10 Ways to Stop Making Excuses and Travel This Year

January 8, 2017

Stop making Excuses and Make Travel Happen

“Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you…. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct course along the way.”

Tim Ferriss

Do you set New Year’s Resolutions about travel? Or make bucket lists of places to see before a certain age? Do you take stock on birthdays to see what you’ve accomplished and think about where to next? And the most important question… do you make the travel ambitions you have, actually happen?

If the answer is yes, then good for you, don’t stop pursuing your travel dreams. If the answer is no, we need to talk.

There’s something standing between you and travel, and that something is you.

Now I am well aware that to travel is a privilege, and I am by no means seeking to belittle anyone who genuinely cannot travel because of unchangeable personal circumstances. I’m talking about those of you who want to travel but it just never seems to happen. You can’t save the money or find the time or are possibly even a little afraid of making that leap, even if you won’t admit it. Is that you?

If some magic fairy gave me money for every time someone told me how lucky I am to travel or how brave then lets just say I would be… well probably putting that money into MORE travel. But the thing is, it’s really not about having luck or being brave. It’s a choice. And if you have made a goal to travel more then you need to follow that through and actually choose to travel.

Sounds easy, but how do you actually do it? Well, here’s ten ways to make travel happen for you this year.

1. Begin with small adventures

One of the biggest barriers people have to travel is in their mind. They think travel must be a grand, or long, or luxurious adventure. They picture themselves on the beach in the Maldives, or eating in every expensive cafe in Paris, or travelling the entire world in a year. Great goals. But maybe not a realistic place to start.

Travel comes in many forms. At a base level it’s exploring new places and learning new things, which you can actually do on your own doorstep. I think we are the worst at exploring our own cities and countries. So you want to have more travel adventures this year? Start by checking out what’s in your local area and slowly expand it. Make a list of all the adventures you can have within a day from your home and set about planning them.

2. Start a travel fund

Sorry, there is no magical way to have money for travel appear in your bank account. Except for the lottery and if someone can figure out how to guarantee that please email me stat. Instead, if you make small sacrifices every day then soon they will start to add up. Think about your purchases and what you REALLY need and what is just a personal preference or something you can do without for now. Remember you’ll be paid back later in a much richer way that has nothing to do with money.

3. Travel and flight deals for the win

Travel planning can all look rather overwhelming and expensive if you don’t know where to start, but it doesn’t have to be. You can check out my Travel Resources page for places to start looking for travel deals. Personally I love using Skyscanner and keeping an eye on Secret Flying. They post on Facebook about amazing deals all the time and I swear I could book a flight a day! I rarely ever search for flights or travel by going directly to an airline, instead I find deals elsewhere and check the airline to confirm. Travel with carry on luggage only instead of paying a fortune in luggage fees. With more local travel compare buses and trains and look at different routs or options. Don’t search hotels directly, use somewhere like Booking.com to look for deals first. It can be more effort but if you really want to travel you’ll realise that effort will yield the results you need to make it affordable.

4. Loyalty programs and points

Now this isn’t something I’ve ever done, mostly because I jump around too many countries to settle on something and a lot of the deals seem to be based in the United States. But if you start searching and you’re prepared to put in a bit of work then the benefits of travel reward programs can really pay off. Plus, it can be like another travel fund and be more motivation to get going!

5. Realise that you can work and travel

Travel doesn’t mean you need to have loads of time off, or 6 months to a year (or more!) off work to see what you want to. When I say that you can work and travel I’m not just talking about the digital nomad craze that’s taking over the world right now, but about all sorts of jobs that let you work and travel the world. You just have to realise that what you’re doing now at home, you can probably do somewhere else. Or you can find something new to do overseas. It doesn’t even have to be for long, but living abroad for any time gives you the opportunity to explore another place for deeply and to explore the places nearby too!  Plus saving to move abroad can be faster or easier than for long term travel. I know it sounds like a scary prospect, but once you’ve done it I swear it will be one of the best things you’ve ever done.

6. Save money and travel cheaper by housesitting

If you are travelling long term, then seriously consider housesitting. Actually, you can even housesit in your own city to save money on rent! Generally housesitting goes along with looking after pets like cats or dogs, but not always. My parents have been housesitting for six months in the UK and it has saved them so much money in accommodation, one of the biggest costs of travelling, and so it means they can travel for much longer.

7. Change the way you travel

You may sense a theme in this list of realising that there is more than one way to travel. Well, it’s because it’s one of the biggest things you can do to get on the road. If you always travel in one way, for example taking a week long holiday to a beach somewhere, then it’s time to mix things up.

Travel more often by thinking about weekend getaways to places within driving distance, or short flights. Instead of taking a week in one place, split it into 4 days in one and 3 in another close by (I’m obsessed with seeing more than one place when I travel). Map out a road trip you can do in just a few days, or lump your holidays together and take a whole month to travel Europe, or  up the west coast of the United States, or South East Asia, or whatever! You can balance the rest of the year with those local and weekend only trips. You get the idea…

8. Realise that it’s now or never

We all know that we only have a finite amount of time here, and yet we don’t act like it very often. The thing is, we can have all these hopes and dreams for the future and then something happens and it just doesn’t work out. Not everything can happen right away, but a sooner rather than later attitude is the key here. Sooner means actual plans, and so more possibility of it really happening.

Plus, the majority of the times that I have felt most alive have been on the road. Literally. There’s something about travelling that puts you in the moment and reminds you how amazing this life really is.

9. Realise that travel isn’t this big scary thing out to get you

I know it’s easy to say just travel and it’ll be fine when I’ve been doing it for years. To someone who has never really travelled a lot before it can be a daunting prospect! There are so many resources out there now about solo travel and making friends when you travel, or places to find people to travel with, so you don’t have to do it alone. Like the first point, start small and build up to you. Join Facebook groups and chat with other people who are travel first timers too. Or email me and let me know your concerns!

10. Just book it!

The hardest thing is pressing the “book” button, once you’ve done that you’ll find a way to make it work and it will all fall into place. Just step out of your comfort zone for literally a second, and you’re on your way! Then later on the travel bug will bite and you’ll be wishing you could book everything under the sun….

So there you have it, ways to get yourself on the road this year. If you have ideas about travel but you don’t know how to make them happen, get in touch. I’m always up for talking about travel.

Is 2017 your year to travel? Say yes.

Sonja x

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Tim Ferriss Quote

 

Stop making Excuses and Make Travel Happen

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26 Comments

  • Reply AlicevstheWorld January 9, 2017 at 10:58 am

    I travelled abroad as a solo traveller last year and got a lot of the ‘you’re so brave’ malarky. Now I’m never gonna turn down a good compliment, but I do think in reality most people COULD travel solo, they just don’t want to. Much like making travel a priority financially, I think most people are very capable of travelling abroad alone, it’s just not important enough to them to actually TRY it! Which is a pity as it does hold them back from some awesome experiences.

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 9, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      I would have to agree! Yes it can be a bit nerve racking to start with but once you do it you realise how possible it is. We just have to keep spreading the word 🙂

  • Reply Jean January 11, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Oh it annoys me so much when people say they can’t afford to travel and that I’m so lucky because I travel. LIES. All lies. We can all travel near or far. You’ve got some great tips on how people can do just do this.

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 11, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      I agree! Yes there are some more extreme life circumstances, but people who truly do have the ability but just don’t put in the work, that’s who this is aimed at!

  • Reply Rhiannon January 11, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Such great tips! I was contemplating whether or not to do a Contiki tour for months a couple of years ago, and eventually decided to just do it! It was an amazing two weeks, and I got to live my dream of visiting New York City! Life is too short, so I agree – just book it!

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 11, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Thanks! I love New York it’s such a great place. It just takes one trip I think, and then you’re on your way!! Literally haha.

  • Reply Iza Abao, Two Monkeys Travel Group Writer January 11, 2017 at 2:31 am

    I am going to travel more this year because I have been working as a digital nomad since last November. I am also grateful that I will be able to travel because of my work. I have traveled to only one place last year because I was looking for a job. I felt lonely because I had no time and money to travel. I am hoping that I will visit a lot of places this year.

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 11, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      That’s so great! Well done on getting work as a digital nomad that’s a great achievement. Best of luck!

  • Reply Samantha Lorenz January 11, 2017 at 4:59 am

    I LOVE everything about this article. I used to hold myself back and make excuses not to travel but once I stepped outside of my comfort zone everything changed. You can make anything work if you make it important. Thanks for the tips!

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 11, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      It just takes that one little chance and then you realise what you’ve been missing I think! You’re welcome 🙂

  • Reply James Smith January 11, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I agree, just a little bit of planning is required to book some travel. If you’re flexible with your location and dates, then you can find some great deals Once you see a great deal, book it!. What I need to stop making excuses with is my diet. I can’t quit the chocolate!

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 11, 2017 at 4:49 pm

      Flexibility is really key for getting deals, thanks for the reminder! I’ve been so so many random places I wouldn’t have considered otherwise because of deals and I’ve ended up loving them! I completely can’t quit sugar. Should probably try harder…

  • Reply Cliodhna Ryan January 11, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    I think your last point is the most important. Once you book it, you will find a way to make it work! I have spent countless hours before a trip fretting about money and time off, but once the plane takes off I know it will all work out. These are great tips.

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 12, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Exactly! It’s a bit nerve-racking hitting the button but it gets easier the more you do it and you realise how you can make it work 🙂

  • Reply Naomi January 11, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    I don’t do new year’s resolutions (at all) but I do feel I need to prioritize where I am going and where I travel. I get caught in a web of cheap tickets and travel bargains and the destinations I really really want to go to, just don’t happen. Last year I set a lot aside to finally go to South America and that feels so great. This year I’m bumping Cinque Terre and Prague from my top 5 wish destinations. But for some reason I am not going to Jordan… but I did book a trip to Iran. It wasn’t high on the list but.. bargain!! LOL

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 12, 2017 at 11:06 am

      I know what you mean! It’s so easy to just keep booking cheap flights and then you miss organising the places you really want to go to! I’m trying to travel with a bit more purpose now and hit up those places, but there are just so many tempting destinations! Iran should be amazing 😀

  • Reply Vicki Louise January 12, 2017 at 4:50 am

    Great tips! I think the biggest one for me is ‘Just Book it!’ – once you have forked out the money for a flight you force yourself to make the most of it and the rest follows!

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 12, 2017 at 11:12 am

      Me too! You can research and do all this planning and everything but when it comes down to it, you just need to book it and the rest will happen!

  • Reply Brooke of Passport Couture January 12, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Great points. This will serve as a reminder for me this year. Being in graduate school limits my options, but taking shorter, closer to home trips is always possible.

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 12, 2017 at 11:11 am

      Definitely! Get exploring nearby when you can :).

  • Reply Katie @ The Katie Show Blog January 15, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Love this good collection of tips! Most of us can definitely travel but chose not to and I hope this inspires others to get out there and see the world.

  • Reply Nuria Vidal January 17, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Such great tips here Sonja! I travelled solo for 2 years and also had to hear oh, you’re so brave, you’re so young, but the true is that I feel confident, I feel like at home when travelling, and I agree with you, it’s not that scary big thing haha plus, you see new places, have new opportunities, and make a bunch of new friends around the world that who knows some day you’ll be travel to their home town and have free accommodation 😛 haha

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 17, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Thank you so much! I definitely understand feeling more confident when travelling, it’s like you can almost be more yourself because no one expects you to be a certain way! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve met up with people again 😀

  • Reply Natalie January 17, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Yes, just go for it! This is a GREAT topic for families. I hear all the time questions about the ‘right’ time for traveling with the kids – the ‘right’ age for them. Will they even remember? (Yes, they will!) Will it be worth the extra planning and effort? (Yes, it is!!) The answer for families is the same – JUST GO FOR IT!

    What you gain from the experience will always FAR outweigh all the worries. You can travel – you SHOULD travel! Take the plunge and do it now!!

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 17, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      That’s such a great point! I’ve wondered about the right time, even though I don’t have kids myself, but then I remember that I started young and have great memories from it! And the experience most definitely outweighs the worries :). Thanks!

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