Perhaps, you’re feeling stuck in your job, too broke to pay for a plane ticket or even trapped with your kids in your tiny hometown. Traveling seems like a distant activity for retirement, yet you feel deep down that you shouldn’t wait to explore the world. You want to learn how to travel more now.
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Despite common disbelief, you are more than capable of traveling now — regardless of your academic, financial and relational situations.
At the end of the day, the means to travel more is merely a mindset shift. It does not always require a winning lottery ticket, a job change or to wait until you’re an empty-nester.
So, between these tips on how to travel more for less, how to travel more with a full-time job and how to travel more with kids (plus some travel more quotes to spark inspiration), here’s exactly how you can travel more this year.
1. Shift your travel mindset.
The secret to travel more often is to shift your mindset from travel as a luxury to travel as a necessity. When you do this, you will budget, ask off work and prioritize family travel accordingly.
To dive deeper into this essential mindset shift, let’s discuss why travel is a necessity rather than a luxury.
First, the only person who has the ability to change your life — and, therefore, how often you travel — is you. Although this fact sounds intimidating, it is actually completely liberating. If you want to travel more, you have the power to do so.
Second, traveling more is not something that should wait until retirement for several reasons. A, you will not be nearly as physically able to explore in your retirement years. B, you will probably not be as financially able to travel in retirement as you hope. And, C, there’s (sadly) no guarantee that you’ll live until retirement.
Third, if you never take time to do what you love, you will build resentment. And, even though you’re the only one at fault for not doing more of what you love, you will likely take this resentment out on everything but yourself — namely your work, boss, spouse, kids, etc. This, unfortunately, is a part of human nature.
Finally, traveling is actually an investment in yourself. Travel is an investment in your energy, your education, your relationships, your communication skills, your overall quality of life and more. In fact, traveling and the cultural competence that comes alongside has numerous benefits in everyday life.
2. Learn how to travel more for less.
Speaking of investment, traveling more can be very expensive. But, it can also be really cheap.
Here’s how to travel more for less.
Travel during off season.
High seasons bring high prices.
Consider traveling during your destination’s off season or shoulder season (the months at the very beginning and end of the off season). These seasons will have significantly lower flight and accommodations costs.
Similarly, traveling around spring break and winter break will be expensive because everyone is traveling during those times. Instead, opt for the beginnings of each school semester if you can. No one travels the first two weeks of school, which is perfect for us budget travelers.
Use currency exchange rates to your advantage.
When people say, “It’s so cheap to travel to [destination],” they don’t actually mean that the country itself is cheap. What they’re actually saying, whether they know it or not, is that their home country’s currency is worth a lot in that particular destination.
Thus, they are able to travel more for less in that destination.
Some of these destinations include countries in southeast Asia and the Middle East. In fact, you and a friend could easily spend an entire month traveling around Bali, staying in a villa and eating out for every meal, for less than $2000 USD.
Never pay full price for accommodations.
Never book hotels or resorts for full price – ever.
Don’t be afraid of third-party booking sites. These sites are especially great for last-minute booking, as they offer hotels’ leftover open rooms for a huge discount. (At the end of the day, hotels would prefer giving a discount over having an empty room.) My favorite site is Hotwire.
Likewise, don’t be afraid of vacation packages. My husband and I honeymooned in Tahiti and Bora Bora for an entire week in an overwater bungalow with flights and most meals included for just $2500 USD each — all thanks to Costco Travel’s vacation packages.
Otherwise, Airbnb and hostels are fantastic budget accommodation options, too.
Don’t be afraid of public transportation.
Always use public transportation when available. It’s not as scary as it seems.
I swear by the Citymapper app to get me around foreign cities on public transportation. The app acts as a GPS and tells you exactly how to walk to the correct bus/metro stops, which subway platforms to stand at and, of course, when to get off. It’s incredible.
When public transportation is not available, try walking or Uber. Avoid unnecessary taxis or car rentals if you can.
Save money on vacation food.
Raise your right hand and repeat after me: “I will not eat out for every meal on my trip.”
Choose one night to treat yourself to dinner and/or drinks, and for the rest of the trip, find a grocery store.
If grocery prices are higher where you’re going, bring granola bars and snacks from home. Buy your fresh and smash-able foods (breads, fruits, etc.) there.
Moreover, buy plenty of groceries so that your hunger doesn’t tempt you to go out for food. You’ll probably be hungrier than normal from swimming, hiking and other activities, so always buy more at the grocery store than you think you’ll need.
Open a travel credit card.
As long as you treat your credit card like a debit card (not spending more than you have, paying the balances on time every month, etc.), you can earn points to travel for free. Yes, free.
I highly recommend the Capital One Venture card (two+ points per dollar spent on every purchase) for travel-hacking first-timers or an airline/hotel-specific card if you’re brand loyal.
Also, if you have a large purchase coming up, such as a new phone, computer, home renovations, etc., strategically open the card before said purchase, and put the purchase on the card. This will help you get the opening bonus points, which usually equate to $500-$1200 USD in flights for free.
For more information on traveling when you’re broke, click here.
3. Learn how to travel more with a full-time job.
Now, here’s how to travel with a full-time job.
Maximize your PTO.
Instead of taking one day off here and there, take a week off so you can travel further away for longer. This will allow you to go places outside of your home state and country.
Additionally, plan to use your PTO around national holidays and long weekends, so you can add more days to your trip without using more PTO. For example, if you plan a trip on the week before Labor Day in the U.S., you can add three more days to your trip (the weekend plus Labor Day Monday), without using more PTO.
If you prefer local travel, I suggest you use most of your PTO on Thursdays and Fridays, or Mondays and Tuesdays, so you can effectively utilize your weekends.
Maximize your weekends.
Speaking of weekends, you would be surprised with how much ground you can cover in only a couple days.
Take regular weekend trips, or even day trips, to drivable or easily flyable destinations. These short trips will quench your wanderlust in between larger trips.
And, yes, in case you were wondering, day and weekend trips are still worth your time and money!
Set the expectation that travel is a priority.
Set the expectation that travel is a priority in your life with your employer as soon as possible. (Maybe not during your interview, but as soon as otherwise possible. Ha!)
If your boss knows you’re a traveler, he or she will never be surprised when you ask to take off work. This will also help alleviate any pressure you feel to not take time off.
Negotiate more PTO.
You already know salaries are negotiable, but did you know PTO is negotiable too?
Usually, employers are even more willing to negotiate PTO than they are willing to negotiate higher salaries. Use this knowledge to your advantage. Negotiate for more PTO.
Lastly, requesting to work remotely often sounds way too good to be true. However, believe it or not, the majority of jobs today can be done successfully from a remote location.
Obviously, some jobs (namely, office jobs) can be completed remotely much easier than other jobs (physicians, trade work, etc.).
But, I challenge you to brainstorm ways in which you can work in person less anyway. This could mean working more overtime when you aren’t traveling, taking regular sabbaticals, accepting travel work opportunities or starting your own entrepreneurial endeavor.
If you’re even the slightest bit interested in working remotely, regardless of your job, I highly recommend reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. This book will show you exactly how to work remotely step-by-step.
4. Learn how to travel more with kids.
Obviously, this point may or may not be applicable to you. Heck, it’s not even totally applicable to me.
Although I’ve never had kids of my own, I can speak from the kids’ point of view. My family traveled a lot when I was younger, and I wish more parents gave kids the experiences that my parents gave me.
From my point of view, here’s how to travel more with kids.
Make travel a priority in your budget.
First and foremost, clearly budget plays a large role in how often you travel — especially when you’re traveling with kids. Traveling with kids means more flights to pay for, more hotel rooms to pay for and more activities to pay for. The costs add up fast.
To counter the expenses, it’s imperative that you make travel a priority in your personal budget. I talk a lot about making travel a priority in my how to save money to travel blog post, and I have an entire post about how to budget for travel, which goes over my exact personal budget that incorporates travel.
Make travel a priority in your time and energy.
Furthermore, you have to make travel a priority in your time and energy.
Just like money, your time and energy are spent (again, especially with kids). It’s up to you how you choose to spend the remainder of your time and energy after caretaking.
The next time you want to sit down and watch TV, go to YouTube and watch some travel vlogs about your dream destination. This will still be relaxing, but it will inspire you to take action toward travel at the same time.
Understand the benefits travel has on kids.
On a psychological level, going abroad, experiencing new stimuli and exposure to new languages all have an incredibly positive impact on a child’s brain.
According to experts, traveling promotes childhood psychological development, makes kids more empathetic and culturally competent, and makes kids more adaptable as adults. The notion that kids should not travel because they need stability is simply a projection of the parents’ fear and avoidance of travel.
My sisters and I are living proof of this. Out of all our peers, my sisters and I are some of the most adaptable, culturally aware and driven people I know.
Understand the benefits travel has on family as a whole.
Moreover, traveling together gives your family the rare opportunity to hang out. No work or home-related stress can get in the way of your time together when you’re away from home.
Don’t overlook this seemingly minuscule perk of traveling with kids!
5. Make plans, budget accordingly and go.
Finally, make plans, set a budget and, ultimately, go.
As aforementioned, you are the only person responsible for how often you travel. Whether you plan an entire trip in one sitting, read a Travel And Leisure article, or watch an educational travel vlog, take action today in some way.
Here are some quick resources and quotes to motivate you to start your life as a frequent traveler.
- How To Budget For Travel In 9 Easy Steps
- How To Save Money To Travel: Tips For When You’re Broke
- 10 Attainable New Year’s Resolutions To Travel More This Year
- 5 Benefits Of Cultural Competence In Everyday Life
- Personal Item Packing List: Essentials For A Great Flight
20 Travel More Quotes To Inspire You
- “We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.” -Anonymous
- “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” -Anonymous
- “Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.” -David Avocado Wolfe
- “Travel is an investment in yourself.” -Nyssa P. Chopra
- “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” -Dalai Lama
- “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” -Dolly Parton
- “Travel brings power and love back to your life.” -Rumi
- “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” -Augustine of Hippo
- “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” -Babs Hoffman
- “So much world, so little time.” -Anonymous
- “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” -Mark Twain
- “Not all classrooms have four walls.” -Anonymous
- “Travel far enough you meet yourself.” -David Mitchell
- “I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on Earth. Then I ask myself the same question.” -Harun Yahya
- “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” -Oprah Winfrey
- “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu
- “The best education you will ever get is traveling. Nothing teaches you more than exploring the world and accumulating experiences.” -Mark Patterson
- “Every hundred feet the world changes.” -Roberto Bolano
- “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” -Gustave Flaubert
- “Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures.” -Lovelle Drachman
Have any questions about how to travel more? Leave a reply below or send me a private message on Instagram. I’m here to help!
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How To Budget For Travel In 9 Easy Steps
How To Save Money To Travel: Tips For When You’re Broke
10 Attainable New Year’s Resolutions To Travel More This Year
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