Traveling is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, but it’s also one of the least achieved. After all, traveling costs a lot of time, money and effort. Plus, there are so many decisions to be made. You just got done with the holiday season — do you really have to make more decisions?
Yes. You do.But it’s OK; we’re gonna walk you through it.
Where to Go?
The biggest decision needs to be made first: Where do you want to go? For some people, this is easy. They already have a list of 10 places they want to see before the decade is up. If that’s you, just skip this and move on.
If, on the other hand, you’re consumed with wanderlust but lack a destination, there are plenty of experts who have an opinion. They analyze things like climates, safety standards, and local economies to make these sort of lists. If you don’t see something you like there, use tools like Jauntaroo, a vacation matchmaker. Answer a few quick questions and it’ll match you with your ideal travel locale.
Or just go totally Pinterest and throw a dart at a map. It’s OK if you throw a couple times, since no one has to know.
This has got to be the next step because it’ll totally affect your budget and plans. A romantic trip with your significant other will be treated differently than a solo journey to find yourself.
Oh, yeah, don’t underestimate going solo. Your grandparents will freak out, but you haven’t been taking their advice for years anyway. Traveling alone can be a liberating and rewarding experience, provided you use common sense and are mindful of cultural customs. There is absolutely no shame in traveling solo. Even better, you can still keep in touch with friends and family back home, since Wi-Fi is becoming standard, whether you’re on a plane or in a hostel. So, if you’re being indecisive on who to bring, go by yourself! You don’t want to bring along someone just to not be alone, because that can break a trip really quickly. If it’s not obvious who you should bring, be safe and go solo.
When Should You Go?
Part of this is going to depend on the weather of your destination. Yeah, you want to travel while it’s bright and sunny, but so does everyone else. That’s also the most expensive time of year for tourism in many places.
Instead, do a bit of research. Pick a time that’s just on the border of the tourist season. It might be a bit chilly some days, but the lack of lines and the saved cash is so worth it! Furthermore, if you actually spend the time to do some research, you might find a festival or a holiday that you want to be there for.
Regardless, you should buy the tickets now. Flights go way down in January, and it always pays to be well prepared. If you don’t have the money now (damn holidays), that’s OK, but start saving ASAP!
But What About … ?
You probably have a few objections to traveling. Maybe it’s work, school, a friend, or some other obligation. You have something that you think is stopping you from traveling. But they’re not, I promise.
- Money, the elephant in the room: You can save. If traveling is important enough to you, you can make it happen. It might mean that this is a 2019 or a 2020 dream, but you can make it happen. Maybe you don’t travel to Belgium, only to Boston, but that’s still something to be proud of!
- Health issues: Yes, if you are contained to a hospital, please don’t try to get on airplane. But traveling with many chronic illnesses is totally doable if you prepare beforehand. So don’t let your body hold you back! Even if you are on a restrictive diet, need specific medication regularly, or suffer from a disability, you can still travel almost anywhere.
- Your career: Many jobs can be done remotely these days; do you really need to be in your office to do your work? There might not be a policy at your office for remote work, but you could be the catalyst to start one! It never hurts to ask! Plus, there are tons of jobs you can work while traveling, so scratch this excuse off the list.
- Friends or family: Here’s the deal: you’re always going to have friends or family. Yeah, you miss them, but it’s not as if you’re never coming back. You will see them again (hopefully with some kick-ass souvenirs). You can travel and keep your current relationships, as long as you keep up with them routinely.
So there you have it. Anyone can travel if you want it bad enough. You might not be able to travel exactly where or when you want to go, but you can certainly experience other places and cultures if you’re willing to work for it.
Believe me, it does take a lot of work. There’s a lot of decisions to be made, but you can definitely work through them with research and time. Besides, it’s so worth it at the end. Don’t you want to accomplish at least one New Year’s resolution?
Featured Image via Labelle