“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous
Have you ever wanted to see the world but financial problems held you
back? Have you ever dreamed about traveling but you just can’t seem to find the
time to take a trip? Hectic schedules and financial issues are some of the biggest
reasons why people do not travel and at first glance, these problems may seem
unsolvable. Trust me, I am a college student. I totally get it but trust me, even people with a low income can travel the world if they practice discipline. Once you commit to following some of these easy steps on how to make time and save money, your worries will be a lot easier to conquer and defeat. So if one of your greatest dreams is to travel, do not give up on them because of financial issues or busy schedules. Instead, implement some of these tips into your own life and watch your dreams of traveling become a reality. It’s hard to have the discipline to sacrifice the little stuff now for the big stuff later, but believe me it is oh so worth it! All of that time and energy that you put into saving and planning will all be worth it when you get to see the Eiffel Tower at night, or take a ride on the Orient Express, or drift your cares away while floating on top of the Dead Sea.
P.S. I know the title of this post makes traveling sound like some sort of Disney fairytale, but honestly, it really is and nothing feels better than knowing that you helped make those dreams come true for yourself! Be your own hero and make your life happen!
Unlike many other countries across the world, only a small percentage of
the American population travel outside of North America. By far, the top two
excuses for why Americans do not travel are that they cannot afford it and they
do not have the time. However, both of these excuses are myths. Traveling to
another country does not have to be expensive or time consuming. You can
create the trip of your lifetime by simply researching, planning, and saving.
Get Creative: Research Different Places!
The idea that traveling has to be expensive is a myth. With the proper
research and self-discipline, anyone can travel. Researching has two parts. The
first thing to do is research places that you can see yourself traveling to. If your
heart is not set on one specific location and you are willing to travel anywhere
new, research places that are financially cheap but experience rich. Places like
Thailand, Bali, Costa Rica, and India tend to be places that do not require an
extensive amount of money to travel to. If you do have a specific destination in
mind, research different travel agencies and find the best deals and options for
your life and budget. Once you find a trip where the cost seems to be attainable,
start using these tips to figure out the best ways for you to save up to travel.
Pull Out That Piggy Bank and Save:
The first step towards saving money for the trip of your dreams is to be
realistic and set short and long term goals. Know what kind of destinations and
trips can actually work for your budget because if you know it can be attainable,
you are more likely to stick to your savings plan. In addition, think of ways to
remind yourself why you are doing this. This could be anything from hanging up
pictures or maps to reading literature by foreign authors; anything that will keep
you encouraged and on the right track towards your goal. Once you do this,
choose some of these tips to help you save money:
- Make a Wants/Needs List: stick to buying only what you need and save the
money you usually spend on wants towards your dream trip.
- Start a specific travel fund– make a separate account solely for your trip
and make it a goal not to use that money for anything else.
- Spend less on lunch or drinks– skip your daily trip to Starbucks and fast
food and make your coffee and lunch at home. Then, take the money that
you save and put it in your trip fund.
- Try to kick unhealthy/ expensive habits– not only does quitting smoking
and excessive drinking help your body, but it also helps your wallet.
Smoking is extremely draining to your finances.
- Stay at home more often– constantly going to bars and clubs can seriously
damage your bank. So find ways to have fun with your friends at home
without breaking your bank.
- Stay away from financially irresponsible people– watching your friends
constantly waste money on buying the newest technology or the fanciest
clothes can drastically influence your spending habits in a negative way. Do
not let other people’s financial habits derail your hard earned travel savings
- Stop waiting on the perfect time to appear– if you wait for the perfect time
to travel, you never will. You have to put in the effort to find time to make
traveling a reality for you. Like they say, Carpe Diem, my friends!
Carve Out “You” Time:
Once you have the financial means to take your trip, do not let a busy schedule
stop you from taking it. It is a common misconception that people who work full-
time or have a family do not have time to take a vacation. The fact is that many
people who work full-time and have a household of kids do travel, but it takes
discipline. It may seem difficult or impossible to do, but with patience, you can
find the time to take the trip of a lifetime. Traveling does not have to be a seven-
week long trip. In fact, you can go to multiple countries in less than one! Again,
the key is finding out what works best for you personally, and then having the
self-discipline to make it work. Here are some tips to help you find and make time
- Turn your three-day weekend into a four or five-day getaway– if you get
off a week for Christmas and New Year’s, combine it with your yearly vacation time to give yourself a three-week long trip or tack on a few extra days to a long weekend.
- Make the most out of your weekends– sometimes those two day trips can be some of the best adventures.
- Write it down– make yourself pick a date and put it in writing. You are
much more likely follow a commitment if it is in writing.
- Mix business and pleasure– if you already have to travel somewhere for
work, add on a few days at the end to take time to travel for yourself
before you come back.
As you can see, traveling does not have to be expensive or time consuming.
By simply taking the time to research your options and find a trip that can be
tailored perfectly to your financial state and schedule, you can travel to places
you have only ever dreamed about. Most importantly, have fun with it! Just because you’re preparing to travel doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with it! The hardest part of traveling is having the discipline and courage to step out of your comfort zone and make your dreams come true on your own. Never let the excuse of money or time keep you from traveling to places you have always wanted to see. The knowledge that you gain and the memories that you will acquire from traveling will make all of your hard work and preparation worthwhile.
I’ll leave you with this little nugget of wisdom:“Twenty Years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.” – Mark Twain
-The Traveling Brunette