Cheap Travel Hacks

The joys of traveling and getting out of your comfort zone

One of the reasons why I decided to create this website, was to help share the joys of travelling to anyone who has ever wanted to travel, and people who thought that it might not be possible due to financial restrictions.

Stepping out of you comfort zone

When I first started travelling about six years ago, I was scared to death!! The thought of leaving my dog, being on an airplane that long, being in a foreign country where I had heard horror stories about, all of those fears made me almost back out.  It wasn’t until I had landed and first stepped out of the airplane, that I realized that I had just discovered my new love in life – travelling.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still get flying anxiety and still have pre-travel stress about all the things that could go wrong, but as my experience is growing, my travel anxieties are becoming less and less.  I’ve now come to the point where I’ve accepted that; if I die in a plane crash, it’s better to have gone out after (or on my way)  venturing out to explore some new foreign land, than to have been hit by a bus 5 km from my house.  And, as much as it is quite feasible that I could get robbed at gun point while hiking through South America, the exact same thing could happen to me while walking to work in the streets of Toronto.  So there is absolutely no point in stressing out about all the things that could go wrong (which probably won’t go wrong) and having these stressors prevent you from having the most incredible journey of your life.

Tips for easing your anxieties…



Varadero beach in Cuba


Now if you are someone who is new to travelling and are having some jitters about your trip, or want to travel but are having the aforementioned anxieties about leaving your comfort zone, I would like to offer a few simple tips that I practice, which have helped me ease some of my worries over the years.

  • Make a list of everything that you need to pack – and then take half of it out because you probably won’t need it all, SERIOUSLY!! No one will ever notice if you wear the same bathing suit or outfit twice.
  • Bring everything you think you may need in case of an emergency situation: Anti-Nausea meds, first aid kit (I’ve had to use that one on friends a few times lol), pain reliever, photocopies of your passport and travel insurance, etc.
  • If you’re a nervous Nelly about flying, research everything you can find out about aviation.  After a terribly turbulent flight back from Dominican Republic, I was scared to death to step foot on another plane, so when I returned, I watched every episode of Mayday, researched all I could find about turbulence, plane crashes and the entire mechanics of an airplane,  and that seemed to helped ease my mind about flying. Trust me, the more you know, the better you feel! PRO TIP: If you sit by the wings, you will experience less turbulence.  🙂
  • If you are worried about traveling because of a sick family member, friend or pet, and still decide to go on your trip, DO NOT LET THEM CONTACT YOU WHILE YOU ARE AWAY!! This may sound cold and insensitive, but trust me, there is nothing worse than finding out your dog died while you are stuck on an island with no way of returning for several days (a friend of mine met someone on a resort who experienced this exact situation). I’ve also heard stories from friends who have known someone who was on a cruise who had been contacted by a family member to be told that a close relative had died.  And at that point, what can you do but stress right out and wish that you were back home but you have no way of returning early.  So if you have someone close who might not make it, be sure to purchase cancellation insurance.
  • Research everything you can about the destination you are traveling to, especially customs which may differ from your native country.  Some counties do not take too kindly to public displays of affection or even picking up rocks, so be well educated on the proper ways to conduct yourself respectfully while visiting another country.  SIDE NOTE:  While we have all heard about the dangers of traveling to certain countries, as long as you act like a normal, respectful human being and you’re not out flashing your bling at all hours of the night in side alleys, you will be perfectly fine.  Exercise the same caution you would at home.
  • And my final tip – as long as you have your passport, money, travel VISA (if applicable), change of clothes and insurance, nothing else really matters, and can always be purchased later on.  You are about to embark on the most incredible experience; new senses and culture, so just relax and enjoy every single second that you have while you’re away!

Crossing paths with the most incredible people…


Cayo Blanko – met all these crazy characters during a catamaran excursion


Finally, I would like to talk about the JOYS of travelling.  Oh the food, the culture, the smells and most importantly – the friends you will make while being away.  If you are outgoing like me, thanks to Facebook and alcohol, you will easily make some life long friends who you will stay connected with for years and years to come.  Some of the friends you will meet on a trip will become life long friends or maybe even spouses.

The experiences that you will have during your trip, will be things that you can’t even imagine you would ever see and do.  You might be shocked at how, by stepping out of your comfort zone, how willing and adventurous you all of a sudden might become, and all the daring or spontaneous things that you do that you would never do at home.

But all in all, you will never know what you could experience, until you try to experience it.  So go ahead, book that trip, board that plane, but be sure to leave all those fears and anxieties at home!

8 thoughts on “The joys of traveling and getting out of your comfort zone

  1. Jon

    This is very helpful advice Nicki! I am such a worrywart when it comes to traveling (even just leaving the house sometimes). I like the idea of making a list, so simple yet I think this will really help me! Also I never knew that sitting by the airplane wings will feel less turbulence. I’ll try to keep that in mind next time I fly.

    When I was younger my dog died on a trip I was on with my family. I am so thankful my dad didn’t tell me until we got home. I was mad of course, but it would have totally ruined my trip.

    I am a big believer in getting out of our comfort zone and just doing it! I have noticed so many miracles when I do this and amazing things happen when we push past those feelings of discomfort. Thanks for sharing!

    1. admin Post author

      Thanks so much Jon! I’m sorry to hear about your dog dying while you were away. That must have been terrible and always a fear of mine when I go away (about the well-being of my dog), but I know that you can’t let your fears of the “what if’s” hold you back on life experiences!

  2. Kris

    Ahhh, the joys of travelling! My husband and I travelled the world on a budget when we were first married and had the smallest income. Now we have bigger incomes and 3 children and find it hard to afford! Luckily we got to enjoy it when we did. The smells of the marketplace in Marrakech, the eye-opening scenes in on the banks of the Ganges at Varanasi, the postcard perfect views at every turn in Bolivia. Nothing else can compare to those memories. I hope soon that our travelling lifestyle will be back. In the meantime, it’s school runs and extra-curricular activities for us. A different kind of adventure. Thanks for your Post! I really enjoyed reading it!

    1. admin Post author

      Thanks Kris!! Yes, there is nothing like the feeling of when you first walk off the airplane in your newly discovered land. The smells are my favourite part. Sometimes they’re not so good, but nothing beats all the anticipation and excitement you have to go out and check out your new surroundings. It’s truly surreal!!

  3. Thomas

    Good comprehensive ideas for planning travel, Nicki.

    When it comes to comfort zones, I think oftentimes the hardest part can be mustering up the courage to make the booking; everything else flows more easily from there.

    I don’t have a lot of travel experience (I’ve only done mainland Australia), but if you’re organised and get things together before embarking, you can completely switch off and just enjoy the present time.

    Look forward to making a trip around the world some day!
    Tom Mackey

    1. admin Post author

      Thanks Tom! You’re absolutely right, the hardest part is always booking! We can always make use of that money to put towards bills or other things in our daily lives, but you can never gain the liberating experience that comes from traveling to a new destination. It’s easy enough to allow your fears of the unknown prevent you from stepping out, but once you do find the courage, you soon realize that it is not nearly as intimating as you has anticipated!

      Whenever you feel ready to step off your tiny island, you let me know and I will help find you the cheapest deals to anywhere in the world you desire to travel to!!

      All the best!


  4. Darusila Henshaw

    My two daughters are travelling this week and after next week. In fact my younger daughter just left this morning for Fiji. Her second visit to Fiji this year. My oldest is going to Papua New Guinea in a week time. Her second visit also. They are both nurses and they travel alot. I think the more you travel, the easier it becomes. Planning your travel is the best way to keep things in order and keeping a list of things that you want to do. That way you don’t over spent. I remembered last year when I booked for a return ticket, I actually booked for the same day instead of returning in a month time lol! I had swapped luggage in another state taking some else’s luggage but luckily they have to page me to get the luggage out. They got hold of the person’s bag. I had the same looking bag as the person’s bag though. It’s good to have clear labeling on all bags when travelling. Your site is offering good tips for anyone who is planning a trip anywhere around the world.

    1. Nicki Post author

      Thank you Darusila! It’s a work in progress. I think that with any trip you take, you have to expect the unexpected and at least something always goes wrong. But if you can learn to accept that they nothing everything is going to be perfect on your trip, you will learn how to handle these minor road blocks as they come up. It’s always the crazy moments of your trips that become the most memorable!
      I hope your daughters are enjoying their trips!! Fiji is definitely on my list!

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