Think

To Travel or Not to Travel?

Do you sometimes feel you need a change of scenery? For some, this need is fulfilled by simply going to another town or state. For others, satisfaction is found overseas.  Although many of us dream to travel overseas, we sometimes feel that there are barriers that prevent such a daring move.

For many, money is prevents people from traveling abroad. There are many costs to consider when going overseas, such as passports, airfare, lodging, vaccinations, and leisure activities. When you are a student, scholarships are available to help deter some of these costs. Upon graduation, these opportunities get smaller and smaller, but this does not mean your chance to travel abroad is lost as well. Comparison shopping will help you create a custom travel package, which includes airfare and hotel cost, to fit your budget and preferences. The web is the best place to comparison shop due to the plethora of travel deal sites and travel discounters. Joining airfare and hotel loyalty programs will also help to save money. If you are not confident in your travel planning skills, consult a travel agent to help you create an affordable travel package.

My favorite sites to browse for vacation packages are Travelocity.com and Travelzoo.com. Travelocity.com makes it easy to plan your next trip by offering a customizable search, package discounts, and a travel deals page. Travelzoo.com is a great site to find travel deals for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and entertainment. I look forward to checking my email on Wednesdays when I receive Travelzoo’s Top 20 travel deals of the week (just last Wednesday, they featured an all-inclusive vacation package to Negril Beach, Jamaica for $599!).

Fear is a powerful emotion. It acts as a barrier for most decisions made in our lives and also keeps people from taking the leap and traveling abroad. We have heard it all: “I’m afraid to fly!”; “What if I can’t return to the U.S.?”; “I can’t speak the language.” The root of these excuses? Fear. Traveling takes careful planning; it is unrealistic to believe that you can travel on a whim. You will have to save and conduct research on the culture of the country you plan to visit and their travel policies. If you do not know the language, find a translator or guide.  To conquer your fear of flying, travel with a friend for support or take off the training wheels and just do it.

But most importantly, let go of the fear that is holding you back. Traveling is often the best way to do your own soul-searching. Living in the islands can you push you to be freer and less prohibitive. Living in a developing country may help you find personal gratitude for the small things in life. Moving to the outback could make you live life adventurously. If you are questioning your current position in life and just don’t know which way to turn, think about leaving behind your comfort zone and traveling to a different country. You may find that the experience that once freaked you out will you bring you the most freedom and joy.

 

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