When you travel often, you tend to get the same questions from people in your social circle. The kicker, is when you answer their questions and get the same excuses for why they haven’t taken themselves anywhere. It’s time to clear up these misconceptions. Excuses are for slackers and people who don’t want to leave their comfort zone. Get out and live a little, it’s easier than you’d think!
1. “It’s expensive and I’m broke!”
…says the girl who makes a Starbucks pit stop on her way to work every morning. If you cut out the $5 coffee runs, you’d be surprised how much money you save. Buying lunch daily adds up, too. An average flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco will run you about $140. Cut the costs and make your own coffee, pack a lunch and skip happy hour once in a while. You’re cutting calories, saving money and while it feels like a small amount, it all adds up.
2. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
You don’t need extensive time off to enjoy a new city. I’ve spent 48 hours in Chicago, and while I lacked sleep, I was back in the office on Monday morning. Most people have some sort of PTO. Space it out! Don’t take a full week off, instead, try taking 3 day weekends during the off-season. Flights on Sunday are the most expensive, so why not take a red-eye flight out Friday night and head back late Monday evening? Most hotels will let you check your bag with the concierge so you get extra time in the city without having to book an extra night at the hotel. This also means you can pass out on the plane and be at work Tuesday morning. Early arrivals and late departures are great for making the most of things when you’re in a time crunch.
Be sure to map out the things you want to see ahead of time make an itinerary and stick to it!
3. “I don’t have anyone to go with!”
This is where the beauty of social media comes into play. You’d be surprised how many people respond to Facebook updates whenever I post about wanting to visit a new city. Chances are there’s someone who is willing and able to come along for the adventure. If for some reason you can’t find anyone, you can check out Triptrotting.com. They bring solo travelers together and mix in locals. Booking an apartment or spare room through Airbnb.com will also give you local insight and if you’re lucky, someone to grab a drink with. If you’re still weary, check out Contiki.com for group trips that are more like field trips, which ensure you’re never alone in a big new city.
4. “I’ll enjoy it more when I’m older and retired.”
This one kills me the most. I’ve done things on trips I would never consider doing in 20 years. I have met some amazing people at bars and nightclubs while I was traveling, all of which I still keep in touch with. If I decide to go back and visit, I have a free sofa to sleep on and local tour guide. Had I waited until I was older to take these trips I wouldn’t have gone on that pub crawl, danced the night away with a handsome Australian, or have half of the memories I love. When you’re younger you have more energy, willingness to try new things, and fly by the seat of your pants. It isn’t about the destination, it’s about the adventure; embrace it while you’re young enough to make the most of it.
5. “ Okay, you made it sound appealing, but now I don’t know where to start.”
If you’re flexible the possibilities are endless. Join airline loyalty programs and sign up for email offers. I created a separate email alias for these accounts so things are centralized, and I check it daily. This keeps them from cluttering my regular inbox and it also helps keep my login information consistent for each program. You can get some amazing deals sent straight to your inbox.