Did you know that as of last year, more Americans than ever now have a passport? The US is now sitting at 42% of the population holding a passport with more applications than ever last year (I was one of them!). People have so many excuses of why they don’t travel, but today I want to share the steps I took to travel more.
Here Is My Story
When I was a single mother back in 2012, I worked at a company that gave me two weeks off. However, I was paid peanuts there, so I definitely did not have the money to go anywhere. I did staycations with my son instead, but the desire to travel more was always there.
Fast forward to 2016, when I met my husband: I was working a job where I was paid better, but I was only allowed 7 days off for the whole year, including holidays, with absolutely NO benefits. I had a college degree, but I convinced myself I needed to be there. (Crazy right?!) I was in survival mode and this job provided me with the income I needed to pay. my. bills. But that’s literally all it did.
Finally, after much discussion with my now-husband, I started looking for a new job with more pay, benefits, and most importantly to us – time off. We wanted to have equal time off so we could travel and experience new places & things together.
Idea #1: Make travel a priority.
I see so many people use a day off here and there rather than saving them up for a big trip. Yes, I would like to be off at least one day for 14 weeks of the year, BUT I’d rather save those days. By saving those days, we can take one big trip and a few three-day-weekend trips instead!
Idea #2: Ask for a raise or more time off.
I know everyone suggests this, but there are some ways that you can ask for more time off or a raise without ruffling feathers. This article by Everygirl about negotiating a raise is fantastic. Likewise, this post about asking for additional benefits like time off gives some great guidance.
Idea #3: Become a weekend warrior!
This is a great option for someone who is new to a job or just doesn’t like to be away from home. That’s right, homebodies, you can travel too! Jump in your car, and go to the city that is nearest to you. Research where to go via Pinterest or TripAdvisor. Visit a blog of someone who lives in that town to see what’s new.
Idea #4: Take a day trip.
Homebodies, rejoice again! Even if you live in a rural area, as I do, there are certainly some day trips you could take to enjoy some sights. It could be hiking in a state park, checking out a new food truck in the city near yours, or something else just as simple! Be creative and research things to do in your area. You never know what you might find.
Idea #5: Make the most of your time.
By planning your trip, you can really make the most of your trip whether it is nearby or far away. TripAdvisor is my go-to for helping me plan. I have an account on there and can easily click the ‘heart’ button to save places we potentially want to go. Before we go on our trip, I create a word document that has the places, their address, and their hours. By including the hours that the restaurants and activities are open, we avoid going there at a time when they are NOT open. We also avoid an issue if we decide we want to move that particular activity or meal to another day. (This was particularly true for our trip to Paris because some of the cafes and restaurants had some really obscure hours!)
Ready to plan your next trip?! I can help! Enter your info below to get my free one-page trip planning worksheets. I have a separate sheet for each of the three types of trips discussed in this post so you can plan to your heart’s content!
Need more planning tips? Check out how we save money while we are on our trips here!
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