They’re right when they say there’s nothing better than laying your head on your own soft pillow after traveling. It’s a moment of sweet relief once you’re rid of that stale airplane scent and safely in your personal oasis of sheets. You are so happy to be home and for awhile you wish you could stay in bed forever.
But then you wake up. You’re tired from traveling but a part of you wishes you could go back. Instead you’re going to work or you’re going to school and it was so much better being on vacation. So you get a second cup of coffee before noon and you’re nostalgic before the sun sets.
It’s great to be home but you’d already rather be somewhere.
That’s what happens in your twenties. Whether you’re a social butterfly or a homebody… There’s some innate part of us that wants to see the world, even if we go a few counties or a few countries over to see it. We love to be home, but we’re always thinking about where we’re going next. And we should.
We should strive to see as much as we possibly can before too many responsibilities tie us down. While we have some wiggle room to be a little wild we should take advantage of our freedom. But how do we do this when we’re just starting a career or barely paying our rent? We find ways to make it work, because travel is priceless in the long run.
If this wanderlust gene is in you then these are tips for your escape when “home” simply isn’t enough:
1. Travel Where Friends Are Living. This way you’re not spending money on a hotel, you’re getting a complimentary tour guide, and you get to catch up with someone you’ve probably meant to 20+ texts ago.
2. Stay In Hostels Where Friends Aren’t. If you really want to go to Madrid and no friends live there… Book a hostel. I spent only $50 for two nights in one of the world’s best hostels in Lisbon.
3. Search The Internet for A Deal. You can find great hotel deals if you’re not sold on hostels via Living Social, Groupon, Gilt, or coupon sites.
4. Buy A Portable Charger. We get it… We’re tied to our phones; don’t miss out on anything by having to go back to your hotel for a charger. Carry a portable one for constant battery.
5. Travel Rewards Credit Card. If you haven’t done this yet… What are you waiting for? From using one I’ve already gotten two free flights this year and still have points left over for another. So worth it.
6. Research Your Trip Beforehand. Have a list of things that would cause epic FOMO if you missed out on them. A quick google search goes a long way.
7. Leave Room in Your Suitcase. Make sure there’s some room in your luggage for the treasures that come back with you.
8. Walk Whenever Possible. It’ll make your budget happy, give you another reason to get dessert, and allow you to see far more than from the window in a cab.
9. Screenshot Maps Before Losing Wi-Fi. Don’t make the same mistake I did when I lost service in the NYC subway and went the wrong direction for 45 minutes before realizing it.
10. Almost Always Bring a Jacket. Your mom is 99.9% right about bringing your jacket. Whether it’s on site or on the plane. You’re always going to wish you brought it if you haven’t.
11. Friday-Sunday Trips Are Ideal. Make your vacation days last by taking a late night flight out on Thursday or early Friday. That way you only use one PTO and have ample time to explore a city. Plus, it’s easier on everyone’s schedule you’re traveling with/to.
12. Combine International Travel With Holidays. Plan trips around days you’ll already have off of work. This will allow you to extend your vacation and not accrue too many emails since everyone is OOTO.
13. Forget About Any Diets. “When on vacation” is a hard fast food rule. It should be a crime to order a water and a salad. C’mon, have that glass of wine and the meal the city is known for regardless of calories.
14. Don’t Be Afraid To Get A Little Lost. Ideally you should plan ahead, but always allow for a little spontaneity. Let loose and see how the world will surprise you (maybe you’ll surprise yourself, too).
15. Focus On Experiencing Versus Instagramming. Share memories and laughter instead of a Snapchat. Post later (like on the flight back).
16. Enroll In Pre-Check. I never considered this until recently when I realized how much time I waste in the TSA line. For a fee of only $85 this is so necessary.
17. Invest In Good Luggage. I have a special relationship with my carry on because how far and wide we’ve traveled. Invest in luggage that lasts.
18. Comfort Over Style. You want to look cute for every photo and in case you fall in love with a foreign stranger; but it’s even better to be able to walk for hours without blisters or having to adjust something. Dress with ease to make the vacation easy.
So, where are you booking your next ticket to?