One of the most common questions I get is “how do you have resources (time/money/energy) for traveling?” and my most common response is that I just make things work. But today I want to get more specific and share the nitty gritty on ways you can make travel fit in your life. Quick disclaimer, I have been fortunate enough to remain debt free. I don’t have any children (although my pup feels like it sometimes, and I have extremely inexpensive rent. All of these factors make travel a lot easier, but there is more to it than just that. Here are some actionable steps to start or to continue including travel in your life.
It can be so easy to put off traveling for a later date or say you’ll get to your bucket list someday. I created Beautiful Detour with the goal to never put a bucket list on hold and I encourage you to do the same. The first thing you need to do is start prioritizing travel. Get those mood boards going. Then pick a week you are going to take off work, write it down, and start putting your energy there. I am a firm believer that if you put your mind to something it can happen for you.
It’s time to budget
Contrary to popular belief, sometimes you can’t have it all and this becomes really clear when you are saving up for a trip. So if you are like me and 99% of the people I know and don’t have tons and tons of disposable income, then it’s time to start spending wisely and sticking to a budget. And if I am thinking of spending over a certain amount I take a purchase pause. A purchase pause is where you take a few weeks to think about that purchase and if you still want it, then go get it. I usually end up not wanting that item after just a few days.
A few things I recommend you stop spending money on:
- Subscription boxes: I LOVE subscription boxes. If only everything could come in a subscription box! But honestly, reducing this expense has really helped cut down my extra spending.
- No movies: I don’t go to the movies unless it is a special occasion. This was such an easy cut for me and I don’t regret it one bit.
- New clothes: We don’t need a new outfit for every day of travel. I know it can be fun to pack a suitcase with brand new dresses and coats, but do your best to save money so you have more to spend while you are traveling.
This sounds so easy but can feel so hard. However, you feel about it, saying no is an essential part of living a great life (including travel hopefully). I am a firm believer in setting boundaries and protecting my time because I know how I want to spend it and what makes me the happiest. Start saying no to events, projects, jobs, and people that you don’t want to spend your time with. By saying yes to one event, that means possibly saying no to a quick weekend trip and taking on too many projects means I would have to be checking my email more frequently while I am traveling. Start being choosy to what you say yes to. You’ll be surprised how much time and energy you have if you start saying no more frequently.
Book a Ticket
Once you know you have the time set aside to take a trip, I recommend booking a portion of that trip as soon as possible. The second you are financially invested, it becomes real. I usually start with a plane ticket, but you could book a hotel a reservation or buy museum tickets too. Invest and then slowly build off of that.
Not all trips have to be Cross Atlantic
Traveling doesn’t always mean getting on an eight-hour flight to a foreign destination. A lot of my trips are weekend road trips, exploring a new location or sometimes I stumble upon cheap flights that are too good to pass up to neighboring states. There is no one perfect way to travel, so if right now you can only take a short trip here and there, do it. Travel is like a habit, the more often you do it, the better you get at it, and the farther you will go.
I hope these tips help you on your path to seeing the world or even seeing all of your own state. I’d love to know where you are heading this year, or what place popped in your head when you read this article. Leave a reply in the comments below.
Photos by Camber Weiss.