You know that ever-growing list of destinations you have been dying to go to? Well, another year has passed and your list is probably still roughly the same size (or even bigger, depending on how many amazing travel bloggers you’ve been following.)
There are probably a lot of reasons why your wander-list hasn’t changed much in the last few years. Money, timing, work, relationships…anything can easily get in the way if you’re not actively trying to make travel a priority in your life.
That never ending list of “reasons” not to travel ends this year, my friends, because you deserve time off. You deserve to travel, to get lost in a forest or wander around a tourist-packed city. You deserve that little vacation that will leave you refreshed and re-vitalized.
I’m telling you, this is your year. This is the year you finally start living those wild dreams you’ve been dreaming. Buy those tickets and take those trips you’ve been planning for years in your head.
Here are some tips on how to ACTUALLY visit those places, by making more time for traveling this year.
- Plan ahead. I’m talking 6 months to a year in advance, type of planning. Booking the time off and/or booking your flights this early will give you less time to talk yourself out of doing it. Although your trip isn’t for months, you know everything is already booked, so you pretty much have to go (unless you’d like to lose the money you’ve already spent for the flight, etc). This is a lot less time to worry about what meetings you’ll be missing and whatever other reasons not to travel pop up while you’re planning a trip. Pre-planning also gives you a sense of relief and excitement during those mundane months leading up to the trip.
- Create an *actual* list. Post it up on your bedroom wall, your desktop screensaver or your cell phone lock screen. Constantly seeing those places, thinking about how wonderful it would be to actually go – that is a ton of motivation.
- Finance it properly and separately. Create a completely separate travel savings account. This will rid you of any sense of guilt in regards to not using that money to pay bills, because it’s money that you’ve specifically set aside for traveling.
- Plan all the trips! Seriously, plan every trip you think of. I have about 10 trips being planned at any given time, because it makes me feel confident that it will actually happen.
- Book time off work/plan your vacation time with your boss. Again, best done quite a while in advance – asking your boss for a moment to talk, and letting them know where you will be during your time off will let them know that you are definitely not available during those week(s). If they know you’re going to be out of cell phone range in the mountains or planning on spending an all-inclusively vodka-soaked week in the Bahamas, there is less of a chance they will contact you during the time you’ve booked off. You will also feel less guilty about being away from work.
- Ask around. If you’re planning a trip to Rome, try to talk to friends/family/coworkers who have been there. Having them talk up the destination and all the fun they’ve had there will definitely give you that “I have to check this out” determination.
- Splurge on nice travel gear. Having an adorable suitcase and some stellar camera equipment will definitely make you keen to get out on the road.
- Keep your passport up to date. Can you imagine being invited to an impromptu trip to Vegas, but can’t go because your passport is expired? That would be AWFUL! Having an up-t0-date, blank passport is definitely inspiration for travel.