If you’re anything like me, sometimes you scroll through your Instagram and see a beautiful shot of some exotic land and get this incredible sense of wanderlust. You then get sucked into this tremendous rabbit hole of travel sites and accounts and swear that someday you’re going to leave everything behind and travel the world!
Let me burst your bubble. It’s never going to happen.
Before you get all mad at me and stop reading, let me explain.
Again, if you’re anything like me, your motivation dies just as quickly as grew. When you start researching how much everything will cost and the figure goes from the hundreds to thousands, your “I will” turns into “I wish.” You determine that only rich people get to travel and go back to sitting on your couch, watching travel shows and daydreaming. (This has literally happened to me more times than I care to count.)
You see, the problem isn’t the “want.” The “want” is the easy part. The problem is our priorities. When you truly want something, you’ll make it a priority. It’s easy to want something great, but then when we see the work it takes, the appeal diminishes. Let’s be real – my generation hasn’t really been equipped to stick things out. (No offense, guys, but it’s the truth.)
You still with me? If you are (yay), you’re probably wondering why I wrote such a discouraging blog post.
Well, calm down. I’ve got some solutions!
1. Be Realistic – Traveling is not only for the super-rich, but your expectations have to match your financial level. I’m no accountant, but I can tell you that if you’re only looking to stay in 5-star resorts, spend your every day on yachts and private jets, and eat fine dining, then you need to be making well above $30,000 a year. (Like WAY above that.) Once you understand that your accommodations won’t be lavish, then you can move on to the next step.
2. Assess your spending. – Seriously, look at what the heck you’re spending your money on. Track it for a week or do what I did. I printed out my bank statement for the last 30 days and highlighted every transaction I knew was a coffee, snack, meal, or something that at the time I considered a very small purchase. After I added it all up, I was floored at how much I had spent, at least in that month. It was basically another monthly phone bill. (I have Verizon so it’s not cheap.)
3. Save! – So this is definitely easier said than done. Remember how in step 2 you realized everything you were spending your money on? Now, when you resist the urge to buy that coffee (or whatever it may be), instead of just patting yourself on the back, take the money you would have spent on the money and move it out of your account. Put it in your savings, or under your mattress, or in your coffee jar, or wherever you know you won’t touch it. If you don’t take it out, you’re just going to spend it on something else. It doesn’t matter if it was only $4 or $5. It will add up quicker than you know.
4. Do your research. – Quick story: My friends and I went to Puerto Rico last year. On that trip we decided to go Las Cuevas de Camuy, which were these really pretty caverns located in the northwest part of the island. The entrance was $12 per person and we got a really nice tour of the caves. It was just a really cool experience. Out of curiosity, I looked up tours on TripAdvisor to the same place. They ranged anywhere from $150-$200 per person! The worst part is they got the exact same tour we did! There was nothing special about the tour except that you got there on a big bus and maybe they gave you lunch. The bottom line is that most places you can explore on your own for much less than booking a tour and get the same, if not better, experience. Don’t just book the first thing you see.
5. Go with a group! They say the more the merrier right? Going with a group of friends is not only fun, but it can help when you split the costs among yourselves. There are some cruiselines that make the per person cost much cheaper if you book a larger group. Again, do your research!
Look, I know there are other factors that may be stopping you, like debt or fear of the unknown (I’ll talk about both of those in another blog post). If you keep finding reasons why you can’t go, then you never will.
I want you to prove me wrong, though. I want you to comment on this post and say “In your face! I made it happen! Screw you, photographer-blogger-vlogger girl!” (Well, you don’t have to say that exactly, but you know what I mean.)
Do you have any travel goals for the year?