So you want to travel? 10 ways to get traveling.

It’s a new year and perhaps you took a piece of paper and jotted down some resolutions.  Maybe you didn’t even take it that far.  Maybe it was a conversation with a few friends just before midnight on New Years Eve.  There’s something you want though and you don’t know how to get it.  You want to travel.  It’s something you’ve wanted to do for so long but you don’t know how.

Here are 10 things you can do to start traveling:

  1. Take the maximum number of vacation days allowed by your employer.  Americans get less vacation time than anyone else in the world.  And then they don’t take it.  Days.  Weeks.  Months.  “Banked.”  If you want to travel, start by taking the maximum amount of vacation time allowed by your employer.
  2. Can’t afford it?  Go on regular date nights with your spouse?  Dinner and a movie every Friday night?  At a minimum I bet you’re spending $75.  Minimum.  For 6 weeks skip the dinner out and a movie.  Go out for a cup of coffee and a long chat.  Make dinner together at home.  Be creative.  For 6 weeks do your date night on a budget of $15 and bank the other $60.  Right there you’ve got $360 toward travel.  Do it for 12 weeks and you’ve got $720.
  3. Go camping.  We used to think we weren’t campers.  But here’s what happened: we had an unquenchable desire to travel and lacked the budget to stay in 4-star hotels 3-star hotels, heck, any hotel and be able to travel as much as we wanted to.  So we started camping.
  4. Change the way you think about travel.  Transition from thinking about travel as “vacation” to travel as “life with a different backdrop.”  When you look at it that way, travel isn’t as expensive as you might think.  You eat at home.  You buy fuel for you car at home.  So when you do those things while traveling you’re not really spending money you would not be spending otherwise.
  5. Don’t let not having enough money for the perfect trip keep you from taking a great trip.
  6. House-swap.  Thanks to Facebook and social networking we all have friends all over the world.  Connect with a friend and do a house-swap.  We already have an international house-swap planned for next year.
  7. Don’t know who to do a house-swap with?  What about family and friends who live in really cool places who’d be willing to have you bunk up with them for a week?  Just be a good house-guest!  Bring flowers or take your hosts to dinner one night.
  8. Be open to going anywhere.  If you’re set on going to just one place you really limit your ability to score a great deal.  Instead just say that you’re willing to go anywhere (even better if you can go anytime) and look for awesome deals from places like Groupon.
  9. Maybe your situation is such that you really can’t get away.  Divorces, custody battles, whatever — life can be… shall we say “challenging.”  If it really is that difficult to get away start taking day trips close to home.  Travel is a state of mind.  Even when you’re close to home make life an adventure and explore new places.  And if you have a desire to start traveling around the world start by traveling at home!
  10. Make travel a priority.  Everything in life is a trade-off.  Whatever we have we have because we have wanted it more than something else.  If you have a fancy car in your driveway you have it because you valued the car more than the time it took you to make the money to pay for it.  So if you really do want to travel, make it a priority.  And then talk about it all the time.  Buy a book about Paris.  Start reading blogs written by people living in Thailand.  And your mind will go to work on how you too can travel and see the world.10-ideas-to-start-traveling

What am I missing?  Any great tips you can share?

Want more help?  Here’s a great way to start setting and achieving your goals.  But the best thing you can do is get connected with other people who share your goals.  Reach out, let’s get connected, and let’s support one another.  You can like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter or RSS.

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7 Comments

Christina @Interest-Led Learning 06-01-2012, 05:20

These are some great tips! I like the one about making travel a priority. We place high value on travel in our family. If you have someone in the family who has to travel for business, try to take advantage of that. Bring the family along and try to extend the trip for a few days if possible.We also like to rent houses. We can find it can be a very low cost(depending on the area you’re staying) way to travel. We make all our meals in a house and don’t eat out that way.

I’ve just written a post about how I plan out adventures and trips at the beginning of the year. Besides several extended trips, we also take lots and lots of day and weekend trips close to home, too. Those trips can be just as fun and memorable as those we’ve taken the the US Virgin Islands or to San Diego.

Clark Vandeventer 06-01-2012, 08:26

Christina, love both of your ideas. The “junket” is great. I always dread leaving my family to go on a business trip. It’s awesome when I can bring them with me. A few months back I had business in Orange County. We got a hotel with a pool right on the beach in Laguna Beach. I was working all day but then came home and played in the pool with the kids, walked through the downtown area, and had dinner. The next day I actually wore my trunks under my suit and went straight to the beach when I was done with my work to meet up with the family!

Renting houses vs. staying in hotels is great. Not only do you have the advantage of being able to cook your meals at home but you also have a lot more space instead of having everyone sleep on top of one another in a small hotel room.

Christina @Interest-Led Learning 06-01-2012, 12:10

We were just at Laguna Beach in March. It was the best beach we visited when we went to San Diego. My husband’s work would pay for him and I to go to his three day meeting in Las Vegas. So, since our tickets were paid for, we used our miles to bring the kids with. Then after the four days in Vegas, we rented a car and drove the five hours to the San Diego area for two weeks and make a vacation out of it too!

Clark Vandeventer 06-01-2012, 12:23

Having lived in Santa Barbara we’ve done just about the whole coast from San Francisco to San Diego. Laguna Beach is among our most favorite spots. Here’s the post we did a while back on our “junket” there: http://www.familytrek.org/a-family-junket-in-laguna-beach/

Jennifer Miller 08-01-2012, 14:05

GREAT tips that anyone can apply! I’m sharing this!

Seizing Opportunities to Travel | Family Trek 16-01-2012, 10:01

[...] posts that you can read to get to know our site: Thanks for visiting!We wrote earlier is year about making travel a priority and we have been taking our own advise. While we haven’t taken any major trips yet in 2012 we [...]

Pity, Envy, and why anyone can travel | Family Trek 28-03-2012, 07:59

[...] When Monica and I were first married we used to stay at great hotels and all-inclusive resorts.  We’d drive up to San Francisco and drop a few thousand dollars over a weekend and think nothing of it.  But as our income dropped and kept dropping we still had an unquenchable thirst for travel.  That’s when we started to get creative.  We were not willing to give up travel.  So we had to figure out a new way of doing it.  Now, on the other side of the Great Recession, we make a lot less money and travel a whole lot more than we used to.  Here are 10 of our favorite ways that we do it. [...]

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