Thursday, September 15, 2011

So you want to go to 6 of the 7 continents?

     So you have decided that you want to travel the world and see 6 of the 7 continents because Antarctica is just too damn expensive unless you live in Ushuaia or work on a cruise ship... Don't worry we'll touch on the 7th continent down the line, but for now lets focus on the first six. Well here's the good news, out of 6 billion people in the world, there is a very good chance that you are already sitting on one of the continents. I am sitting on North America now as I write this. For those of you that aren't on a continent right now, be happy, you can probably make it to the beach a lot easier than the rest of the world. So now lets focus on getting to the next 5.

1. Set a realistic time line
If you are making $250k a year, this is going to be pretty easy, but if you are making less, lets set a more realistic goal. On a single with no dependents middle class salary, you can easily hit six continents in 3-6 years.

2. Decide the order
For me, Japan was no doubt the first place I wanted to visit. My brother argues that it's not part of Asia, I argue if that's true then Hawaii is not part of USA. I've also been to China to cover Asia, but whether Japan is a part of Asia, or some random island in the Pacific, it was the first place I wanted to be, Oz was next on the list and everything else got tossed out of order due to good deals and life throwing curve balls at plans. So make a list and decide how & where you will go first!

Hello from Tokyo Onsen!
3. To see the world, you may have to make some cuts at home
I've always been a firm believer in spending money on life experiences over possessions. So decide what is most important to you, there is no right or wrong answer here. Here are my major cuts that helped me see 15 countries in 3 years...
  • I have not bought a new car yet. I drive a cheap, small, but nice car. I want a nicer car someday, but for now, a car, which was invented to travel and go from place to place, would actually prevent me to go where I want to go.
  • I have not had cable TV for 8 years, people are shocked to hear this, but amazingly, at my last medical exam I am still healthy. If you really like to kick back and watch some movies or shows, get netflix, it's $7 a month. This will save you around $1200/year which is your first international flight! Or maybe 2 international flights if you have been following my cheap air fare tips!
  • Happy hour and cooking... I am guilty here. Some years I have spent my 2nd job's salary on dining, if you cook at home which is healthier usually anyway, and follow specials for happy hour dining you will have some hotel and spending money in no time!
  • If an international trip is on the horizon, cut back on domestic travel. The example I always give is Las Vegas, I have been to Vegas quite a bit and always blow loads of money there. You can spend $2,000 on a domestic weekend there, or you could spend that money to go to Japan for a whole week! Sometimes domestic travel after spending money and high hotel rates is just as much, if not MORE than flying over an ocean and seeing somewhere you have never seen before!
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! THIS IS TRUE!!!

4. Keep your eye and mind on travel

READ!!! You are reading this web page so you have internet access, there are tons of great websites to look at to travel and book deals, and great forums to meet other travelers. Go to the library and pick up some books for free, you never know when that unexpected bonus or holiday will come and you can be ready to pack your bag quick and get on that flight to your dream destination. The more you plan on traveling, the more likely it will happen, don't just sit back and say one day I will go there, you can sit back and say, it may take me 3 years to get there, but I am going to start planning now!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I always encourage you to take advantage of free resources, such as the library and internet, but if you are big on owning the book and not having to return it, here are some links to books I've bought off Amazon that helped me in my travels.

Those are just a few of the great books that have helped me along the way, feel free to ask me for any other questions or advice, have fun planning your next adventure!!!

Also be sure to check out my article on how I planned my New Years 2013 trip here.

Choose the continent!!!!


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