Like anything in life, if you really want something, you’re going to have to learn to prioritize it in order to achieve it. It’s no different when it comes to travel, and learning how to prioritize travel in 2019, to be more specific.
Before we get into the post, I’d just like to say happy new year! I hope that this year sincerely is the best one yet for you. I am very thankful that you’re here on the blog, and I sincerely hope that you can get something out of it 🙂
If you stick around and read the post in it’s entirety, you’ll see at the end as always, there’s a little something as a gift from me to you to help you not just fantasize your ideal trip, but actually get real and start getting clear on the details to mobilize your planning ✨✨
Are you ready to see how you can actually travel this 2019? Read on my friend 🙂
Why do you want to travel?
In order to get out of this thought loop of “Omg i want to travel to xx” but never actually going through with it, you have to start with mindset. Start thinking that in order to prioritize travel in 2019, you’ll have to get into the mindset of travel. To do that you must ask yourself in the first place why you want to travel, and it has to make sense to you. It’s time to not only start asking yourself this question, but also visualizing it; a theme you’ll see throughout this post, so stay tuned.
Is there something you always wanted to see in person? Is there a city/country that you’ve always envisioned yourself visiting? Is there a culture that attracts you to go visit and learn more about in person?
It doesn’t have to be a super elaborate, “meaning of life” philosophical reason to travel; it can simply but essentially be to just get out and explore. Travel for traveling sake. It’s totally valid! The point here is that you ask yourself questions that will lead you to your why. After finding out your reason to travel, you will start to cultivate your travel intentions with a real reason(s) to go. You will have something to go off of, and that will lend itself as the foundation to go through the rest of the planning process. It will also make the whole planning process extremely exciting 🙂
Where do you want to go?
Once you visualize to get clear on your reason to travel, you can now think of where you actually want to go. Maybe you have already identified this in the previous step, but if you haven’t, here’s your chance to do it. Let’s say that you have identified your reason to travel as one of wanting to travel for the sake of traveling. You can’t make up your mind on where to go, all you know is that you want to travel. You keep visualizing yourself somewhere, but you don’t know where. All you know if the feeling of freedom and excitement that you’re experiencing. I would suggest that if this is you, think about other underlying factors that can help you determine a destination. If you work full time, how many vacation days can you take off? Are you planning on going by yourself, or with someone else? Financially speaking, would you be comfortable with spending x amount on a trip? Identify what is luxury to you and what is not when it comes to travel. For instance, a hotel vs. an airbnb vs. a hostel (more on this later!)
Here is a practical tool that I like to use whenever I am stuck on what I want my destination to be. Skyscanner is a website that has been my main tool to use when looking for flights, and two of their features that I absolutely love are the “everywhere option” as well as the “cheapest month” to travel option (not sponsored by skyscanner by the way, I just really enjoy this site!)
Place your cursor inside the “to” box, and then you can click to get the option “can’t decide where?”
In the same vein, to find the cheapest month to travel, simply click on the box that says depart, click “whole month” and click “cheapest month.” Do fill out the other options like roundtrip/one way and how many travelers.
You’ll be able to see the best travel rates to a wide variety of cities, and you’ll get ideas on where you can go. Just like that! You got yourself some destinations at tempting prices to choose from. This is what currently came up for me if I decided to leave from Chicago.
Where the heck are you going to stay??
So now that you have done the following:
- Found your “why” to travel
- You have identified a destination based on your availability, and if not you have discovered Skyscanner and it’s magical tools to help you find one.
- You now have a base of: Your reason to travel, a destination(s), and a snapshot of the flight price. We can now go onto lodging options.
The world of lodging and options of where to stay on your travels is a large and vast one my friend. It seems like nowadays, there are so many options from hostels to hotels and airbnb’s, just to name the basic few. There’s an option for every budget, every experience, and so on which is great! We like that! It can also help determine and start shaping how much your trip will cost, so it’s an important one at that to consider pretty early on. Also, you want to really like where you’re staying right? Right. I’m glad we agree 🙂
Like I said, there are many options for lodging, and if you’ve traveled before, you may already have experience using hotels, airbnb’s and maybe even hostels. What about couch surfing? A home-stay? or even a farm-stay?? I’m telling you, the beauty of lodging is that there are enough options for everyone’s like!
I won’t go much into detail or else this blog post will be tooooo long, however I can lay out a few popular options and some of my personal favorites.
My top three options (in no particular order):
(contains airbnb affiliate link)
I don’t want to sound biased, but I looooove airbnb y’all. Ever since I tried it back in 2015, I said bye to hotels and went the airbnb way. It’s the best way to really feel like a local, and to have access to amenities* (depending on the airbnb option you choose of course). In a nutshell, you rent out a person’s home or room in their home for the duration of your stay. They have both short term and long term availability. You also save money because chances are you’ll have access to a kitchen! If you have this option, definitely take advantage of it and prepare yourself some meals and save that extra cash to use on something else! If you’re interested in learning more about airbnbs look here for more detailed information. Also if you are interested in staying at an airbnb and it’s your first time going with this awesome option, click on my link here or on the sidebar for $40 off your first stay with airbnb!
Hostels can be the ultimate way to get to know other travelers, and one of the most affordable options out there when it comes to places to stay! I definitely recommend this option especially if you are traveling solo, and even if you’re not, still go for it! One of my favorite websites to use when it comes to booking hostels is hostelworld 🙂 (not sponsored). One of the many reasons I enjoy hostels is because it is literally the best environment to be in. You are surrounded by other excited travelers, you can chat them up and get to know them and even make plans to discover the city together. Another cool thing that hostels do is create group outings to partake in different fun activities around the city, and they often have excursions to different points of interests that you may also want to check out. Definitely a very cool experience that I recommend 🙂
I left this one as the last option not because it’s an overpriced option (not all the time anyways) but because I personally think that if you can stay at a place that will not only comfortably provide a roof over your head, a warm bed, and also provide an experience to meet others and leave your comfort zone a bit, you should take it! Hotels are good for what they serve as; a place to rest and do work if you’re on a business trip for instance. Not that I have anything against hotels (I really don’t!) it just comes down to your travel style and what you’re going to be doing at the end of the day. So if you’re looking for something a little more luxe, a hotel is great for you! Sometimes you may even get lucky and score a great room deal, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for sales and different room options!
Food options, what activities to do and how much they’ll add to your total cost
Of course as much as I would love to have a magic trip budget calculator to give you a real time estimate of how much you would spend on these additional expenses, I don’t have one. There are some online, but after testing them, I have seen that they are right on some costs but terribly wrong in other costs, so if you do use one, take their advice with a grain of salt. However what I can tell you is if you are looking for estimates for these important additional costs, look no further than other blogs with food, activities, and costs breakdowns, and use that to fill in your free workbook that I have prepared for you 🙂
Also make sure that you consider the FREE things to do in each city! Here is a link to my list of free things to do in Madrid if you’re interested!
Creating the finances for travel now
Nothing worth having will happen overnight, which makes it especially important to reemphasize the necessity to be specific on your reason to travel. Especially when it comes to setting the money aside. Money seems to always be a reason that we throw out there that impedes us from traveling to our dream destinations. I have been there, and sometimes I still am. However if I know that I have a country in mind and the city, and I envision myself walking the streets enjoying my time, then that’s when saving my money makes it all worthwhile. The truth of the matter is that you are capable of having the money to travel if you know how to administer your spending in your everyday life.
Whether it’s physically taking out $20 each month out of your checking account onto a travel savings account or collecting spare change and depositing every now and then a dollar or two into a piggy bank or jar; do what you gotta do!
My best money saving tips?
Don’t eat out often, ditch Starbucks or DD’s and make your own coffee at home, don’t go to the mall mindlessly just because you’re bored and there’s nothing to do, find other hobbies that don’t require you to spend money or maybe not too much from time to time. Read from the library and temporarily suspend your audible account. Go outside, work on yourself by working out at home, going for a run, meditate, journaling, etc. There’s always other things that you can do that can entertain you without spending too much money. It’s all about altering some of your lifestyle choices and setting that extra money for travel.
Let your friends know that you’re starting a travel fund, and maybe they even might even be inspired to follow you and do the same. It’ll create accountability and then later on you all can take a trip together. Just think: is a material object really worth more than an experience you’ll gain abroad?? Nuh uh.
So visualize yourself walking the streets of your dream destination, and feel all the emotions of being there. The good it would bring you if you just went. Look at your flight and lodging options to get an idea of how much you may be spending, and start making money changes in your life. Make travel a priority in 2019 by doing this, and pretty soon you’ll be on your way.
Freebie alert! As promised, here is The travel visualization workbook – a simplified way to help you visualize and get real on alllll these travel details in a step by step format to plan your trip like a pro, and get you to prioritize traveling this 2019! You can reutilize this workbook and it’s prompt questions for future travels too if you’d like even!
Do you have any travel plans yet? If so, I’d absolutely love to know! As always, feel free to leave a comment letting me know if you found today’s topic interesting and helpful, and if there is a topic that you would like me to cover in the future! This month I want to dedicate to helping people actually visualize their dream trip, as well as the importance of travel. I am open to other ideas however 🙂