I get it - You really want to start traveling, but have no idea where to start. I got you. Here's how you can finally make travel a reality in 2018!
How do you even do any of this? How do you book flights? What about money? What about language barriers? Should you get a travel agent? What if something goes wrong? I know, it's a lot.
I left the country for the first time nearly 4 years ago. I can call myself a world traveler now, but it wasn't always this way. At one point, I couldn't imagine life outside of the US. It seemed like a far-flung dream that was only reserved for certain types of people - people that didn't look like me, people that didn't come from where I came from, and people that had a way higher income than I did. So, I know how you might feel. Now that things have changed, I know travel isn't some impossible dream. It's certainly a privilege, but it's also attainable. It's not easy, but there are some steps you can take to finally start killing those travel goals in 2018.
FIGURE OUT WHAT'S HOLDING YOU BACK
So what's the problem? Time? Money? Fear of the unknown? Friends that always bail? All of the above? Once you identify what's holding you back, you can get strategic about coming up with a solution. This will look different for everyone.
Is time a problem?
- You don't need to quit your job or take a gap year to travel. Think weekend trips & road-trips! What about the next city over? What about the next state over? You'd be surprised at what a change of scenery can do for you - even if only for a few days.
You might be interested in: 8 Simple Ways to Maximize Your Time Off for More Travel
- Are you in school? You'll miss those long summer breaks, spring breaks, & winter breaks once you start working full-time. Trust me. Take advantage of them now. You should also consider studying abroad! It gives you a full semester or year to completely immerse yourself in another country. I studied abroad short-term and it definitely sparked my love for travel. If money is a problem, see if your school offers scholarships before you rule it out.
You might be interested in: 5 Reasons to you NEED to study abroad
Is money a problem?
- Are you assuming that travel has to be luxurious and expensive? It doesn't have to be that way. Did you know that you can travel through countries in Central America, parts of South America, & Southeast Asia for less than $50 a day(meals, accommodation, & activities included)? Are you aware of budget accommodation options like Airbnb & Hostels? Are you aware that flights don't have to cost thousands of dollars? Check out my viral twitter thread to help you find cheap flights or my video on finding cheap flight deals! Did you know that you can volunteer/work in exchange for accommodation around the world? Check out Workaway or Worldpackers There are SOOOOO many ways to make travel affordable! Be sure to do your research before ruling it out.
- Start setting money aside for travel. Think about ways you can save in your everyday life - cable, eating out, pampering, subscriptions, shopping, electronics, memberships, etc. Digit is an app that saves your money into a separate account for you so you don't even have to think about it.
- Pick up a second job! When I was in school, there were times I worked 3 jobs to fund my study abroad trips. Sometimes there's nothing to save, so you've got to either find a second source of income or find a higher paying job. I know it's not as easy as it sounds, but you've got to be resourceful.
- Be patient! It may take months or even years to save up, but I can guarantee you that it will all be worth it. The sooner you start planning & saving, the sooner it can become a reality.
Are unreliable friends the problem?
- You can't blame them. Everyone has different priorities, obligations, and interests. You can wait for them to join, but I've gotta warn you-you might be waiting forever. At the end of the day, this is your life. Time flies and if you find yourself full of regret one day it, it will be on you - not them.
- Consider solo travel. I know, seems scary and possibly boring but I can say that it's been one of the best things I've ever done for myself. It can build confidence and it has the potential to give you a special awareness of yourself, the world, & the people around you in a way that group travel never could.
- If you're not ready for solo travel, consider traveling with a group of like-minded travelers! I've traveled with both EF College Break & Geckos Adventures before. Both experiences were incredible.
Is fear of the unknown a problem? Is your personal mindset a problem? Is planning the problem? Is family the problem?
There are so many things that could be holding you back from traveling. Like anything else in life, you may have to make some serious sacrifices and it may take time. Identify the problem first and begin doing research to see how you can improve your situation.
BE ACTIVE, NOT PASSIVE
Amazing travel experiences are not just going to fall into your lap. Like anything else in life, you have to make travel happen yourself if you really want to get out there! Travel requires planning, so it's necessary to sit down and set goals. Simply having the desire to travel will get you nowhere. Think of some places that interest you, research accommodation & flight prices, establish a budget, set up a date to pick up your passport, and try to make sh*t happen. These seemingly small tasks will get you closer to your next trip. The simple task of writing down the name of a destination will increase your chances of visiting.
ADOPT A TRAVELER'S MINDSET
Start now. At its core, travel is about immersing yourself in new experiences. You can do that without hopping on a plane. Say yes to small things now and you'll be prepared to say yes to the bigger things later - like taking a spontaneous road trip or booking that flight. Check out a museum or new restaurant in your home-town. Plan a hike in the nearest town or go on a road trip. Be curious & adventurous now. Adopting a traveler's mindset now will make it a little bit easier to say yes when you find that amazing flight deal or when your friend asks you to join him/her for a last minute trip. And when you finally do take that trip, a traveler's mindset will make your experience that much better.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH TRAVELERS
It's SO hard to find friends who have the ability, time, finances, or even interest to travel with you. Travel may not be a priority for others in the same way it is for you and that's okay. On the other hand, waiting around for others to get on board is NOT okay. Trust me, you will be waiting around forever. Seek out friendships with people who have a similar interest to see the world. I understand that it can be difficult to make that happen in real life. Thank God for the internet. Join facebook travel groups or simply connect with other experienced & aspiring travelers on Instagram or Twitter. It'll make you feel less alone in your obsession with...I mean, love for travel. ;)
A few Facebook travel groups I'm apart of: Girls Love Travel, Solo Female Traveler Network, Black Travel Movement, and Women Who Travel. Seeing so many other travel lovers really kept me inspired during hard days at work. It's was so refreshing to find out that others loved talking about travel, writing about travel, watching shows about travel, making travel a priority, and simply traveling as much as I did. These groups are filled with people from all walks of life and it has been so enriching to be a part of them.
SEEK OUT INSPIRATION
This point goes hand in hand with surrounding yourself with other travelers. If it wasn't for the internet, I doubt I'd be traveling full-time right now. I didn't know anyone who was doing it in my personal life, so it was never something I considered. Travel photos, writing, videos, etc. will keep you inspired & motivated to save up or finally take that trip you've always wanted. I used to spend hours & hours scrolling on Tumblr, reblogging travel photos that inspired me. Looking back, this left me with a constant glimmer of hope that I would be a traveler one day. When life becomes mundane, it can be easy to forget your deepest desires. Read books about travel, watch shows about travel, follow content creators in the online travel space, listen to podcasts about travel, etc. Doing so will be a constant reminder of your dream to see the world.
My biggest travel inspirations (at the moment):
DAMON AND JO - Hilarious, down-to-earth, budget-minded travelers. They will seriously make you want to be their best friend.
NAS DAILY - He makes daily 1 minute videos about the world and the people in it. So inspiring!
HONY - Stories about people around the world, reminding you that we are all more alike than we think.
ON SHE GOES - A podcast and blog by & for women of color to travel more confidently
PLANET EARTH - An incredible nature series documenting the beauty of our planet. AH-MAZING! A few episodes have even made me cry. Oh, & Season 2 was just released on Netflix!
The Alchemist - A short, easy read about a young shepherd boy who is on a journey to realize his "personal legend".
Shameless plug here! Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter or follow on social media if you want to receive consistent travel inspiration & information. I love helping out!
Maybe you don't want to necessarily travel the world. Maybe you're just looking for a quick break, some relaxation, or a weekend get-away. Either way, these are some tips that can help you make that desire a reality. From firsthand experience, I can honestly say that I haven't had a single regret about the time or money I've invested into making travel a major part of my life. In fact, it's been one of the greatest investments I've ever made for myself. If you want to travel more in 2018, I hope some of these tips can help make that goal a reality!
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Do You Have Travel Goals in 2018? If not, What's holding you back? Tell me below!