As the vacation season approaches, kids are out of school, summer is around the corner and it is time to take a break from your colleagues at work, I am sure you are currently evaluating if you can even afford to travel...
I have had this discussion amount many of my peers and it amazes me each time to encounter different line of thoughts. The most common one is the perception that in order to travel you need to have excess amount of funds. And granted there is a point in your life where you can demand to be in comfort as you travel....we will leave the rough days for those college years where you lived from student loans to student loans.
Every travel naysayer believes their situation is special, that they can’t manage what someone else did for reason X, Y, or Z. And it’s not just travel. We all make excuses as to why we can’t do something we desire. “The gym is too far away.” “Just one more cookie won’t hurt.” “I’m not tall enough to play basketball.” We believe we’ll never accomplish that great thing we aspire to because we lack the one secret ingredient to make it happen.When it comes to travel, people think what’s holding them back is money. They imagine they can’t travel because, finances is the biggest obstacle to make their dream trip a reality.
By thinking that in order for you to travel you need to be blessed with a "golden spoon in your mouth" limits your ability to cross a mental barrier. You do not have to be special, or unique or rich to be able to travel. By believing that everyone else is special, unique, or rich, we might end up putting a psychological barrier that lets you ignore all the reasons why travel is feasible and sometimes it just takes a little bit of good planning and creativity to make it work.
Living on an island, clearly our means that we have to travel to reach out to the rest of the world, but my love for travelling developed at a very young age and it has growth with me all the way to adulthood. I have been lucky enough to also have a circle of friends that love to travel. You will not believe how cost effective it can be to travel in GROUPS!
If you are looking to plan a fun trip with your girls or a family reunion abroad...this summer might be cutting it too close. But this means that you can plan better in 2018 and save in order to make this happen. I understand there is some monetary requirement to travel. There’s a limit to how cheap it can be and how many free flights you can earn. There are always circumstances such as health, visa issues, debts, or family that will keep someone from the road. Not everyone can (or wants) to travel the world.
But, in my experience, what keeps the vast majority of people home is not money but mindset. It is the false belief that their circumstances are different and everyone else who travels has money or privilege they don’t. They have bought into the belief that traveling is a luxury for those with means and, unless you’re on the inside, you’ll never be able to make it happen. Everyone and everything else that tells them otherwise is dismissed as “too easy” or “too good to be true.”If you truly desire to travel, you will find a way. For some, it will take more effort and time (maybe years), but you can do it.
If you wake up today and tell yourself, “I’m too poor to travel” or “I can’t because of reason X,” you’ll never look for ways to start traveling. You will only see roadblocks. You see only the reasons why you can’t travel — bills, flights, car payments, debt, family, or more. You’ll never peer beyond those roadblocks and ask yourself “How do I overcome these obstacles like those other people?” The only difference between those on the road and those not on it is that those on it kept saying “yes” to travel instead of “I can’t.”
Wake up today and say “Yes, I can travel too” and start looking for what you can do right now to make that happen. Start small. Each yes builds on itself and on the one before it. Look at your day-to-day spending. How much would you save if you bought a water filter instead of a daily bottle of water, cooked more of your own food, or drank less? What if you gave up cable? Downgraded your phone plan? Sold off your unneeded stuff at a yard sale? Find ways to supplement your income by using your extra skills that will generate additional cash / revenues.
I take traveling very serious, here are some of my tips:
- start planning at the beginning of the year
- allocate an amount per month to your savings and be disciplined about it
- do more group travel to save costs
- travel with people that have the same interest, that way the trip itself is easier to coordinate
- Use a monthly overview tracker to help you know where you stand with your finances
- research in advance the destination and the most cost effective and fun things that you would like to do
- the idea is for you to create memories while you are exploring something new
- try to remain objective to try new things
My greatest and most valuable advice is: HAVE FUN WITH IT. It makes no sense to travel under stressful circumstances (unless it is a trip that involves less happier circumstances like funerals, medicals etc). Traveling opens up your mind to the rest of the world, it lets you interact with different cultures and it gives you a reality check where sometimes you really evaluate and appreciate what you have HOME.