For me, traveling is one of my biggest passions. If you share the same charism that I have, then it’s possible to travel multiple times in a given year. Regardless of your financial situation or occupation.
All you need is a plan, but you also need to want to travel. This may be easier said than done for most. I just turned 23, graduated college, and have transitioned into searching for my next career move. Yet come September, I will be traveling to six cities and five countries in Europe.
How am I able to pull this off? It started with the mentality I set. I knew that 2018 was going to be a special year for me, it was my last year of college. For the whole month of January and February, I kept telling myself that I would go back to Europe. I finally acted and booked a ticket in March.
It truly starts with the mentality you set. If you keep telling yourself that you will travel, but don’t act on it, then those dreams of travelling will constantly bypass you. You will find excuses along the way to postpone traveling. Whether it’s money, time-off, or another responsibility.
Yes, we all have responsibilities, some larger than most. To avoid these responsibilities, your lifestyle must match how and where you want to travel. That’s my philosophy and it’s worked ever since I took my first trip abroad.
If you take this with a grain of salt you will definitely be able to maximize the amount of times you travel each year. Here are my four biggest takeaways in doing so.
Prioritize your finances, social, and work life - In doing so you create a plan. This will be the hardest thing to overcome because it takes disciple. First, you need to make money to save money. Regardless if your wages are not the best, find another source of income. Whether it’s a side job, selling your belongings, or advertising any service or speciality you may have. Just do it to make some extra cabbage. Next, list what are necessities and luxuries. This will help you out the most, it will help you consolidate expenditures, bills, and debt. Lastly, embrace not going out. Look at it as a return on investment when you do so in a different city or country.
Start small with weekend trips. If money and work life are still a problem, view Friday and the weekend as an opportunity to explore your surrounding environments and go from there. Depending on what coast you live on or if you are stuck in the middle, take the North by South approach. Travelling is not all about getting different stamps in your passport or going long distances. It’s about not being stuck at home.
Utilize Travel Hacks. Travel hacks are shortcuts for traveling smarter. These range from credit reward cards to booking sites like Skyscanner and Kayak. If you treat credit cards as if they were a debit card, in return you can accumulate free hotel nights, airline miles, and statement credit. Visit NerdWallet, they have a perfect breakdown of what perks and incentives you will receive after you reach their minimum spending. Sometimes it’s direct cash or points, but it’s currency either way, currency for your trip. Also, visit either one of these booking sites above. Their deals page is great and aggregates flexed-fares bringing you the cheapest results. Just book on Tuesday, it really makes a difference.
Utilize vacation time around or away from holiday seasons. Face it, holidays are the worst time to travel. Maybe they are your only option, so double down on the time you take. Incorporate those holidays with time-off. Just brace yourself for surged pricing on airfare and hotels. If you are flexible with vacation, travel during non-holiday seasons. Anything from March to May and September to October will get you a bargain for traveling abroad.
In the end, it really comes down to how bad do you want to travel. I understand that we are all limited to what is and is not practical. Just have the drive to plan, save, and research. You will notice how far these tips will take you. With that said, I wish you all a good luck and hope to see you all traveling soon!
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