PLAN&LOOK AHEAD

PLAN&LOOK AHEAD

We here at Travelettes recently received a letter from a future-world traveler asking one of the most reasonable questions of them all:

Where do you get the time and money to travel when working, studying, or both?

As I can only type (facts) from my own experiences I will try to answer this question to the best of my ability. Sometimes I look back and ask the exact same things so I hope this post can help us all understand the process a little better.

It Depends On How You Look At It

It All Depends On How You Look At It 

While an attempt to balance school and travel may seem overwhelming you must remember the basic goal is to balance your time. I found that one of the best ways to do this was look at a work and school calender beforehand (I know, both at one time can be quite overwhelming) and decide on what ´´free time“ would be appropriate to plan a trip, big or small, during. More often than not these travel plans were made during large parts of time away from the world of University/_________ Intern/Chinese Restaurant Waitress Extraordinaire. When you find these times (weather it`s 2 day or a month) just mark them in on your calender, choose a reasonable destination (so as not to stress out like a mad woman pre-travel), and work your ass off (in school, work, etc.) until the time comes to relax and enjoy your hard earned journey. For instance, when I knew I wanted to travel and go to school at the same time I often chose to nix the waiter/flower arranger/retail saleswoman work and go with something more flexible such as a brand ambassador. I marketed products or movies for major companies for sometimes days, weeks, or months at a time with an extremely flexible schedule, great pay, and opportunities to go to cultural events and travel. (If you are interested in something like this you should check out your city on google or www.craigslist.org and type ”brand ambassador” in the job search.)

As you begin your venture into balancing the ”real world” -I`ll leave the definition up to you- and planning travel, it can often come down following  roughly the same schedule as mentioned above, albeit without school and with a more demanding job schedule. Fortunately the time does come to travel; unfortunately the wait for saving money and the right time to hit the road are sometimes slightly delayed. While at University I was often taking relatively short road trips. Now, without the demands of school, I am finding myself drawn to traveling both further and  for a longer amount of time.

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Let´s talk about the dreaded subject of cash: this is the part that isn`t always a fairytale. Look at the prices of items before you purchase them, bargain, don´t waste on little material items that you know you don´t really need, and most importantly set a goal for the amount of money you need to travel (with a little extra) and begin saving it away as soon as possible. Perhaps a specific percentage of your paycheck would help depending on how much you´re earning and how much you make. I always make sure to overestimate the amount I believe I will need to save. While you`re on the road I would suggest www. couchsurfing.org (or you can click on over to Jaclyn´s Couch Surfing Series — and while you´re at it, check out Katja´s article on money saving tips.)

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In my opinion (and I would imagine the same of many others) the best way to go about traveling without stressing out about losing a job or failing a class is to at least have an idea of when you would like to and are available to take a trip . If you do this you will feel much more comfortable taking the steps to longer stays on the road or experiencing completely new places. Most importantly make sure to do what you need to do while not forgetting to do what you want.