For as long as long as I can remember I have had a desire to travel, to see all the world has to offer and explore. I guess, you could say I have quite the case of wanderlust as my bucket list has a never-ending list of destinations to see. However, at 22, I have seen quite a few of the states but only ever traveled out of the US once. I took a cruise to the Bahamas in 2015. THIS IS ABOUT TO CHANGE!
Since August 2015 I have been planning a trip to Japan to see my best friend, Josh, who is stationed in Yokosuka. Now, with this decision came a lot of planning, convincing (I mean even at 22 you need to show your parents that it isn’t a completely ridiculous idea to take 2.5 weeks off work/school and fly to a foreign country), and just prepping in general.
Now, I don’t want you thinking this was easy because it was far from it. I’ve panicked and made too many lists but I’m writing this post from the airport as I wait for my flight to board so obviously it is working out just fine thus far.
First step was to pick a time that would work not only with my friend not being on deployment, but I couldn’t miss too many days of school (my trip is an extension of spring break, so three days are missed), make sure I had enough time to save about $2400 for expenses and any other details (ie. Making sure my friend got his house so we didn’t need a hotel the entire time).
Second, was to actually budget and this proved to be the easiest part! Saving really was not too difficult considering I only have roughly $500 in expenses every month, I understand this isn’t true for everyone so it may take more than 7 months for you to save and that is fine! I found what worked best for me was leaving NO MONEY IN THE BANK! I used the envelope system to make sure everything came out when necessary and the envelope labeled ‘JAPAN’ never had anything removed from it!
Once budgeting began and I knew I had enough for the plane ticket my friend booked our hotels in Kyoto and Osaka so that we wouldn’t miss out on a room. Then in January I booked my flight a few days before he moved into his house. Now there wasn’t much more to do aside from make packing lists and buy some things over the next few months.
I began packing four days before my flight to give time to unpack and repack. I advise this because you don’t want to pack too much! By repacking twice I was able to eliminate a few things. Don’t forget something to do at the airport or on your flights. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes (that are also easily removable to get through security).
I think I’m going to leave it at this for now and I’ll update everyone once I’ve made it to Japan on Thursday!