I was determined to make 2018 my year of “yes” when it came to traveling. I planned, but ultimately didn’t think twice before taking a trip last year. While I still want to be able to travel in 2019, I’m forcing myself to take a step back and be more mindful of what I’m spending and where I’m traveling in an effort to save. Of course, I’d love to jet off to Italy on a whim, but that’s not in the cards for me this year. I’m perpetually torn between wanting to see the world, and needing to spend less and save more.
I am going to Big Sky Montana in a few weeks, am planning my annual trip with my best friends for the spring (location TBD), will be headed back to Palm Springs over the summer with my Insta-pals, and am going to Michigan for a wedding in August — but other than that, and the occasional work travel, I will likely lay low.
That being said, if you do it right, you can still take trips here and there without breaking the bank. So, these are my top tips for planning travel in the new year.
+ Pick one big trip to splurge on. Whether that’s international, or domestic, choose one vacation each year where you’ll inevitably and unapologetically splurge. This should be something you plan for months in advance, and somewhere within your means. In my case this is my annual trip with my three best friends– we plan to alternate every other year between international travel and somewhere closer with a big boujee element.
+ Try a staycation. If you’re feeling restless and stuck in the same routine, try a staycation. Find a boutique hotel near you and get a drink in the hotel bar so you feel like a guest, visit a new restaurant and explore your local surrounding towns. Mix things up, and find a new adventure for less.
+ Decide who would be willing to travel with you, and when. Between work, family, and friends, there are tons of travel opportunities. Figure out who would be willing to go with you, where they’d go, and when they’re available.
+ Plan a few short weekend trips. You’ll undoubtedly start to crave a getaway, but not everyone can bop off to Cabo for the weekend. Plan some short weekend trips that you can drive to, or take a quick one-hour flight, and stay for 2-3 days. Not every vacation needs to be 10 days long. These will be less of a financial burden, and easier to get off of work.
+ Only plan what you can afford or budget for. My goal for 2019 is to only travel within my means. Basically, I won’t go anywhere that I can’t afford without going into debt.
+ Space it out. This one is key. Taking trips back-to-back can take a toll on your bank account. Make sure you are planning your trips with enough time in between so you can catch up on work, bills and life.
+ Consider any big work trips or projects. You obviously don’t want to plan a vacation during your peak month(s) at work, so take any pending projects into consideration. On the same coin, if you’re already flying somewhere for a work trip, you may be able to plan a vacation around it by extending your time there, having someone meet you there, or using that flight as a connection to your next location.
+ Be resourceful and use apps or websites. There are plenty of websites and apps out there that can help you decide the best time of year to travel to particular places. Or, try using Skyscanner, it tells you the cheapest places to travel by month– which is nice if you don’t have a specific destination in mind.
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