A few people recently emailed me to ask about the budget I had for my trip to Vancouver, so I thought why not lay it all down in a blog post?
My original budget was about $500, but I ended up going a little over due to underestimating how much I’d need… ended up being about $650. Still not bad for a week in Canada, I think. As expected, the airfare was the biggest chunk at about $260. If I would have chosen another time of year to go, I could have potentially spent about $100 less… but since it was the holiday season, that was the bargain at the time.
Pre Trip Costs
Airfare – $260
Travel Insurance – $89
Accommodation – $150
Entertainment – $40
Transportation – $40
Total – $659
*All amounts are in USD.
The trip itself, not including the pre-trip costs, came to only about $310, divided into 8 days is about $38.75/day. For as truly expensive as Canada is, that is truly amazing.
Also to note, there are some expenses that I had to cover before the trip that I didn’t list here. About $160 for my passport and $100 for my travel backpack and daypack, but I didn’t include those as I feel most travelers would already have access to those and while they were intended for my trip in Canada, I knew they’d get use after the trip was over.
I am a firm believer that it’s never too late. Especially for simpler things like changing your career or learning a new skill or doing anything that will improve your life in some way. Of course, it is a very limited life and no one knows how much time they have left.
That being said, for a lot of the bigger things like traveling the world or moving to another country and living as an expat are definitely things that should be done while you’re young and healthy and able-bodied. It’s better to live the big experiences when you’re young and free, rather than be 80 years old and not able to do any of the things you once wanted to do, looking back on all the things you never got around to doing because you thought you had time.
The most dangerous thing someone can do in life is think they have time to do the big things. That’s only an excuse to put it all off. The only way you’re gonna get around to doing these things is to just do them. You wanna backpack through a handful of other countries with practically no money just to prove you can? Book that one way ticket and just go. Never make excuses for why you can’t, otherwise you never will. I know a lot of people who want to do big things in life, but they end up stuck in a cycle of waiting for just the right time… and it’s kind of frustrating. The time will never be right.
So, instead of asking yourself if it’s too late… stop looking for excuses. Make the career change. Take the piano lesson. Learn the language you’ve been wanting to learn. Book the flight and just go. Do it while you’re young and more importantly, here. There’s nothing to lost and so much to gain. Live freely, without compromise and without regrets. Don’t be one of those people who just exist. Go through life with passion and purpose.
I have been incredibly busy in the last few weeks plotting my next adventure which will be happening over summer, and will be slightly more long term than my Vancouver adventure! (By slightly, I mean slightly a lot. Full on vagabonding mode!) As I map the journey and figure out places I will be exploring and countries I will be checking off my list, I find myself thinking about planning versus spontaneity in travel. Which is the better road to take? Which will guarantee a more memorable experience all around?
I have always been a planner, until it comes to the moment of actually acting on the plans. Then I am just like, “Screw the plans. I’ll just wing it!” It never fails. Even with Canada, especially after the 3rd day when i finally got the public transport down. About 90% of the trip was just getting lost and finding interesting things. Maps? What are those?
Of course, I think in Canada, one is allowed a massive amount of spontaneity. Everyone is so nice, you don’t have a lot to lose. Actually, you have so much more to gain by being able to just say yes to every opportunity. There are some things I feel I should have planned out better and stuck to, but I don’t really see those things as a mistake because the outcome was kind of incredible.
Of course, not everywhere in the world is quite like that. The places I plan to be visiting over this summer aren’t exactly the polar opposite of Canada, but from what research I have done so far, I definitely will have to plan things out and actually stick to them… at least to some degree. Or at the very least, be a little more well researched about things like the daylight hours. I feel like there are gonna be places I fall in love with and decide to stay an extra week or two, just because I can. I want to be able to enjoy the journey without being intent on the destination.
What is the best way to plan things out when you’re traveling for travel’s sake and not in a big hurry? Is it to not have a plan at all, just to be well researched? Luckily, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to go about it. I definitely feel it’s a learn as you go thing, and what’s right for one traveler might not necessarily be right for another. It is something interesting to think about though.