Because I work full time, people often wonder how I travel as much as I do. If you can seriously commit to goals – by the end of this post you too will know how to increase the number of your travels in the future.
“Travel more” is indeed a popular resolution – but it isn’t very specific. It’s like “get rich” or “lose weight”. We all want it but what are we willing to do to get it?
To help you get rid of that traveling itch this year and travel more often, try to break down that goal into manageable tasks. Here are some simple life-hacks and traveling tips for finding more time and more money for your future trips!
First of all, decide that traveling more is a priority for you. I know it can be hard to find the time, and/or money, to travel, but nothing is impossible if you really want to do it.
You can’t hit a target you cannot see, and you cannot see a target you do not have |Zig Ziglar
When you make traveling a priority, it’s easier to focus on what you need to do to reach your goals and all the “sacrifice” that needs to be done is worth it. After reading this post you won’t have any more excuses… You don’t have to quit your job or rearrange your whole life around travel – there are also small changes that you can make to your current lifestyle to fit in more traveling.
By the way, if specifically traveling more isn’t your cup of tea – just replace the word travel with any other leisure activity and keep on reading…
It’s all in how we perceive our time. In fact, if you just count your weekends you already have 104 days off every year (!). Add to that public holidays and paid vacation days and you’re already on the right path.
First of all-
According to a survey conducted by Allianz Travel Insurance, more than 170 million Americans reported going 12 months without a single day of vacation.
WTF?? If you’ve got days off, use them (or at least give them to me…). You don’t have to take them all at once – if being away from work for long periods of time is a problem just take a shorter vacation. Research has found that taking frequent short breaks is better for you than one long holiday anyway.
According to this list, some countries don’t even have a statutory minimum paid vacation or paid public holidays (Hey there America…) and other offers as high as 31 paid days a year (Andorra anyone?). But most countries offer between 16-20 paid vacation days each year.
But just because we work full time doesn’t mean we have to limit our travels to a measly 16-20 days per year. On the contrary, just take advantage of long weekends and public holidays, add to it a day or two of vacation days and you got yourself a great 4-5 days trip coming.
Traveling neither has to be long, nor expensive to offer great experiences. Even a long weekend can fill you up with good energies for the weeks and months to come. I try to go as often as 4-5 time a year for long weekends and it makes all the difference for me.
The downside with this vacation strategy is that you’re not the only smartie pants in the room. A lot of people do this, So traveling over busy holiday weekends can get costly. Choose your destination wisely and plan in advance but we’ll get to this shortly…
If you made traveling a priority than you probably need to cut back on fewer less important things. Start with small, daily expenses that might seem pretty insignificant in the short term but add up over time.
How much do you really need that morning cup of coffee? Okay, a lot. But could you use the coffee maker in the office instead of buying coffee outside? Yes, $2.50 for a cup of coffee is small change but multiply 2.5 by 253 working days a year and you got yourself an extra 632.5$ for your next trip.
I’m not saying give up every day-to-day luxury but just question whether each purchase you make will make you truly happy. If you think that cup of coffee or a pair of new shoes will really make a positive impact on your life, then go for it. But then consider cutting back on something else instead – taking the bus instead of a cab, bring food to work instead of eating out etc. We all have little “luxuries” we can’t live without – everything else can be downsized in order to save money you’ll ultimately use for traveling.
If just knowing that you’re spending less and thus saving money to travel more isn’t enough for you, try opening a travel piggy bank. It doesn’t have to be a pig or a jar but try to set up a dedicated travel fund where you collect your savings. Either at the bank a safe or under your mattress.
No need to explain this one. Try asking yourself whether you actually need the item you are purchasing. For example, I tend to wear a lot of black clothes to work, a lot of them in the same style – Do I really need another pair of the same black slacks? Good question. Do I prefer to stay another day at some new location I can explore for the first time? Hell yeah. Just some food for thought…
By living in a small apartment I spend less money on living costs (and have less space to clean – bam!).
I go grocery shopping and cook at home which is a great way to save money and could also be a fun activity if you invite friends for dinner instead of going out.
Bars are also a money drain. Try to go out for happy hours when drinks are 1+1 or once in a while invite friends over for drinks at home.
Research your local city guide for free events, concerts in the park or free movie screenings. With a little bit of planning, you can be easily entertained without spending much.
Great advice I live by (thanks mom for this one!). When you really need something you will probably buy it no matter what the price is. But, if you know you are going to need something in advance you can buy it on your own terms.
You have time to look for a coupon/discount or buy it on sale in advance. It works for winter clothes in the summer, for buying 5 shampoos at a time etc. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save this way. Next time you’re in the store and your favorite lotion is on sale – buy it, even if you have a full bottle at home (once you run out, it will be at a much higher price- thank Murphy for that…)
Well Duh! If you’re not really into cutting back on your lifestyle but want more money you need to earn more money. Make sense right? You might want to consider taking on a side hustle, work some overtime or perhaps sell some stuff you don’t need.
If you haven’t heard about the amazing blog “making sense of cents” you defiantly should check it out. In this blog, Michelle explains how to make extra income, side hustles, side income and more.
Tip: Just remember that the ultimate goal is to have more leisure time so balance it well. All work and no play will make you a big sourpuss.
Ok. So you’ve got the money, you’ve got the time. Now, get more bang for your buck. You want to maximize your travel opportunities and spend your well-saved money wisely.
While you certainly want to enjoy yourself while traveling, try to consider some cost-cutting measures. Once traveling becomes a habit you no longer have the urge for spoiling yourself rotten just because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Nope, now that you know how, you’ll be travel more and it’s time to switch your mindset a bit.
As you did before – try to think what the most important things to you while traveling are and focus your resources on that. If you are planning to hike all day long maybe you could stay in a cheaper hotel since you’re not gonna spend much time there… you got my point. Be flexible with at least one parameter of your vacation – dates/money/locations etc.
In general, it’s always better being a little flexible with the dates you’re traveling on. Flight tickets are usually cheaper mid-week and even cheaper if it’s in the evening. If you’re a bit flexible with your time even consider picking your travel dates by researching cheaper dates first and not the other way as usual.
Going mid-week instead of on a weekend can also make a huge difference for saving on hotels. If you’re planning to go to several locations during your stay – consider staying at the most expensive ones during the week and cheaper locations during the weekend.
On a bigger scale: Travel slightly offseason. Traveling a little bit off-season could be a real money saver but also a pleasant experience on its own. read all about it in this post.
First of all, I’m sure you already have a location in mind when you’re going about planning a trip.
My first advice, ask yourself WHY do you want to go there. Let’s say you want to go to Australia. Is it because something specific there or do you just want a beach vacation and surfing? Could you find the same qualities in a cheaper destination? Think about it.
If you don’t have a set destination in mind but just know you want a European weekend getaway for example. You could make a list of top 5 places you’d like to visit and search which ones have the best deals. Or, better yet, go somewhere totally spontaneously like I always wanted to do. Decide you’re going on vacation and then choose the destination by the cheapest flight.
Ok, being spontaneous is cool but planning a vacation ahead is usually the best. As the arrival date approaches, rates are likely to go up – true both for flight and accommodation.
Once you deiced on your next vacation – don’t procrastinate. Just to it. On booking.com you can usually make a reservation that can be canceled later without penalty, so no harm in booking early and continuing to search for a better deal.
Look up for free walking tours. It’s a great way to get to know the city and a hit all the must-see spots on your list.
Look for free activities in the area for some free entertainment and also for the happy hours or discounts facilities has to offer (Italian apertifo for example…)
Check out the days when museums are discounted and or free.
If you’re staying in an apartment – book one with a kitchenette. Try to make an adventure out of local grocery shopping (it’s fun!).
Once you go on your trip – ENJOY it. Maximize your experience. Make every trip your once-in-a-lifetime adventure. You can always come home and earn that money back (reasonably speaking). This may seem to contradict all that I’ve said thus far but it’s not, trust me. If you don’t enjoy your trip none of this is worth it.
I’d love to hear what your tips are for traveling more! Let me know in the comments below