How to Travel When You Lack the Time and Money
There are so many people who say that they want to travel, but decide that they can't due to the lack of time and/or money. The worst part about it all is that those who have the financial resources are less likely to have time and and vice versa. These reasons for the inability to travel are completely understandable and at times, can be pretty frustrating. The good news is that there are ways to work around these roadblocks, so that just about anyone can fulfill that deep desire to get away and see somewhere new.
There seems to be implications today that travelling must include going somewhere far away and spending large amounts of money to get there, but this is simply not the case. Yes, these things can be a part of traveling, but I don't believe that it's a requirement. The word travel itself is a verb and is defined as to "make a journey, typically of some length." With this definition in mind, travel solely requires the action of parting one's current location and spending time in another. With this perspective, the requirement of travelling far away for a long period of time fades and suddenly the world of travel becomes a whole lot larger, as it includes locations both near and far.
If travelling is something that you desperately want to do but are at a point where it seems impossible, don't give up hope! Here are some ways that you can continue to travel and see the world around you, despite any constraints of time and/or money.
Options If You Lack The Time:
Take a Weekend Trip.
Chances are, if you work a 9-5 job, you have a few days off in a row at some point during the week. This means that if you plan it well, you could leave for a short trip, in the evening after you finish work and return again the evening before your job begins. This gives you the travel time of about two full days and a decent opportunity to go and explore somewhere new.
Plan a Day Trip.
I'm aware that not everyone has a work schedule receiving multiple days off in a row. If this is the case for you, don't worry, there are still plenty of ways to get out and see new places! Plan yourself a day trip to a manageable location. If you do some research, you can almost certainly discover beautiful or unique locations where you have never been before, just around the corner. When I lived in Canada, I discovered quite a few great towns and beautiful places, just by Googling "things to do" or "top places to visit" near my location. Some destinations were only 20 minutes away, while others I had to drive over an hour and a half to get to. These nearby destinations made incredible adventure days and were a wonderful way to explore, travelling somewhere new, with little time demand.
Use Public Holidays to Your Advantage.
If you are looking to go somewhere, why not consider coupling a few days away (like a weekend) with a holiday that you will already have off from work (such as New Years, Easter, the Fourth of July etc)? This will give you an extra day to use for your adventures. If you decided to give this a try, consider booking further in advance, as others often have the same idea and prices may increase or locations book up more quickly, during those times.
Collect Extra Days at Work.
Not every workplace has this option, but some jobs have the ability to work overtime and bank up those hours as extra days off. If you can do this, you may consider trying to save up enough days for a trip. Be sure not to burn yourself out by doing this, so that you spend your vacation feeling exhausted from working too hard.
Use Half or Partial Days.
There is something beautiful about spending a morning or evening somewhere unique. Even if you work for a majority of the day, you can spend time before or after work, going to somewhere unique or new. Seeing something with a fresh perspective or during a sunrise or sunset is always a special experience.
Options If You Lack The Funds:
Be Flexible with Your Travel Plans.
There are a handful of travel websites, including Kayak and Google, which provide the option to submit a departure airport and it will show cheapest flights available, leaving from that location, to numerous destinations. If you can be somewhat flexible with your travel dates as well as your arrival location, you may be able to find yourself some reasonable deals on flights to unique cities. This is especially great if you know which month you would like to travel, but aren't needing to leave or come back on any particular date, or if you just want to get away somewhere with no particular destination in mind.
Find Cheap Train Tickets.
Depending on where you live, sometimes there is the option to travel by train. As of right now, I don't know of a specific trick for finding cheap destinations by train, but I have discovered that by searching nearby locations, some affordable train tickets can be found. When you decide to book, if you are flexible with the departure times, you can often find cheaper train tickets during off peak times, such as early in the morning or late at night.
Use Groupon Vouchers.
Groupon can be a wonderful resource for helping you travel. It offers hotels or other places to stay at discounted rates, as well as "Getaway" options, which often include full travel packages, cruises and other ways to travel. A great way to find a place to rent, is to set your current location as the city where you would like to visit, and it will give you options around that area. The "Getaway" tab will immediately show you various travel packages for trips around the world.
Explore by Free Modes of Travel.
Don't ever rule out the simplicity of getting somewhere on foot or by bike. You can get yourself to many places this way. Remember, travel doesn't have to be far away. Motivate yourself to get out there and go see or visit somewhere you haven't been before, even if it's only 10 minutes down the road.
Look into Megabus.
Don't forget about the super cheap option of travelling with Megabus (Flixbus in Europe). These buses can take you to many destinations and you can often find better prices through this company than any other!
Save Up Money.
I once met someone who enjoyed travelling with her husband. The two decided that instead of giving each other gifts throughout the year, they would save their money to go travelling together. This is a really cool concept! Getting rid of gifts maybe isn't for you - that's okay, but there are other ways that you can save up for travel. Sometimes it's about consciously making sacrifices in the little things, eating out less, buying something secondhand or buying seats a little further back at the next concert; it's gonna look a little different for everyone. If you can make a conscious effort to spend less, and to put the money that you would have spent aside, it can enable you to build up some cash to help you travel to the places you've dreamed of. If you can set a destination goal in mind, it can be advantageous as you choose to make little sacrifices, helping you to remember why you are doing what you're doing; giving up the good now for the great later on.
I like to encourage people to follow their dreams and to pursue their passions. If you have a desire to travel or to see new places, and you've used the excuses "I don't have the time," or "I don't have the money," I want you to skim back through this list. Is there anything here that can help you to achieve these goals? I want to be able to hear your stories and see your photos from the trips that you went on because you chose to find a way around your constrictions. You can do it!
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