Everyday when you scroll through Instagram, you see pictures of digital nomads working from a beach in Bali or lucky/rich kids having champagne on a terrace in Positano. So when you hear me saying that you can travel every week with your full-time job, you automatically think I’m insane/trying to lure you into a pyramid scheme/both. You absolutely can fit travel in time your limited budget without using ANY of your vacation days. My parents have been doing it for 30 years, I do it regularly, and you may even be doing it without even knowing it. Before you call me crazy, hear me out: you just need to define “travel” a little differently than you have been.
Don’t Go Far
“Traveling” doesn’t have to mean flying across the country or overseas to spend weeks in exotic places. What is it about traveling that makes each trip so special of you? For me, it’s seeing new cities or towns, getting out of my comfort zone, and trying new food. I definitely don’t need to book a plane ticket to achieve these experiences. PW and I live in northern New Jersey and take weekend trips to Philadelphia because we can get there in under two hours. We generally see a concert, eat at a couple awesome restaurants, relax, and get a change of scenery – which is all I need for a short trip. Even if you look a little closer to home, you can still have all the same types of experiences without having to quit your job to travel full time.
Don’t Use You Paid Time Off Or Vacation Days
While we’re on the close-to-home topic, let’s talk about vacation days. Picking specific locations close to home will help you to not use any of your vacation days. Take a look at a map and pinpoint the big cities near you. For instance, I live in New Jersey. New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Boston are all within 5ish hours’ driving distance. This means I can do weekends away in some pretty cools cities, without having to pay for flights. You should also take advantage of any long weekends that you’re automatically given by your employer. Example: this year, 4th of July falls on a Tuesday, meaning most Americans will have off Saturday-Tuesday that week! You might have to fight through a more traffic, but this gives you 4 full days to explore a new place. Looking for somewhere cool to go this weekend? TripAdvisor is a great place to start – just open up the app and search “Things to Do” and select “Nearby.”
Don’t Spend A Lot Of Money
One of the biggest misconceptions about travel is that it’s so expensive – but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re visiting New York City, you don’t need to stay at the Waldorf Astoria to get the real New York Experience. You can find inexpensive places to eat, sleep, and enjoy yourself no matter where you go. Example: my dad and I visited Copenhagen (a notoriously expensive city) in December this past year. We saved a ton by renting an AirBnB and buying bags of cereal and a quart of milk, which cut down on our eating-out costs! (in case you missed it, check out my not-to-miss experiences in Copenhagen!) Great resources for budget tips from locals or other travelers are Facebook groups. I’m a member of Girls LOVE Travel – they’re private and exclusively for women, but other awesome groups include Part-Time Travel Talk and Ultimate Travel Group (UTG)!
What’s the most important thing to do if you want to travel more? None of these tips will work for you unless you stop making excuses. Still telling yourself, “I don’t have enough money to travel all the time” but you manage to buy new clothes every week or get a Starbucks coffee every day? Start budgeting more wisely. Are you still thinking that you don’t have enough time on the weekends to do anything exciting? Start waking up earlier, which may mean going to sleep earlier. For most of us, traveling more isn’t going to fall in our laps. We have to make it a priority.
How do you travel every week? What changes have you made to prioritize travel? Let me know in the comments below!