Want to travel more? Dreaming of jet-setting across the globe? Yearning to break free from the routine and explore new horizons? If everything in your being is screaming “Yes!” to all of that, then you’re in for a treat!
This article isn’t just about sparking wanderlust; it’s your practical guide to making those travel dreams a reality.
Charles, the kids and I have traveled to dozens of countries using the tips in this article. Whether you’re craving more time, hunting for budget-friendly adventures, or seeking opportunities that blend work and wanderlust, this guide is your golden ticket to more travel adventures.
Bonus travel tip from experienced travelers! Using a VPN like Private Internet Access (PIA) is key for keeping your data safe as you travel. Public Wi-Fi networks, which are common in hotels and cafes, can pose serious security risks. A VPN encrypts your connection, safeguarding your private information, which is essential if you’re in one of those traveling jobs where you rely on internet access to fund your trip.
Since we travel as a family of four, I really like that our single, affordable, PIA subscription lets us protect an unlimited amount of devices at the same time.
How to Travel More
If you want to travel more this year, this article can help! Use my hands-on actionable advice to get you on your next flight to somewhere amazing!
Let’s get right into it! Here are 27 actionable travel tips that are all about maximizing your time, stretching your dollars, and embracing every opportunity to explore the world.
Collect and use credit card and loyalty points
Let’s start with something simple. If you don’t have one already, switch your current credit card to one that lets you get travel points with every purchase. Just pay it off in time so you don’t end up having to pay interest!
Be flexible with your travel dates
Having flexible travel dates can save you a fortune on travel. Try traveling during the shoulder season, or scoring deals when they come up, instead of having set-in-stone travel dates. Embracing a go-with-the-flow attitude can open up a world of unexpected discounts and unique experiences
Set travel alerts for fare deals
If you find a flight you like, set a travel alert to let you know when the price drops. You can do this on Google Flights, Skyscanner, and other flight aggregators. Just make sure you have a good baseline on typical prices so that you have something solid to compare it to.
One way to do that is to choose a farther date in the future than what you’re hoping for, preferably outside of peak season like Christmas. Usually, the farther out you buy your plane ticket, the cheaper the flight however deals can pop up anytime so be ready for them.
Be flexible about your destination
Looking at different destination alternatives lets you take advantage of the best flight and accommodation deals available, regardless of the destination. This flexibility can stretch your budget and introduce you to hidden gems and unexpected adventures that you might not have considered otherwise.
Tip! To find cheap, flexible flights, use the Google flights Explore feature. Just enter your home airport, or other airports that aren’t too far away. Leave the destination airport blank! Then click the Flexible dates to see all destinations and prices. It then shows you a map and what fares are to different cities. Play with the trip length and trip duration. There’s even an option to select fixed dates if your travel dates aren’t flexible.
Get a job that lets you work as you travel
Work as you travel, whether you work remotely for your existing employer, or get a job at your destination. If you’re under 35, look into getting a working holiday visa. Check out our article on 45 great jobs you can do while traveling the world (and how to get them) for more helpful details and tips.
Focus on less expensive destinations
Travel to pricey destinations really adds up, with flights, hotel prices, taxi fares, and even food costing more. Instead, keep your eye out for great deals to less expensive destinations.
Most airlines charge for checked baggage these days, and many charge for carry-on as well. The lighter you pack, the fewer fees you’ll need to pay for baggage so minimize your outfits, always carry a change of clothes in your allowed private bag and even look into sharing larger checked on luggage if you’re traveling with your family, loved one or someone you implicitly trust.
Take less expensive, shorter trips
Use your weekends and time off to maximize travel, and explore closer to home. Opting for shorter, more frequent trips can offer a refreshing change of scenery without the hefty price tag of longer vacations.
Bonus tip! Using VPN to get cheaper flights is a savvy traveler’s secret. It lets you explore prices from different regions, potentially leading to significant savings on airfare.
Plus, a good VPN like PIA (Private Internet Access) allows access to geo-restricted content, ensuring you don’t miss out on your favorite shows while abroad. It’s a must-have for secure, economical, and enjoyable travel experiences. Check out our article on How to Watch Your Favorite TV Shows and Movies While Traveling.
Visit friends or family in another city!
If you can stay with someone, it can be a great way to save money on accommodation, and also gives you a chance to reconnect with friends or family and create new memories together. Looking to visit an area you once had family in? Check if any extended family are still in the area. Not only can it save you money but it might be a great way to reconnect with lost relatives.
Take trips for a specific purpose
Take a trip for a specific reason, like a conference, or to take a class to learn a new skill. For example, you could travel to take language immersion classes, a cooking class, or learn to SCUBA dive. Then, rather than just seeing the trip as a personal indulgence, it can be for direct personal growth which can benefit you even more in the future.
Use your paid time off
If you have a full-time, or even part-time job, use all of your paid time off. Use those paid holidays and personal days to get you where you want to be.
Shockingly, most employees in the US don’t use all of their vacation days. Less than half of US workers used all of their vacation days in 2022. Don’t be that person! Prioritize yourself, and travel.
Organize your time off with a calendar
To help maximize your time off, use a monthly calendar, and block off days where you have extra time off (like a three day weekend). From there, consider adding additional vacation days to extend your travel days. Sometimes you can easily arrange a 5 or 6 day vacation around long weekends with only a day or 2 taken off. The bonus is that week long rentals are often much cheaper per day than weekend only rentals meaning it might not cost as much as you think it will.
Look into travel opportunities with your current job
Would your employer pay to send you to a conference, or to another place for training? Are there positions available with your company in other locations around the globe? Exploring these options can turn professional commitments into exciting travel opportunities, blending career growth with the joy of exploration.
Negotiate for a higher wage, or more vacation days
Earning a higher income is always good, but if your employer isn’t willing to give you a raise, then consider asking for more vacation days. You may be surprised! Many employers don’t have much flexibility in their budget, but they can negotiate on time off. If they’re not budging on paid vacation days, you may be able to negotiate unpaid days off which you can leverage the cost against traveling in the much cheaper shoulder seasons compared to around Christmas or busy school holidays.
Tag along on your partner’s work trips
If it’s possible, join your partner on work trips. You’ll likely be able to stay in their hotel for free (or a small fee), and just have to pay for your own transportation and other expenses. When they’re busy, you can explore the area on your own then meet them for supper and other shared activities.
Also, try to book them around weekends. Most companies are paying for the flights anyway and it costs them nothing extra to fly the employee home on Friday night than it does Sunday afternoon. Even paying for the extra nights hotel on your own still allows you to save on the flight costs and any savings is a bonus here.
Reduce your expenses and save money for travel
This can be a hard one, and of course it’s not possible for everyone. That said, if you’re in a position to take a hard look at your expenses, it’s a great place to find funds for your next trip. Of course this might mean you need to switch your priorities.
Would you rather spend money on an expense like getting a new coat, when your old one is fine, or would you rather put that money in a travel fund? Would you consider getting a roommate, rather than living alone, if the money you save was spent on travel?
Everyone’s situation is different of course, but zeroing in on cutting costs can make a big difference to your travel budget and it’s amazing how just doing a few things like cutting down your Starbucks coffee or eating out a bit less can rapidly grow your travel fund.
Get a side hustle
If you have the time and energy, a side hustle can really help you save money for travel.
This can be something as simple as getting more shifts at your current job, or getting an entire new gig on the weekends, or even driving for a ride share or food delivery app. Either way, if you have the time and motivation, it means more money in your travel fund.
Start a travel savings account
Start a special travel account, and put your travel savings into this account only. It’s so motivating to see your travel nest egg grow! Watching your travel fund grow is not just encouraging but also makes your travel goals more tangible and achievable. It also helps differentiate between your bill paying account and savings accounts. The trick is to not dip into it for other things.
Try housesitting or a home exchange
Accommodation is one of the biggest costs in travel, so if you can swing a housesit, then you can save big bucks. This approach cuts down on expenses and offers a more authentic living experience as you travel.
Lower your expectations
By insisting on only eating out at restaurants, staying only in hotel rooms, and taking taxis or tours everywhere you go, you may be pricing yourself out of a vacation. You can save a ton of money by traveling on a shoe-string budget, preparing some of your own meals, staying in a hostel bed or AirBnB style place with the family, and taking buses, trains and walking everywhere you go.
Some of my favorite travel memories include taking a local, overnight bus in Turkey, and eating fresh berries bought from a local fruit vendor in Ecuador. Neither cost a lot but left a lifetime travel impression.
Consider traveling, and sleeping, in your vehicle.
Van life isn’t always as fun and easy as YouTubers would like you to believe, but if you’re the adventurous type, and you have a vehicle that would work for car camping, you may be able to save a carload of money by sleeping in your car. Want some inspiration? Check out our favorite Travel YouTubers.
Talk to travelers!
One thing I’ve learned about myself is that it’s a heck of a lot easier to do something if I spend time with people who’ve actually done the thing!
By hanging out with travelers, you’ll be inspired by their stories, gain some fantastic travel advice, and hopefully absorb some of their adventurous spirit! One way to get that information is online, another can be as simple as visiting your local backpacking hostel. Nearly every place has one and if you don’t hear 3 or 4 different accents in the first 10 minutes then make sure you’re there around meal time.
Find a travel partner
Sometimes the barrier to travel is not having someone to travel with. Both Charles and I struggled to find a travel partner before we got together, so I feel the pain of this. If you want to travel with someone, consider signing up for a group tour, or ask friends and family if they’d like to travel with you.
We’ve since learnt that once you get out there, there are tons of people with the same desire to explore who are also looking for others who share their passion to travel. The hardest part is often taking that first step.
Consider going solo!
Sometimes life just won’t divvy up a travel partner, so consider traveling alone. I get it, solo travel can be pretty intimidating, but I really wish I’d taken the jump and traveled by myself instead of waiting so long for a travel partner!
Visit a friend for your first solo trip
Do you have a friend who’s moved away? Consider visiting them for your first solo trip. Having a friend at your destination is a great way to make a solo trip easier. You may even be able to cut expenses by staying with them!
Create a list of places that you’d love to travel!
Sometimes, getting your wishes down on paper can really help motivate you to make your travel dreams come true. If some of the items on your list are more expensive, or require more time than you have right now, focus on the places you can visit sooner!
Beware of analysis paralysis!
Just like anything in life, you can spend all of your time reading blogs, watching YouTube videos, and planning your trip! Instead of putting off your trip until you’ve found the perfect price and destination, start with something small, even if it’s just a weekend trip to a town nearby!
Your passport to adventure awaits!
And there you have it! Remember, travel isn’t just about distant lands; it’s an attitude, a way of embracing life with curiosity and joy.
So, start that travel savings account, pack your bag for a weekend getaway, or chat with your boss about work travel opportunities. Adventure doesn’t always knock twice, so start using these tips right now, and turn your travel dreams into reality.
Do you have any tips for how to travel more? Share them in the comments – we’d love to hear them!
Bon voyage! – Micki