Did you travel as much as you wanted to this past year? If your answer is yes, good on ya! Not many people can say that. If your answer is no, you’re more like the rest of us. Many of us want to travel as much as possible, but sometimes life gets in the way. Work, weddings, relationships, finances, and kids: They can all make traveling a bit more difficult.
But rather than dwell on the missed opportunities this year, focus on the possibilities of traveling more in the coming year. After all, there’s no time like the present! If you made a New Year’s resolution to travel more, here are some great ways to stick to it:
1. Plan one big trip well in advance.
Sit down and map out at least one big trip you’ll take this year. Use the resources you have right now, like your current financial and job situation, to make the plans—that might mean negotiating more time off this year. Look up flights and accommodations, and finalize as soon as possible. That way, you’ll have something to look forward to and if, in the worst case scenario, you don’t do any more traveling, you’ll still have one awesome trip that’s already 100 percent taken care of.
2. Take short weekend trips.
Maximize your weekends and do some exploring near where you live by taking short road trips. You’ll be amazed at how far you can get in a few hours, and just because you’re not leaving the country or getting on a plane doesn’t mean you’re not traveling. Pack a backpack and hop in a car for a few hours, and you could stumble upon a great little museum or your new favorite bed and breakfast. You’re bound to feel refreshed after a weekend away, and you never know what you might discover in your own backyard.
3. Watch airline sales.
If you’re the spontaneous type, take advantage of airline sales by signing up for email notifications, learning the best time to book flights, as well as all the ways you can score cheap flights. Airlines like Southwest often have big sales where they practically give flights away. The sales may be for last-minute flights, but don’t be fooled into thinking that every trip needs to be planned way in advance. If you have a free weekend or some extra vacation days, just throw your stuff in a carry-on and in a few hours, you could be at the beach or on the slopes.
4. Start a travel fund.
If saving for travel isn’t a priority, it’ll never happen. Set up an account specifically for travel and automatically transfer money into it, even if it’s just a small amount each week or month. With an automatic transfer, you can just set it up and forget about it. When you’re ready to make a withdrawal, you might be pleasantly surprised by how far you can go with how much you’ve saved up.
5. Sign up for a travel credit card.
You’re buying stuff anyway; why not earn travel points while you do it? There are some great travel cards out there that offer rewards on everything from gas to groceries. If you rack up enough points, your next trip could be free. Only go this method if you can afford to pay off your balance in full every month though, or your credit could suffer. Then just slip those cards in your travel wallet and you’ll even earn points once you’re on the road as well!
6. Use an app to score travel deals.
Daily deal apps offer incredible steals on everything from weekend getaways to full-blown island escapes. Not only is the money saving potential high, but you could also get a great idea to visit somewhere you never thought you’d go from perusing the deals. There are usually blackout dates, though, so the trips often require a bit more planning than simply purchasing a ticket.
7. Consider eco-travel.
Save the environment and some cash by traveling the eco-friendly way. Try taking a train instead of a plane to lower your carbon footprint and make the journey part of the experience. When you get to your sustainable destination, explore on foot or look into bike share programs. Not only will you save money on cabs and car rentals, but who knows what cool places you’ll stumble upon. Take your eco-travel to the next level with eco-friendly gear—Migrate Duffels are not only affordable (so you can, of course, travel more with the funds you save), but they’re developed by harvesting windshield plastics from landfills in Asia for a functional, upcycled bag that will last for years. Pair it with a daypack made from bluesign® approved fabrics and traveling more this year will still mean lightening your footprint.
Don’t let another year go by without traveling as much as you want. No matter what your circumstances, there are little steps you can take and resources you can take advantage of to make sure you keep your New Year’s resolution to travel more.
Where do you want to travel in the New Year? Wherever you’re going, Eagle Creek has got you covered with what to bring, with our Ultimate Packing Checklist .
If you don’t want to just to travel more, but to travel full-time as a digital nomad , we’ve got the advice and inspiration you need.
RFID International Tri-Fold Wallet
Global Companion 40L Travel Pack
Gear Warrior Convertible Carry On
Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
The 5 Biggest New Year's Celebrations in the World
Utilize the Sharing Economy to Maximize Your Travel Budget
10 Road Trip Essentials You Should Always Pack