When I was 18, there was no way I could afford to go on my first trip overseas. I was studying my Cert IV in Travel, didn’t have a job and was living with my parents.
When I finished my certificate I was excited to be qualified as a travel agent. But I yet I hadn’t had the chance to go overseas.
I couldn’t really become a travel consultant without having been overseas….
(Job interview for travel agency)
Interviewer: So what countries have you been to?
Me: *Stares blankly*
So I figured if being a travel agent was what I wanted to do I would have to at least go somewhere overseas first.
While I was doing my course, we had access to all kinds of travel brochures for hotels, destinations, and of course the tours. One of which was the Europe summer Contiki Brochure which I took a keen interest in.
I had known I was definitely going to Europe at some stage in my twenties. However, how I was going to pay for it and organise it, I didn’t have a clue.
I then sifted through 250 pages of Contiki’s European summer tours. I wanted something longer (at least two weeks to make it worth the 24 hours I would spend in a metal tube to get their.) I ended up choosing two, The London Explorer package and European Experience tour.
My two tours would involve staying in London at the royal national for 4 nights with the London Explorer package. Before heading on my 20-day European experience. I had planned this trip even before I had a job to pay for it. Could you blame me? I was more focused on the excitement of planning the trip more so then the practicalities.
Pulling it all together
Once I finished my course I was lucky enough to find a job pretty quickly. I started saving by setting up a separate saving account for my trip. At this stage, I was still living at home so I was able to make $500 a fortnight towards my trip.
My next step was looking at dates. I was aiming for September so it was cheaper and not as busy as summer.
I put in for my leave well in advance and had the money ready to pay for my flights and tour. My trip was still 6 months away but I kept saving so I could have a decent amount of spending money.
So when the 9th of September came around I got to the airport before the check-in had even opened. Once it did I dropped off my bag and had my last dinner with my family before I left for Europe and went on the adventure of a lifetime.