5 Ways You Can Travel More Frequently
Ahhhhhhh travel. I think we all have a bucket list of places around the world that we'd like to travel to some day. But why can't that someday be now? Not to be morbid or anything, but when I turn on the TV daily, I see so many stories of people just randomly dying (ok, maybe a little morbid.) But it's true. And one of the first things that I think about is, did they live their dreams? Were they happy? Did they have a bucket list, and if so, were they able to fulfill anything on that list? So when I turned 40, I just decided to go for it. I mean, I travelled a few times a year before I turned 40. But it wasn't until I was 40 that I decided that I'm gonna attempt to visit every country on my bucket list and blog about it. And I really couldn't be happier (that is a lie. Add a sexy husband to this mix, then we'll achieve absolute happiness.....and a million dollars!)
People ask me all the time how I'm able to travel so often. Soooooo being the sweet, generous giving person that I am, I've decided to give you guys some tips.
1. Take Weekend Trips
Like most people, I work a 9-5 job. I don't subscribe to the 'I just up and quit my job to travel!' Uggghhh Nope! I've got bills to pay. I'll leave that up to millennials who don't have to think about their retirement plans as yet. And with a 9-5, comes coveted vacation days. So you have to figure out how to make those vacation days stretch. Well, just book weekend trips! No one says that every time you go away that you have to go away for a whole week. You don't necessarily have to book Friday to Sunday either. You can book Friday to Monday, Thursday to Sunday. Quite frankly, if you're looking for a quick getaway to save your sanity, 2-4 days is really all you need to rejuvenate your life and prevent you from laying hands on your boss! Ha! (Please don't lay hands on your boss. I do not have bail money for you. I'd much prefer use that money to pay for a flight!) When you take weekends trips, you're only using 2 vacation days. If you book this weekend trip during a long weekend, you still get the 4 days, but only use 1 vacation day! Score!
2. Don't Book All Inclusive
Now listen; No one likes the comfort of reaching your destination and not having to worry about a thing more than me. I really don't enjoy landing somewhere and not knowing how I'm gonna get to my hotel. When I was travelling to Costa Rica, on my way to the airport in Toronto I realized that there was no shuttle to my hotel included in my package. So I immediately pre booked a shuttle online, because my hotel was 1.5 hours away from the airport, and I didn't want to get there and be stuck. When I got to Costa Rica, I met a young millennial couple who travelled to Costa Rica for the first time as well. They had no transportation arranged, and they were staying in the same area that I was. So I suggested that they could get a ride with my car and chip in for the cost. They responded 'nah, we don't really wanna spend any money. We're just gonna find a bus and see how far we can get.' Whaaaaattt??? Nope. Not me. Clearly these type of daredevils aren't the ones to pack Pepto Bismol, sensible shoes and A535 in case the old knee acts up like me!
Am I not supposed to be talking about all inclusives? I think the point I'm making is that there is a difference when booking all inclusive, or not. Generally all inclusives cover everything. But it really isn't that bad to make some arrangements yourself like I did with the shuttle.
Also, why travel all the way to Mexico or Dominican Republic only to eat American food every day? When you don't do all inclusive; A: it can be a lot cheaper. And B: You get to immerse yourself in the food and culture of the country that you're in. Some of the best food that I've eaten on my travels are restaurants that locals recommended. You don't get that experience locked up at an all inclusive. I'm not throwing shade at all inclusives (because the open bar is sweet!), but sometimes just stretch yourself a bit out of your comfort zone.
3. Try an Air Bnb or Hostel
I know, I know. Some of you haven't seen the light as yet. I get it. It took me awhile to jump on this trend too. To be honest, I still kinda prefer hotels. However, if you are looking to save some serious cash, you might want to give Air BnB a try. It's pretty much people who put apartments or houses up for rent for a specific period of time. Some people hate resorts. They feel disconnected from the culture of wherever they're visiting. Air BnB's are perfect for that. You're in the thick of things. You're mostly surrounded by locals, and the local culture.
Another option is to stay at hostels. Please, don't close your browser and roll your eyes. Hostels have improved over the years. Some of them look like the nice 2.5/3 star hotels that we book when we're on a budget (I'm not being a snob or anything, but I'm more of a 4/5 star girl.) Now please don't ask me to recommend any hostels because I have not stayed at any. I'm not sure that I will. But I'm giving you options here. I don't want anyone going to a hostel, then coming back and telling me they were jacked by a gang of backpackers! These opinions are my own. I am not responsible!! Ha! All jokes aside, if you're okay with lower budget hotels; hostels and Air BnB's might really work well for you. And just to be clear, Air BnB is not all budget residences. There are properties for every budget. Some properties are very luxurious.
4. Take Connecting Flights
I'm gonna kindly ask you to unscrew your face! They really aren't that bad! (smirks) Like most of you, I'm a nonstop flight snob too. I just wanna get there! But if you're willing to do a connecting flight, you can save yourself a few bucks.
Now there are pros and cons for taking connecting flights. The cons: Long layovers. I get it. No one wants to sit for hours waiting for a flight to get to their destination. However, why not turn that into a positive? If your layover is long enough, you can leave the airport and explore a new country! Why not? Live a little! And you can showoff to your friends about how many countries you've visited, when some of them you've only been there for a few hours!!! lol
Another con is that your luggage can turn up missing. I remember one year I was going to Jamaica for New Years Eve. Literally, I flew into the island on New Years Eve ready to ring in the new year. We all know how expensive it is to travel around the holidays, so I booked a connecting flight. Well, I arrived in Jamaica ready to party, unfortunately my luggage didn't make my connecting flight. New Years Eve with no clothes to change into!!!!!! Yikes! I was freaking out. Thankfully my suitcase came in just enough time for me to pick it up from the airport, change, and get to the club at 11:48pm, with just enough time to grab a drink and ring in the new year. I'd love to offer a pro here, but uggghhhh yea, it sucks! You gotta take the good with the bad.
5. Save Money
Just to be clear, travel is not cheap. But you also can't wait until 'you have enough money saved' either. Some people will never have enough saved. The kids need shoes, the house needs a new roof etc. So there are ways to save everyday to ensure that travel is a priority. At work, I save money every pay cheque with friends. We started in January, and every pay cheque everyone gives me $20. By the end of the year, we'll have saved $500 each! That $500 is a flight, spending money, a hotel bill. And really, are you gonna miss $20 from each pay cheque? There's also the typical ways to save money like packing lunches instead of buying, instead of monthly gym memberships (which we probably only use for 2 months then slack off), do in home workouts or go run outside. For everything that you want in life, you have to make sacrifices. I've missed many events, parties and concerts because for me, saving for travel was way more important. These celebrities are rich already! I gotta save my coins to live that jet setter life!
I hope this was helpful. I hope it answered a lot of your questions that you have every time you see me post that I'm off to somewhere else. This is how I do it!
Let me know some of your tips, on how you're able to travel!