A guide to taking that first step.

The big question we get asked all the time from enthusiastic and upcoming travellers is when and where to start. We are not talking about family trips, we are talking about a self funded, well deserved getaway. It can be a very exciting time as you get to pick the hotel, choose your activities, and leave it up to yourself to create a memorable experience.

We decided to put together some of our own personal experiences and lessons learned on what we did to kick start collecting stamps in our passport. Our first trip was in April, 2010, we were both at University and needed a getaway from essays, reports and exams.

Start cheap, start small

If you have yet to catch the travel bug or experienced paying for your own holiday, it can be quite a shock to see the eventual bill of flight tickets, accommodation and activities… it can almost put you off. You do not need a lavish first holiday and keeping it cheap and small removes a lot of the risk when weighing up the costs vs experience. Trust us, if you have a great first experience, you are more than half way there to booking your next holiday. There is no need to go all out on your first trip to a point when you get home the pain of paying it off outweighs the fun you had. Just think about it, that $2000 dollar holiday could actually be 2x$1000 holidays.

Travel with a friend, partner or significant other

We highly respect solo travellers and the art of jumping into the deep end by yourself, however we don’t recommend doing it as a first trip. Reason 1: It can be bit daunting as there is no immediate support with you if you run out of money or worse, lose your passport. Reason 2: Circles back to my first point about travelling cheap, if you are travelling with someone who is happy to share costs with you it will significantly drop the price of your accommodation, food and more. Reason 3: You will create a memory together with this person, a story you can share back home and relive together through photographs and stories.

Follow the crowd

Where we are based in Perth, Western Australia you can’t go past a school holiday or long weekend without someone raving on about heading to Bali for a quick getaway. If all the locals are flocking to a particular location it must be good, right? Generally you will also find deals throughout the year for popular destinations.

Start with your own country

Just because you aren’t heading overseas doesn’t mean you aren’t travelling. If tourism plays a large factor into your home country then there must be a reason why everyone around the world is flocking to it. Look around, go for a drive, do those touristy things, drive somewhere for the weekend or fly to the other side of the country. Tip – when you do finally travel overseas you will find locals fascinated with your home, so why not gather some personal stories to share with them, not just what you read and hear from other travellers.

End Notes

I know that this post may sound safe and not highlighting the big reward that comes from taking risks, travelling alone and splurging a bit on that luxury hotel. However, we have seen too many would-be-travellers giving up travelling due to bad first experiences, after all you only get one time to make a good first impression.

What did we do?

Our first self funded holiday was a cheap 5 day trip in our home country to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. We had a great holiday, caught the travel bug and followed it up with a another cheap holiday that same year to Bali… all whilst saving for our biggest venture yet, a 5 week trip to the USA and Caribbean isles.

Pool in bali

What were your first travel experiences? Do you agree with starting cheap and safe or did you go all out? Leave a comment below, Tweet us or leave a post on Facebook.

Stephen and Jess signoff

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