When it comes to travel, there are a number of things that can hold a person back. Whether it’s a lack of funds, a lack of time, or a fear of planning, excuses abound. For the infrequent traveler, it’s important to take stock of these roadblocks and find ways around them. Committing to one vacation a year shouldn’t be overwhelming. Let’s examine some of the frequent culprits.
- It’s too expensive: Whether it’s a flight to Europe or passes to Disney World, traveling takes a definite toll on the pocketbook. Affordability is one of the largest deciding factors of a vacation, and often times sticker shock can be daunting. However, there are countless ways to make travel affordable, including frequent flyer miles, points-earning credit cards, the avoidance of tourist traps, and more. When approaching a potential vacation, set a budget ahead of time and try to work within it. It might seem surprising, but it is possible to travel far and wide for little cost.
- There isn’t enough time off: Most typical 9-5 jobs in the US offer about ten vacation days a year. This seems almost negligible when taking into consideration appointments, sick days (which are sometimes lumped together with vacation days), and family obligations. For this reason, it’s important to strategize at the beginning of the year. How many days can be allotted to true vacation time? How many should be saved for potential emergencies? Vacations do not have to be month- or week-long affairs. They can consist of a series of long weekends, strategically placed throughout the year to help prevent burnout.
- There’s more pain than gain: Planning a trip can, admittedly, seem overwhelming. Just narrowing down where to go an be intimidating, and the work doesn’t end there. It’s important to maintain a positive outlook and remember that sometimes, less is more. If creating a step-by-step itinerary is habitual, but also stressful, it might be a good idea to step back and instead come up with a bare bones outline. Not knowing exactly what is going to happen each day is part of the fun of travel, and will allow for new, unexpected adventures.
Once these initial hurdles are overcome, planning for a trip becomes something to look forward to, rather than to dread. There are so many benefits to travel, including exposure to new cultures, a well-deserved break from the daily monotony, and an opportunity to try new things. It isn’t even necessary to travel far. The next article will discuss the phenomena of a staycation, which became popular during the economic downturn of the past decade or so.