Traveling is one of the greatest ways to find joy in life. You can love your routine, your life and even where you work, but after a while, everyone needs a mental break. Stepping away and going somewhere completely different is the perfect way to do that.
At certain times of the year, that’s easier to say and do. During the summer, people go on lots of trips and you get to hear all about their adventures. They visit family, get away for a while or go to a romantic place with someone they love. Then when the weather starts to cool down, people get back to their normal lives and start planning the trip they’ll take next summer.
You don’t have to wait for summer to go where you want to go! Read on for tips so you can learn about how to become a year-round travel enthusiast. Take your passion and desire to travel and go make your dreams happen this year. It’s easier to do than you might think.
1. Be Spontaneous About Where You Go
When you want to travel, you probably have a desire to make sure every last detail is planned out. You’ll have to know when your plane leaves or what time you should start driving, where you’ll be staying and what there is to do around the area you’re going to. It’s easy to get stuck in the planning phase and get frustrated, ultimately giving up on the trip altogether.
This year, be spontaneous about where you go! Make a list of all your dream destinations and find a way to randomly pick a spot. Throw a dart at the list, do a coin toss or close your eyes, spin the list and point to a spot.
Better yet, don’t make a list at all. Take a moment to sit quietly with your heart and your dreams. What do you want to do or see the most, if you absolutely had to choose? Figure it out and find a place that can give you that.
2. Look for Money-Saving Services
One reason some people dread to travel is that it’s expensive. They don’t want to have to pay for plane tickets or overcharged hotel rooms when they can do a quick day trip to a cool museum in the next town over.
Traveling gets a bad rap for being expensive because it all depends on where you’re going and what time of year you go. The beach in the summer will cost more than the beach in the fall. It also depends on what resources you’re using to get your trip together.
Take some time to try out money saving services and compare them with what you’ve already found. You might surprise yourself with cheaper alternatives that won’t compromise on quality. It’s an extra step that will make future vacations so much more affordable.
3. Maximize Your PTO or Off-Time
If you work full time, you can’t take a vacation if you don’t have enough paid time off (PTO). All jobs are going to offer PTO slightly differently, so you can gauge for yourself how quickly yours adds up over the course of a few normal work weeks.
Maximize your off-time by scheduling major trips around holidays. You can also do little tricks like working through lunch and using that extra hour to leave early for a doctor’s appointment so you don’t need to waste PTO on anything that’s not a vacation.
4. Invest in Long-Term Travel Perks
If you’re trying to become a frequent traveler, there are a few long-term investments that can make that a lot easier. One example is signing up for a credit card that offers travel points. Many hotel chains also have free rewards programs to sign up for, and airlines offer frequent flier miles. You may also consider travel insurance, which covers unpredictable situations like losing your wallet abroad or experiencing a medical emergency while on a trip.
5. Research Year-Round Events
You don’t always have to travel to a place because of its destination. It’s fun to go to a new place and get to look forward to an event you won’t be able to experience anywhere else! Take a moment to check out festivals around the world to inspire your next trip. They’ll help guide you into year-round traveling.
6. Have a Friend Come Along
Traveling is always more intimidating when you go into it by yourself. Taking a trip alone can be good if you’re looking for quiet and some self-reflection, but if you’re looking to have fun, take your best friend with you.
Making memories is always better when you have someone to share it with! Your best friend or even a group of friends will work like a gym buddy too, keeping you pinned down to deadlines and encouraging you to do more than hang out at the hotel when you all get to your destination.
7. Don’t Focus on the Negatives
Even if you use all these tips, traveling is the same as any other time of life. Unexpected things can happen and cause negativity to interrupt your time away. Missed concerts or rained out tours pose the potential ruin your day, but don’t let them!
Having a bad vacation is really all about your mindset. No matter what time of year you travel, things can go wrong, so be prepared to think about the positives. Even if you don’t catch your plane on time or realize your trip might have been better in a different season, have fun where you are! In the end, you can look at the downsides as learning experiences for your next travel opportunity, and hey — you still got to travel and mark another experience down in your memory.
While summer is a great time to get out and see a new place, traveling is a fun experience no matter what time of the year it is. Use these tips to help you out along the way. Once you start traveling more often, you’ll wonder how you ever limited yourself so much before!