I could have also titled this “How to Travel More When You Only Get a Week of Vacation Each Year (Thanks Corporate America)”
- Figure out what you want from travel
Knowing what you like will help you choose activities that can simulate the feeling of being on a vacation. Are you looking for fun, relaxation, learning, food, nature, etc?
2. Start small
I mean really small like: pick one new activity small. There are a lot of options right at our feet in the place we currently live. Doing a fun new activity can give you that travel feeling without breaking the bank or requiring vacation time. For example, wine tasting is a very popular activity to do while traveling. Checking out a local winery one afternoon or evening can satisfy the travel bug in you. Also, while traveling I love finding breathtaking views. Challenge yourself to spend a couple hours hunting down the best view in the area. For example, when I lived in Indiana I didn’t have to travel far to enjoy a beer at the top of the John Hancock building with all of Chicago below me. I felt like I was on vacation but I was 30 minutes away from home. Another option would be to check out a local museum. Museum hopping is always on a traveler’s to do list, taking time to learn and to better understand the area. Doing things like this is a great start on your path of making more time in your life for travel.
3. Utilize the “day trip”
Unless you live in a truly remote area, you probably have access to at least a few new experiences within a short distance. Do some research about what is within a 2-3 hour drive or train ride from you. Using public transportation is another way to feel like you’re traveling and to get that “I’m excited to be going somewhere” feeling. For example, Ollie and I plan on taking the train 45 minutes north to Oceanside to spend a day sampling new restaurants, bars, and shops (is that not what you do when you travel to new cities in other countries?!) Another day trip we did involved driving a little over an hour to the gold rush town of Julian, CA. Experiencing a new area (even for a day) can work wonders and help cure your inner travel bug.
4. Expand to a weekend trip
Now that you are comfortable making time to try new activities and go on day trips, add an overnight stay to the mix and spend the whole weekend somewhere. Waking up in a bed that isn’t your own will totally give you the travel feeling you desire. If you are willing to take a short flight you will add many location options to your list of possibilities. Ollie and I just recently weekended in LA. Another weekend, we flew to Sacramento to check out Northern CA and go wine tasting in Napa. We also want to spend the night in Palm Springs soon. All of these things will happen without taking any time off work, yet we will still get the feeling of escaping reality.
5. Plan in advance
In American culture, getting time off work isn’t as simple as it should be. This being said, you do need to plan in advance for longer trips.
6. Commit to travel
If there’s somewhere you’re dying to go, make it happen. I do understand that life can get in the way sometimes which is completely understandable, but to make dreams a reality you do have to do some work to achieve that and make sacrifices. For example, my college bestie and I have had a trip to Iceland planned for over 6 years. We haven’t given up on it, and 2017 will be the year we finally commit and give it a whole week of our time, meaning that we will have to miss out on other trips and will have to postpone travel plans with other people. It’s a sacrifice we are both willing to make because we’ve wanted it for so long.
7. Save money
Unfortunately, none of this is free. You will have to budget, and opening a savings account is a good idea. A travel credit card can also help if it is an option. The card I use bought my flight to Australia later this year.
8. Relax and live in the moment
You don’t have to be gone for 3 months on a huge, expensive trip to feel inspired by the world. Make every moment of relaxation count that you do get. Be curious. Having periods of disconnection from the internet is also a great practice.
9. Don’t be afraid to try something new
Yes, you know the place you go every year is great, but maybe it’s time to give somewhere else a chance and experience something new. Do that thing you’ve always been meaning to.
Now… get up and go 🙂 and comment where you’re headed below!
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