“How do you have the time to travel when you work a 9-5 job?”
“How can you afford to travel so often?”
I get asked these two questions frequently. The simple answer is: I just make it work. Travel has always been important to me, and you can read about how I got into travel here. It’s a conscious effort I have made to prioritize travel over many other things. In this article, I share life and travel tips, tricks, and advice I live by. I hope it helps you get out and see more of this beautiful world!
How To Make Travel A Priority & See More Of The World
Originally published in April ’16
Work longer days Monday-Thursday and take long weekends
I work as a home health Speech Therapist so my schedule is reasonably flexible. I cram my full-time schedule into a four day work week so that I can take more long weekends and trips. This does mean that I end up working after hours at home too, but I think it is worth it.
Try to plan trips in advance
It has been challenging adjusting to 2-3 weeks paid leave here in America, as opposed to 4+ weeks in Australia (more Public Holiday’s as well as generous paid time off). Planning trips 1-2 months in advance allows for ample research time to make sure I can fit the most into those 2-3 weeks. Booking car rental, accommodation, and flights early will save a decent amount of money. Many campsites, hiking permits, and tourism attractions will book out in advance too.
Explore locations nearby to home
Here in Colorado, we have an abundance of natural beauty surrounding us. You often don’t have to travel far to feel like you have escaped the everyday. In addition to this my husband and I often road trip to neighboring states (Utah, Wyoming), which are both a manageable drive for even for a short 3-4 day trip. Buying a National Park Pass will also save you money in the long run if you are lucky to live nearby a park or travel frequently (after 4 visits you have your money back).
Don’t waste money
I don’t eat out more than 1-2 times a week, I don’t think a million coffees a day, I pack my lunch, I buy things on sale, and I don’t buy things for the sake of buying things. Simplicity is always the best answer anyway. When my husband and I moved to America we took 6 suitcases between the two of us (and now I realize that it was probably too much stuff). We have made an effort to only buy necessities since relocating and try not to accumulate clutter. This helps us save money and spend it on the more important stuff.
Traveling during off-peak periods will save you a lot of money. Plus you are more likely to get the most sought after camping spots.
Go without stuff
I personally would much rather take a trip to Iceland then upgrade my iPad (when I have a perfectly good iPad). Sometimes we think our lives will be so much better if we have some new whiz-bang piece of technology, and sometimes it can make a big impact on your life, but so will a vacation. It is often about priorities. Buy that iPad if it’s more important to you, but don’t complain you can’t afford to take a vacation.
See travel as a necessity
If I don’t at least get out somewhere local every weekend I go crazy. Once you start treating travel like it has a strong presence in your life, it will do exactly that.
Travel with someone else
My travel partner is usually my husband, but traveling with anyone will save you money. You can split food, hotels, camping spots, car rental, gas, etc. As I am writing this very line I am sharing a chai latte with my husband, it’s delicious by the way.
Ask for travel-related gifts for birthdays and holidays
Need to buy luggage or a plane ticket? Ask for contribution towards these instead of that knitted sweater you really didn’t need or want. Ask for that sleeping bag you will need on your upcoming backpacking trip, or that train pass to get you around Europe… you get the idea.