“You’re so lucky you get to travel so much!” “Isn’t that a dangerous place?” “How do you have so much money?” These are common reactions I get from my friends and family about how much I have traveled over the years.
Honestly, it pains me to hear these things... so today I am debunking all the reasons that people feel they can’t get out there and see the world too!
“I can’t afford it”
This is one of the most common excuses I hear. Listen, you do not need to be rolling in the dough to travel. Really. It’s all about what you prioritize in life. Some like to spend their money on fancy cars, a massive house, or an extensive wardrobe; others choose travel.
Sure, you will have to make sacrifices and realize that you can’t place a monetary value on the experiences you gain from travel. That said, it is entirely possible to travel on a budget. Here’s how:
Planning the trip: Save money by making use of travel deal sites for flights and accommodations. Research affordable cities, visit in the off-season, or head to a country where the US dollar is strong.
Flights: Sign up for travel credit cards and frequent flyer programs to earn rewards and eventually “travel hack” your way to free flights. You can combine an airline card with a general rewards card like Chase Sapphire Reserve to reap the greatest benefits. If you are able to be super flexible, try the Everywhere feature on Skyscanner or the Explore feature on Kayak to find the cheapest flights around the world.
Accomodation: Choose to stay in hostels which are lower budget or an Airbnb which is typically lower in price than a hotel. Or shack up with locals for free on Couchsurfing. Another interesting option is house swapping where you exchange your home with another person in the destination you are visiting.
- Food: With many of the above accommodation options, you will have a kitchen and can save money by cooking your own meals and not constantly eating out at restaurants. Get food where you see the locals, such as street stands, for more authentic and cheaper options.
Around the city: Avoid touristy areas which will have higher priced shops and restaurants. Most large cities offer free walking tours by locals that are enlightening and help you discover the hidden gems.
Working overseas: Make money while you are abroad by working as an Au pair, hostel staff, farm worker (common in Australia and New Zealand), dive instructor, tour guide, English teacher, etc. Great sites to find these opportunities are Workaway, Any Work Anywhere, and Overseas Jobs.
“I don’t have enough time”
Sure, it can be tricky to find time if you work a 9-5 job with limited vacation. But you don’t need to wait until you retire to make travel a reality! With 52 weekends a year plus PTO, that’s over 100 days - or 16 weeks free in a year! It again comes down to a matter of priorities. Everyone finds time for things that are important to them.
Trust me, taking the time off is good for your mental health and you’ll likely return to work less stressed and more productive than if you never take a break. While it may not be realistic to become a full time travel blogger, there are simple steps you can take to make the most of the free time you do have:
- Take advantage of long weekends and holidays for 3-4 day getaways.
Don’t let those vacation days go to waste! While the USA offers less PTO days than most other countries, a staggering 52% of American employees reported having unused vacation days at the end of 2017. That’s a whopping 7.2 million days across the country!.
Go somewhere closer to home. Crazily enough, I’ve been to twice as many countries as US States - meaning there’s so many cities, national parks and beaches in my home country yet to explore!
- Ask if there are opportunities to work remotely within your company. You won’t be able to completely disconnect this way, but it offers more flexibility to travel!
“I have more important obligations”
Having children, long-term relationships, or climbing the corporate ladder can all complicate travels. But it does not make them entirely out of reach with these tips:
- Take the kiddos with you! They are sure to get an experience far more valuable than anything they’d learn from a textbook. Expand their world views by helping them learn about different cultures, new languages, etc.
- Traveling as a couple can help strengthen your bond as you journey through the inevitable challenges together. If your significant other isn’t as adventurous, hopefully they appreciate that it’s an itch you need to scratch. Even if that means going it alone or with friends!
- If you are super set in your career, take the above advice on using all of your vacation days and making the most of every second of them. Everyone needs to unplug and recharge for their health and well-being!
“I don’t have anyone to go with”
It can be a bummer if none of your friends at home have the same desire to venture out as you do. But that doesn’t need to hold you back!
Solo traveling - there are safe countries to go it alone - even for women!
Group tours like Topdeck and Contiki. They’re loads of fun and you meet so many fun people!
- Stay in hostels where you will likely meet other solo travelers from around the world.
“I have no desire to see the world”
This is the only legitimate excuse in my opinion. We get it, traveling is not for everyone. And some take comfort in being home. But you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now if you felt that way ;)
So put those excuses to bed. It is so very possible to get out there and see the world!
Now tell us, what’s holding you back? Share your tips for making travel a priority in our Facebook Community.
Shane is a Digital Marketing Manager at Conquest Maps. Her love for travel began after college when she landed her first job across the world in Australia. 35 countries and countless memories later; she's not turning back any time soon!