The view from here
"You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis
We've all been there before - the new year starts and we have all those great resolutions and plans and dreams. This year is the year we make it all happen we tell ourselves! The start of a new year holds a special magic. Everything seems possible. We are reminded everywhere that we can change our lives if only we put our minds to it. May it be exercising more, asking for that pay rise, quitting your job, living a healthier lifestyle, planning a family, putting a deposit down on a house or planning that trip you've been dreaming about for years - I'm sure we all have some of these things on our agenda for 2018.
For most of you it shouldn't be a surprise that here at Travelher, travel comes first ;-)
So from the bottom of my heart, if travel makes you only remotely as happy as it makes me, I encourage you to incorporate more travel into your life this year! I know it's easier said than done, but here are 5 tips to make it happen!
1) Put time aside NOW
The main reason we never end up going on that trip we've been dreaming of for so long is because we get caught up in daily life and our routines, and all of a sudden the year zooms by as quick as the last one and before we know it, it's Christmas again. If we put time aside now, the year won't be able to run away from us. I usually try to set aside not just time for one trip, but a few (just to be safe ;-). It doesn't have to be long periods of time. You can plan a long weekend here, block the Easter period there and find time for a decent 2 week+ stint overseas et voila, you can look forward to not just one but multiple adventures!
How to do it:
I usually try to divide my year into 4 blocks of 3 months which basically means I'll divide it by its seasons. Personally, I am content to spend the summer months "at home" wherever that may be. I make the most of the beautiful weather on the weekends and after work and visit as many beaches as I can, arrange lunch dates in the sun and go for hikes or swims after work. During spring, I generally use the Easter break to get away somewhere new for about week. In autumn, I try to carve out a long weekend to do a city trip or visit friends somewhere I haven't been before and in winter I escape for my big annual holiday to visit somewhere on the other side of the world or at least somewhere with reversed seasons so I trade some of my winter weeks for extra summer ones yet again.
No matter how you roll and what you fancy, try and plan your holidays as early as possible. This will not only ensure that you actually take them but also gives you the entire year to look forward to them! Win-win if you ask me ;-)
2) Be specific.
It won't be enough to decide that you will go "travelling" four times throughout 2018. That rather vague approach will probably result in your travel plans remaining dreams for yet another year.
Instead, once you've picked your preferred travel times, figure out where exactly you want to go. Do you have a bucket list? Check out all the places you haven't been to and see which ones you can visit within the time period you've set aside earlier.
How to do it:
Be resourceful. Think hard about everyone you know and what you really want to accomplish. Do you have any family and friends you can visit in one of your bucket list destinations, or is there an event you can plan around? What's your budget? What kind of accommodation do you need? What kind of equipment? Once you know where you go and when, you can start getting organised well in advance to make sure you can plan it out to be cost effective, well prepared and are actually ready to go in time! If even thinking about planning it stresses you out, check out the agencies that do all of the planning for you. If your dream is to swim with the sharks in South Africa, or surf on the beaches of Honduras, there is a tour for that! There is a tour and a group for everything and everyone. Everything you want is at your fingertips!
3) Have a sense of urgency!
Putting bookings off gives you more time to come up with excuses why you shouldn’t do it. Maybe you need to remodel the kitchen, or the car unexpectedly needs repair. We all have a reason NOT to take that trip and our fearful instincts are usually telling us not to, to keep us safe and do what’s easiest. But this is not the way to live your best life! People say this all the time but you need to really let it sink in: LIFE IS SHORT AND UNPREDICTABLE. If you need a reminder, check out these top 5 regrets of the dying and this young woman’s dying plea to everyone. Yes, we went all existential on you!
And on the straight practical side of things, if you wait until the last minute, this often results in higher fares and charges both for transport and accommodation. (But don’t let that be an excuse either;)
How to do it:
If you want to make sure to get a good deal then start booking things as early as possible. January is a fantastic month to book - you will notice sales everywhere! Take full advantage! If you can’t quite lock it in by month one, then the sooner the better.
This will also give you some more time to compare deals and yet again maximise your time to get excited about your planned adventure! There are a lot of sites out there that let you pay a deposit to secure your booking and you can pay the rest off nearer to the day or when you get there. Once you lock it in and pay a deposit, you can commit to saving for it up until it’s go time.
4) Hold yourself accountable
If you know that you usually find "excuses" not to go, then try and involve other people and outside influences to help you change your attitude and outlook on things. We all know, for example, that travel is expensive but if you plan it and safe in advance, you'll be just fine! Talk to others who have made it work despite the cost to help you get over that last hump. Another common excuse is that you just can't find the time. Scroll back up to tip #1 and you'll be sorted. Noone to travel with? Solo travel is amazing! Give it a go, be open to doing something new if you've never done it. Alternatively, if you reach out to people and tell them your plans, I bet someone you know will be excited to join you without you even expecting them to. Have any other excuses you can't shake? Get in touch and we'll help you out ;-)
How to do it:
Start by writing down your travel dreams - this is a great first step towards making it a reality. Then begin sharing your plans with those in your close circles, and then expand to external groups. There are myriad Facebook groups you can join to share the excitement and keep you on track. And sincerely, you can message us anytime and we will be there to root for you! Once you commit, you can get over the cost and anything that’s holding you back and turn that fear into total excitement!
5) Seize every opportunity
If for whatever reason you don't have a decent amount of annual leave or money available this year but still don't want to miss out on traveling altogether, make sure you maximise every opportunity that comes up!
How to do it:
Is your boss asking you to go on a business trip? Add an extra day to it or stay the weekend and explore wherever your company sends you. Do you have family or friends that live in a different city or country and you have yet to pay them a visit? Make it happen! Pick a weekend, book a flight or train or pack your car and go see them! Your flatmates or colleagues are spontaneously going away for the weekend? Join them! Travel opportunities come up left right and centre if only you look out for them and jump on board whenever they present themselves to you.
No matter how much you manage to travel this year, I hope you treat yourself to some time abroad and return to your daily life so much more relaxed, excited and enriched. Travel is always worth it! Allow yourself to get away and encourage everyone around you to do the same. At the end of the day, the experiences we make while traveling are the ones that transform us in ways daily life never will. Make the most of it!
Author - Natalie Gruner
Nat is one of the co-creators of Travelher and loves travel, family and all things beach. She is currently working in NZ and getting away for an adventure as often as she can.