People often say to me, “You’re always abroad” or “You’re always travelling” and a few days ago, I received a direct message on Instagram (@tanyaweekes) asking where I get my travel deals from which got me thinking about writing a blog post about the subject. I do love to travel and explore, but I’ve never given it too much thought about how often I travel and whether it is “a lot”. That said, last year, I was lucky enough to travel to Italy, Dubai, France, Belgium, Spain twice, St. Kitts & Nevis in the West Indies, Cyprus, The Netherlands twice and I flew out to Taiwan. I travelled abroad almost every month, so yes, I suppose this is quite a lot. Here are my thoughts on travelling abroad often…
Book cheap flights and accommodation
Sometimes I think that people get it into their heads that travel is really expensive. I am generally on a small budget when it comes to travel. I book the cheapest flights I can find in most cases by shopping around, I usually start with the flight comparison website, Skyskanner.net and I do not stay in fancy hotels (unless I’ve managed to get a cheap deal). My flight to Madrid was less than £50 and I didn’t book it months and months ahead, it can be done! Consider the budget airlines, if it means me being able to travel for less and more often, I am fine with using airlines like, Ryanair and Easy Jet. I’m also okay staying in budget hotels if need me. When I travelled to Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia, I even stayed in the occasional hostel, did a bit of Coachsurfing for free and in Italy and Cyprus used the mobile phone app, Airbnb. For me, the main thing is that I’m abroad and I don’t what the expense of a 5* luxury hotel to limit how many times I’m able to travel. I think the key is being flexible with both the flight and accommodation.
Say yes to travel opportunities
It might sound obvious, but if a friend who lives abroad invites you to come and visit, take them up on the offer, say yes. Don’t shy away from opportunities. Be brave, even for instance, if it will mean you travelling alone for the first time, take people up on their offers! Picture below was taken in Florence, Italy (Photo credit: David Pattinson)
Picture of me in Dubai, thanks to Lloyd Frontline.
Share your adventures
I guess, this comes naturally to me because I am a photographer and I love sharing my adventure and travels, telling the story. I also like looking back at the memories and I think because I do that, I have found that the friends I have met abroad on my travels see that I travel and invite me to wherever they are from. For instance, whilst I was in New York photographing an engagement, I happened to meet a bride-to-be while I was out one evening. We connected on Facebook and a few months later, I ended up going to Paris to photograph her wedding. If people see that you travel, they are more likely to invite you travel which creates an opportunity for a new adventure. The next two pictures are of me in Spain and Cyprus (Photo credit: William Brown).
I do not work a typical 9 to 5 job with a specific number of days of work, but when I was, I still travelled abroad a good few times a year. Whenever I took days off, it was to go abroad, not to stay at home. You can go on long weekends and plan holidays around public holidays so you can maximise your time and use less of your holiday allowance. My attitude has always been to travel. Picture below was taken last year in St. Kitts (Photo credit: Mama Weekes).
In Brussels.. (Photo Credit: Fatima Bakare)
Last year in Alhambra, Spain (Photo credit: William Brown)
Whether it is while your abroad or even before you travel it is good to make new friends with people who are abroad because it is an excuse to travel! You get to foster new friendships and also experience a new culture as well as maybe meet up again or arrange to meet up in the future. Marie Kouassi in the picture below, is a fashion blogger who I met through Instagram (@the_miji_mojo). I noticed, that Marie was based in Paris and messaged her about meeting up for a coffee as I was planning a trip over there in a few weeks. Just as planned, we hung out, had coffee and I even too a few pictures for her fashion blog, themijimojo.com. We are still in touch now and I will look forward to us both meeting up again, whether it is in Manchester, Paris or another city around the world 🙂
Thank you also to Safrana for taking this picture of me in lovely Madrid.
Photocredit: Lloyd Frontline (First two pictures in Munich Airport)