“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.”
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’s 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, or who just really doesn’t want to. 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 the leap, even if you won’t admit it. Is that you?
If I got money for every time someone told me how lucky I am to travel or how brave, then let’s just say I would be… well probably putting all that money into MORE travel. Because the thing is, to a point, it’s really not about having luck or being brave. It’s a choice. If you’re in a position where you’re privileged enough to be able to make travel happen, and if you have made a goal to travel more then you need to follow that through and actually MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Sounds easy, but how do you actually do it? Well for the constant hesitators and excuse-finders, here are 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 maybe even travelling the entire world in a year. Great goals! But maybe not a realistic place to start.
Travel comes in many forms. At its base level, it’s exploring new places and learning new things, which you can actually do not far from your very own doorstep. I think we are the worst at exploring our own close surroundings!
So you want to have more travel adventures this year? Start by checking out what’s in your local area and slowly expanding further out. There are bound to be free and low-cost things to get you started, even if it’s just some local walks.
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 (I really wish there was!). Except for maybe the lottery and if someone can figure out how to guarantee that please email me asap!
Instead, if you make small sacrifices in your spending every day then soon they will start to add up. Think about your purchases, what you REALLY need and what is just a personal preference, or something you can do without for now. When you’re finding it tough to save remember you’ll be paid back later in a much richer way that has nothing to do with money.
We often look back at travel experiences as priceless, so just keep that in mind!
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 and email 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.
Think about your travel style too. Consider travelling with carry on luggage only instead of paying a fortune in luggage fees. When you’re booking local travel compare buses and trains and look at different routes or options. Sometimes you can save a lot on a fare if you’re willing to make a change, or are able to be flexible with your route. Don’t search hotels directly just because you know the name, use somewhere like Booking.com to look for deals first.
Definitely consider travelling in offseason or the shoulder seasons rather than at the busiest time. Check out all the reasons why I love offseason travel here!
It can be more effort to do all this searching and planning but if you really want to travel you’ll realise that effort put into research will yield the results you need to make it more affordable.
4. Loyalty programs and points
Now, this isn’t something I’ve ever done, mostly because I’ve jumped 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, literally. 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 work to see what you want to. It’s about making the best use of whatever time you have to travel, or even considering working and travelling together. When I say that you can work and travel I’m not just talking about the digital nomad craze that’s taken over the world right now or that you need to become a travel blogger, 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 might be able to 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! If you’re a student, look into study abroad options. If you’re in the 18-30 bracket, there are Working Holiday Visa options in many different countries depending on your nationality. But even if neither of those is you, have you thought about changing career, taking a career break, or whether there are options to work abroad in your field? Living abroad isn’t for everyone, but I think it’s much more achievable than many people realise!
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 Europe and it has saved them so much money on accommodation, one of the biggest costs of travelling, and 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, that’s because it’s one of the biggest things you need to realise to get yourself on the road. If you’ve always thought of travel in one way and you’re finding it hard to make that happen, then it’s time to mix things up.
Travel more often by thinking about weekend getaways to places within easy driving distance, or short flights. Or even day trips count as travel!
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 vacation days 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.
Only you know your circumstances, but it’s time to get creative!
8. Realise that it’s now or never and make it now
We all know that we only have a finite amount of time, 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.
Honestly, the keyword is action. If you want to travel more, you have to act. Personally, I’m extremely good at acting when it comes to travel, and yet in other aspects of my life, not so great. If you’re the opposite, it’s time to change!
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
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! Luckily, 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 bigger adventures. 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. Even I get nervous about whether I’m making the right decision! But once you’ve done it you’ll find a way to make it work and it will all fall into place. It’s happened to me time and time again. Just step out of your comfort zone for literally the second it takes to click the button, and you’re already well 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 travelling more 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 2020 your year to travel? Say YES!
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