The internet has opened up the world and exposed new and interesting adventures; with the web and social media bringing us together it’s also important we make time to smell the roses. LITERALLY! We need to smell the roses in France, in Spain, in Columbia but you probably don’t want to smell the roses in Latvia as culturally red roses are for funerals not for Valentine’s Day. Which brings me to ask – Is travelling a good investment?

Anyone who lives in Melbourne would understand how four seasons in a day can see you heading North for a week or two during the Winter months. Even the shortest of holidays can give you the stress relief, rest and rejuvenation necessary to sharpen the mind and increase your health through more physical activity. Of course, this in itself makes it a good investment although we need to keep a budget in mind and plan a few travelling costs.

Key costs associated with travelling:

• Flights and transfers
• Accommodation
• Transport
• Visas
• Travel insurance
• Immunisations
• Admission to sites
• Activities and entertainment
• Meals
• Don’t forget the passport!

Your style of travelling can make a huge difference to costs. If you are choosing an overseas trip to enrich your cultural experiences backpacking from hostel to hostel can be a great cost saver but your facilities are limited. It’s important to realise while the Gritti Palace in Venice Italy, with its chandeliers and lavish art may set you back $3,000 a night, the Generator Venice Hostel will cost you only $40. Compare accommodation costs and make sure to take note of the reviews, they are a great insight of what’s in store.

Whilst some people may enjoy an unstructured holiday and take each day as is it comes, others may plan daily activities. Tourist information centres are a wealth of knowledge with useful tips about local attractions, accommodation and sightseeing. They will also have maps and tours to assist you in maximising your stay.

Note you do not have to spend a fortune to travel and sites like airbnb can have you couch surfing around the world at a very reasonable price. Create a savings plan towards your goal and reconsider taking out a loan. It may take a little longer to have the trip you’ve dreamed of but at least you won’t come home to the burden of paying off your holiday.

May you be travelling locally or overseas there is little doubt that travelling enriches your life. Get out of your comfort zone and absorb yourself in new, interesting cultures; see our beautiful planet and don’t be afraid to plunge into the Blue Lagoon in Grindavik, Iceland or trek through the Himalayas; but most importantly while you’re frolicking around the world, don’t forget to connect with people.

Bon Voyage.