I often get asked how I can travel so much and people are usually amazed when I tell them I’ve just booked another trip. It seems a lot of people think that traveling is for the super wealthy or simply beyond their grasp. To be honest, I used to feel the same way. I’d dream of the places I wanted to go but never knew how to get there. Really the first step in making it happen was realizing I didn’t need to dream about it and to start doing something about it. My first “trip” was to Austin, Texas. It was simply a matter of taking advantage of an opportunity and going for it. Since then I’ve learned how to make travel more of a priority in life because it’s important to me. The more places I go and the more things I see the more I want to do.
Make it a priority
Travel isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer to spend their time and money elsewhere, which is totally okay. For me, once I started making travel a priority in my life the other things became less of a focus and traveling became more of a possibility. I spend more time thinking and planning trips than I do following latest fashion trends or planning my fantasy football line up. There is nothing wrong with either of those things, but I love traveling and making it a priority makes it achievable.
Breaking (most) money-sucking habits
I rarely buy $5 coffees. I try not to go out all the time. I avoid ordering Seamless. I bring my lunch instead of getting $11 salads. I’m not perfect at this. I live in NYC so happy hours and brunch are basically a requirement. I try to strike a good balance between staying social but also saving money. Some people completely forgo all of these things in order to afford traveling which works too!
Take advantage of 3 Day weekends
There are a lot of trips you can take in a 3 day weekend. Save vacation days to tack onto days you already have off and head somewhere in the US (or whatever country you live in). There are great places that are short flights away that you can see without quitting your job or taking a sabbatical. I visited Austin, New Orleans, Denver, Napa and Nashville all on 3 day weekends. Travel can be done in short timeframes.
Chase the sales
Finding cheap airfare is also a huge way I travel. I follow blogs like The Points Guy religiously keeping an eye out for airline sales. I bought my ticket to Barbados during one of Jet Blue’s famous winter sales for $200 round trip. I honestly had never even thought of going there until I saw the sale. But like I say, I want to go everywhere, so I’ll go anywhere first. That was actually my first international trip!
Finally take the time to visit your college roommate who is from Seattle. Or go hang out with your high school best friend who moved to Miami. It’s a great way to combine catching up with the people you love and having a free place to stay! I have an amazing friend I met while living in NYC who had to move back to London. I went to visit him and got in my first trip to Europe. I got to hang out with him and he also gave me the local guide to the incredible city of London. He even took me on a road trip to Bath (a beautiful place I highly recommend visiting)! I have a former coworker who just moved to Malta so I’m trying to plan a mini-Euro trip from there this summer as well.
There are simple changes in your life you can take to make traveling more affordable, but above all it’s a mental thing. I take advantage of opportunities and I pull the trigger when the time comes. I used to let fear and indecision stop me from going buying the ticket or even being open to new places. Now when someone says they want to go to Curacao, I say when not oh that would be cool someday (now I’m going in March). If there are places you’ve dreamed of seeing, do it! There is not time like the present. Where is somewhere you want to see and how are you going to make it happen?