Categories Travel Tips 10 Tips to Prioritize Travel in Your Life November 19, 2016No Comments on 10 Tips to Prioritize Travel in Your Life Working full-time and making time for personal travel is not easy – I understand. My job as a Consultant takes up 45-60 hours of my time most weeks of the year; however, the tips below have helped make traveling for pleasure a priority and reality in my life. I hope that some of these can do the same for you – no matter your profession, budget, or travel goals. Start Local Making travel a priority doesn’t necessarily mean a two week trek across Europe. Some of my favorite vacations have been weekend getaways in my home state of Michigan. Local “staycations” can offer the appeal of a traditional vacation but fit better within a budget. Check out Airbnb and other Bed and Breakfasts in the nearby country, city, or burbs. Make a Goal Take the time to think through exactly how and when you want to prioritize travel in your life. Maybe you want to visit Hawaii in the next two years. Write that down, and commit to it. Talk about that goal with friends, family, loved ones. Once it’s out in the open and on your mind, it may be more likely to actually happen. My next big travel goal is to do the Yacht Week Greece before my 30th birthday with a group of friends! Earn Rewards Next time you’re relaxing on your couch on a Sunday, sign up for all the hotel and airline rewards programs. Earning points on one vacation can help make the next vacation much more affordable. Further, consider researching credit cards that offer multiple ways to redeem points for travel. Some of these companies offer great initial deals where you can earn up to 50,000 points in the first 3 months. I personally love my American Airlines Aadvantage credit card. Find out more here. Find a Buddy Solo travel has its perks, but finding a friend or loved one to commit to traveling with you can be just what you need to make your travel dream a reality. It’s much easier to break a promise to yourself than to a friend, and planning with two people is so much fun. Cut Costs Spending more money on traveling means you likely must cut costs in other areas. Write down your usual discretionary costs (coffee, eating out, clothing, etc.) and identify which are most important to you and which you can cut down on. While giving up your $5 morning latte (aka $1800 a year) may hurt in the short term, I promise it’ll be worth it when you’re lying on the beach at the end of the year. Scout for Deals Do your research to find the best deals possible. There are tons of tools to help you find flights at deep discounts. Set up SkyScanner price alerts for your dream destinations and sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flight Deals Newsletter, which will notify you of amazing flight deals via email. Further, consider alternatives for lodging that may help you save money, including home rentals and hostels. Airbnb and HostelWorld offer a great starting point. Consider your Career Some jobs are more flexible than others when it comes to taking vacation. Luckily, my work as a Consultant makes it relatively easy to plan trips between projects and also offers more vacation than industry average. Other jobs that may be flexible for traveling include teaching, event coordinating, and freelance writing. If you are not in the market for a career change, plan your vacations early. Getting your time off approved and on the books makes it harder for you and your company to back out. Also, do some research on what the industry average for vacation or paid time off (PTO) is in your field – if you are not receiving the industry standard or more, ask for it gracefully. PTO is a form of compensation that employers may be more flexible about than salary. Pursue a Passion While it may be difficult for some to foot the bill for a trip purely for enjoyment, consider taking a trip that expands on an existing passion. If you’re a hiker, invest in that trip to Machu Picchu. If you’re a runner, take a trip to Vegas for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon where you run the trip at night. Stay Flexible You might not be able to take your dream vacation this year, next year, or even the next. I have tons of places on my list that I refer to as my “later in life” destinations. Keep an open mind for destinations that may be more affordable. For my US readers, think Mexico and the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and Belize all offer affordable and amazing trips). Just Go! At the end of the day, making travel a priority in your life is up to you. It can be scary to commit to trips without having all the details worked out. However, from my experience it has always been worth it. Keep the above tips in mind, and share others that have worked for you in the comments below!