A new year means another chance to travel to wherever you like.
Last year, I wasn’t able to travel much apart from going around the busy metropolis mostly for work. I needed money to be able to travel, so last year was also about slowly building up my travel fund once again. Travel ain’t cheap, but it’s a worthwhile experience.
This year I’m prioritising travel, which aligns with my current theme for the year. I did Arriane Serafico’s “Set Your Own Theme for the New Year” worksheet, which helped me realise that though last year I was able to reach a number of goals (completed revising my novel and started querying), something I struggled with was consistency. And so my theme for this year is “consistency and resilience”. I’ve even included those words as my phone wallpaper to remind myself of that commitment. How does traveling more align with this? For one, traveling more means I get to put out more content for the blog. I love traveling, and I didn’t get to prioritise it last year because of financial reponsibilites, so this year I’m committing to at least one trip out of the Philippines.
Here are some tips that I’ve used to come up with my travel goals list and helped me get the ball rolling in terms of making my travel goals into a reality this year. We’ll begin with the planning stage and then move on to how you can execute your travel goals for this year.
JOT IT ALL DOWN
List down all the places you want to visit this this year. Do you want to explore more of the Philippines? Go to Fiji? For this step, don’t think about how much it will cost or whether or not it’s easy to get a visa. This is the time to let your excitement run wild. If you had unlimited resources, where would you go?
For me, the countries I want to go to, outside of the Philippines, are the UK, Japan, Korea, Canada, and USA
Make a list of reasons for visiting each place
Now that you have that list, you might be overwhelmed with all the places you want to visit. You might be thinking it’s impossible to visit all those places you’ve listed. We’ll get to that in a while, but for this step, I want you really think about why you want to visit each place. Might I suggest that you write down all the reasons you want to visit beside the name of the place.
Since I live in the Philippines, I’m going to make an effort to really explore more of the music scene around Metro Manila, but here’s a list of places outside my country that I really want to visit and why I want to visit each one:
I’ve been following fashion blogger Megan Ellaby for a while now, and the places she features on her blog and YouTube channel make me want to visit Manchester. I especially want to experience the music scene in Manchester. I’ve heard many great things about it, of course that means a visit to music venue Jimmy’s! Brighton is a city I’d want to live in because of its busy music scene and its proximity to the beach. Imagine being able to live within walking distance to the ocean and get to attend loads of gigs every week. My dream come true!
Last time I was in the UK, it was for a short summer course in Oxford, so I definitely want to revisit Oxford for the nostalgia and to see more of the place. London is in the list, as well as another visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Hopefully this time, I’ll also be able to attend the Leeds & Reading music festival!
I’ve never been to Japan, but I’ve heard so many good things about it: how clean it is, the efficient public transportation system, the beauty of Japan especially during the cherry blossom season, and the food! The list can go on. A trip anywhere isn’t complete for me unless I experience the place as a music lover whether that’s going to their record shops or being able to watch a music festival like Summer Sonic.
It was only in 2017 that I started watching Korean dramas or K-dramas. My first Kdrama was Goblin, and ever since, I’ve been hooked. The thing with watching Korean dramas is that you will get food cravings. I’ve been wanting to eat more Korean food lately because of the shows. My love for Kdramas makes me want to go to South Korea to be able to visit the film locations of my favorite dramas, and maybe meet Gong Yoo. If that’s not too much to ask. Haha.
Canada is a beautiful country, and I would love to visit and experience that beauty with my own eyes…explore the Canadian outdoors as well as their music scene. I’ve got a couple of friends living in Canada and I’d love to be able to finally visit them.
The last time I was in the USA, I was with traveling with family and we covered so many cities in a span of a month. We went from coast to coast. The next time I go back, I want to stay in one place a little longer, and be able to really enjoy that city. This year is the last year of the Vans Warped Tour, which is something that’s always been on my concert bucket list. Other cities I haven’t been to, but would love to explore, are Boston and Seattle because of their music scenes!
RANK YOUR LIST
Once you’ve made the list and written down the specific reasons for wanting to visit each place, rank the places according to how much you want to go to each place.
My ranked list:
- South Korea
SCHEDULE YOUR TRAVEL DATES
After ranking your list, write down when you want to travel to each destination based on your reasons especially if some of those reasons contain seasonal activities i.e. cherry blossom season in Japan is normally from the last week of March to the first week of April.
SET YOUR BUDGET
This is where you have to get specific and really do your research. Depending on how long you want to stay, where you will stay (hotel or hostel), the activities you want to go, the time you will go there whether or not its peak season, your budget will vary per place. List down all expenses you can think of and if you can’t get a specific amount, make an estimate based on your research. For example, how much your meals will cost per day. I’d suggest that you also allot a extra money for emergency situations.
Now that you have your budget per place, check it against your savings. If you have a travel fund, check if your travel fund can handle all your travel goals for this year. If you don’t have a travel fund, then it’s time to start saving up for that trip based on your forecasted budget. Work backward to know how much you have to save up weekly or even daily. If you’re forecasted budget is Php 27,000 and you have 3 months to save up, that means you have to set aside Php 9,000 a month to reach that goal or Php 2,250 a week.
Ask yourself what you can do to save. For example, if you eat out every day, why not bring packed meals for lunch? If you spend Php 150-200 a day, that’s about Php 750-1,000 a week. You can also keep an eye out for travel fairs or seat sales to get those airfare tickets at a cheaper rate.
Setting a budget and forecasting your expenses will let you know if your trips are realistic and if they’re all doable this year.
REVIEW YOUR LIST& ADJUST
Review your list to see if you can accommodate all your travel goals this year. Is it too expensive to go to all those places? Will you be able to travel to two countries at the same season without it being too expensive? For example, I want to visit Canada and the UK during their summer season, but that’s around the same time, and I won’t be able to afford both trips at the moment, so I’m going to have to ask myself which trip I want to prioritise this year.
There’s nothing wrong with narrowing down your list, and moving some of those travel goals for next year. Since you’ve already created your forecasted budget, you can take that into account whenever you set aside money for your travel fund.
TIPS FOR SAVING
Money may be the biggest challenge when turning your travel goals into a reality, so here are some tips to help you build your travel fund.
- You can put what you’ve saved in your travel fund into investments. There’s always a risk when investing your money, so do your research when you invest.
- Set a daily reminder to save a certain amount i.e. if you want to travel to Japan, change your wallpaper to a photo of a place in Japan, so you’re reminded about saving up for that trip every time you reach for your phone
- List your daily expenses and see what items you can cut back on or lessen i.e. reducing that take-out coffee from three times a week to once a week
Turn your travel goals into reality.
By planning ahead, you will see if you’ll be able to tick off all those destinations on your travel goals list. I really hope this guide helped you with your travel goals this year. Let me know in the comments below which trips you’re prioritising this year.
If you need help navigating the Philippine indie music scene, grab a copy of the Beginner’s Guide to the Philippine Indie Music Scene e-book. It lists down the bands you should know, other ways to find gigs, as well as tips for when you explore the indie music scene. You can get a FREE preview of the e-book below: