I know what you are thinking: there is a pandemic and not enough vaccines, yet this one is here talking about travel. But tell me, is it your travel? Lol. Look, 2020 kept us under lock and key, many wanderlust people could not go anywhere. Then people like me, who up until now, fantasized about travel, did not see opportunity to make the dream a reality. #Sigh.
When I was growing up, I would think of vacations as only going to the U.S and Disneyland. Now however, I want to see everything from temples to rare lakes to the Northern lights. Some people have goals of visiting and staying in a certain number of countries before they turn a certain age. Like saying you want to visit 30 countries before you turn 30. Who will give me global passport o?
Anyway, the question is: how does a girl who feels a bit travel-disadvantaged, in the sense that I have never left the continent, hope to see 5 different countries in the year after a global pandemic?
Paying a closer look at my purse
Traveling in a pandemic is naturally more expensive, to leave Nigeria now you have to do a compulsory Covid test. Plus you have to be a little more finicky with your choice of lodging and places to go. All of this can add up quickly. I have been budgeting a good part of my earnings towards future trips and you sure can do it too. Intentionally setting aside money for trips will make it less daunting than bringing out a huge chunk of money at once.
Tons of travel research
Like I said, it’s not merely about Disney world. There are countries and island with tourist policies that address the Covid risks. You just need to do your research. I can really say that what discourages people from travel this year is their lack of research and information pertaining to travel. Taking the time to read everything about discounted flight times, booking hotels with points etc. Following a couple of travel bloggers has taught me tons of things that I hope to implement.
Having a broader visa
From a lot of research, you will quickly realize that the biggest challenge to traveling may not be reservations or flight tickets, but actually…the colour of your passport. Nigerians with only a Nigerian passport know that it isn’t easy to obtain any visa. So, as I plan to be traveling to more than one country in a year, my best bet would be a broad visa like the Schengen visa that allows me to travel to anywhere from 10-26 countries with a single visa. Hopefully, tourist visas may be more available now that many people are not actually traveling due to the pandemic.
As always, research is key. Don’t go by just my one paragraph here.
Planning trips in groups is also a good way to see more places, save more money and have fun. (You just need to remember to mask up and be reasonably social distanced.) If you are a group of friends, you can all agree to test for Covid before coming together, that way you can cast aside all fears and really hang out.
Honestly, how many things are better than touring a continent with your best friends. Group tripping does not have to be with people you know, however. There are a lot of stories about people who have made life long friends or just met interesting people via an organized group trip that lasted 2 days. My favorite one so far is a story of one of my best YouTubers meeting someone on a group trip and not even remotely thinking she would date someone over 10 years younger. Fast forward to now and they are happily married. Go get your husbandzzz, ladies! Haha.
Backpacking used to refer to people that just carried backpacks around different countries. Now, it just describes a way of traveling that doesn’t involve all the fancy hotels and reservations. The experience, the photos and the memories are what is important. Here, you plan your own experiences, stay in airbnbs or with locals and don’t spend a lot of time in one place. You can spend anywhere from 3days to 1 week and really soak in the experience.
Finally, keep in mind that there’s still a pandemic. Mask up. Stay safe. Take best care of yourself and enjoy seeing the world in 2021 and beyond.