Life at home is difficult after being on your own for so long. I needed to make a plan and quick. I decided I would give myself a year to save up money and move out on my own again. Not too far from home because I work in the town my parents live in, but just to a place of my own. I had a one bedroom apartment stored in my parents’ basement, and I missed my things!
A year later, I moved to London (Ontario). It’s always satisfying creating a goal and having it come to fruition. It feels good to accomplish things like this, although they’re little in the grand scheme of things.
Moving out doesn’t mean that my travels would diminish. I still go on my yearly trips to Walt Disney World (you can’t keep me away!). But something major was about to happen. I would start my plan to travel across the globe to Australia to visit my bestest, Chloe! I gave myself over a year to start saving. Those of you who have traveled to Australia know it’s quite pricey! The flight alone is quite the feat!
Having spoken with Chloe about the perfect time to visit, the budgeting and planning began. FYI: Do not go during Christmas time! Unless you’re really, really wanting to be there for New Year’s Eve to watch the epic firework display in Sydney! The price of flights dropped dramatically in February compared to December. I ended up scoring a great deal through Air Canada for my flight; under $2000 return! A friend who has lived in Brisbane for years now had told me he’s never paid under $2000 for his flights. I felt pretty good about that!!
I relied on Chloe to book intercontinental flights as she knew what to look for and I hadn’t a clue. She kept me in the loop in terms of cost and I made sure I had the funds for her when I arrived.
In terms of where to go and for how long, I also relied on Chloe’s expertise. Obviously she would know what was worth seeing. I had certain things I wanted to see and she worked around them. To be quite honest, before meeting Chloe, going to Australia wasn’t something I was interested in doing. It wasn’t on my bucket list. It wasn’t even on my radar. So I was really open to her ideas/opinions on the best places to go.
My best piece of advice when saving for a trip like this is to allow yourself the time to save. You can’t just go to Australia, Europe, etc. and wing it. I had to take into consideration that our Canadian dollar wasn’t worth a whole lot. At a time when CAD was almost at par with AUD this would have been an easy trip to save for, but it wasn’t and that’s the reality of the situation. Once figuring out the conversion, then I knew better how much I needed/wanted to save for this trip. I went to the bank and opened a tax free savings account. I made sure to put a certain amount in every week automatically. It adds up so quickly and you’re not too aware that the money is being taken.
I gave myself over a year to save for this epic adventure. I felt confident I could accomplish all I wanted with the money I had saved for this trip. It’s important to have more than enough money versus not having enough money. I didn’t want to rely on my credit card while travelling. I never do. It’s great to have with you (obviously) but I like to travel with cash in hand. Some may say that’s risky; what happens if your wallet is stolen and blah blah. Yes, that’s a real possibility. But I never leave my purse/wallet laying around. I’m very conscious of where my purse is at all times. It’s just being a smart traveller that’ll keep you out of trouble.
Fast forward the year and a bit, and my trip was just around the corner! I was going for one month. The cities we decided on were Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Brisbane. We were also country hopping over to New Zealand where we’d stay in Auckland, Matamata and Rotorua. It was all planned out and waiting for me to arrive! I couldn’t be more excited to get there to see Chloe!
Stay tuned for my disastrous trip to Sydney and the beginning of my Australian adventure!
Until next time….