get you started.
4. Party of __? This can be a tough one. Choosing the right person to travel with. Sometimes it's a no brainer, because it's a family or a couple's trip. A couple of things to keep in mind,
- Don't let anyone or anything hold you back
We witnessed friends waiting for people and family members waiting until retirement to travel. Until this very day, they never travelled. The moral, stick to your plan. 1. If someone can't join you, go by yourself! We meet so many people travelling alone and they look so happy. 2. Don't wait or postpone your dreams. Life is short, make room for them today. If you just wait until later, your whole life can pass you by.
- Ideally, go with someone you know
We recommend travelling with people you already know (friend or a group). When abroad, things can get heated, people get anxious and problems arise. It's best to know how you fit into this equation. This can make the difference between breaking potential friendships or defusing the situation. Not to mention, you'll have way more fun this way.
- Make sure you have similar interests
Someone preventing you from a trip is one thing. Someone preventing you from visiting your dream place is another. It's easy to have a quick conversation while planning and researching the trip. Everyone has something they absolutely want to experience. Sometimes a compromise is in order.
5. Off to where? One of the hardest things to decide. Where do we go? Sometimes it can be dictated by the budget. It can be a communal decision amongst friends or family. But this part is the very foundation to your trip. It should be fun and exciting! Some quick examples or ideas to get you going...
- If you love beer, consider Ireland or Belgium
- Chocolate is your motivation, consider Switzerland or Belgium
- Love seeing great architecture, London's got it
- Beach bound / all inclusives, check out Cuba and Mexico
- Hungry for culture, you'll find it in Chile and Peru
6. Bon Voyage ! It gets addictive after a while and you'll find yourself competing with other travellers. It's all in good fun. Travelling is only getting easier and more affordable. Take advantage of it now before it's too late.
-Serge ''I was never much of a history buff or geography enthusiast all the way up to high school. It felt like an obligation and I didn't care much for those subjects. Probably because I couldn't feel it, touch it or experience it. Also when I was young my family never really had money to travel. Now that I'm travelling, I can't go without it. I need to discover at least one new place per year! Luckily I have my travel partner by my side''
-Lia ''I grew up in a poor family. Trips were few and far between. When we did, we travelled locally. I started working at the age of 14 to help out with bills. It was much later that I travelled for work. Then I got curious to discover the world and learn new languages.''