Go travel! It’s a common refrain that’s starting to border on broken record. But it’s also a truism. We know your life is intrinsically better if you take time to travel. We know that experiences matter more than “stuff.”
Planning a trip is half the fun sometimes. So here is a quick guide to expedite your next trip, vacation, adventure, or holiday. A few tips. A few insights. A few thoughts.
STEP 1: BUDGET
First, budget your time. Without this, nothing is possible. Listen, I know I’m at an advantage here. I live in Germany and have over 30 days vacation, plus public holidays every year to play with. Americans just don’t have that luxury. Maybe consider living abroad? If not, there are plenty of three-day weekends and many Americans get at least two weeks every year on top of that.
The first thing I do when I start scheming for an adventure is look at my year. Where are the three- and four-day weekends? Do I want to spend those weekends in someone’s backyard getting sh*tty on scotch and rib-eyes (a valid option), or do I want to spend that time — and likely the same amount of money — in a national park or exploring a city?
Once you’ve decided when you really do have time to get away, then it’s time to think about spending. And this means more than what is, or isn’t, in your bank account. Where can you save money this year? Is it worth buying new furniture for your apartment, or secondhand pieces? What about clothes? Do you really need to spend $500 on that new season line? Or can you cut that down to $200? Is it really worth spending $500 to upgrade your smartphone? (Spoiler: It’s not.)
All of these little things add up fast. The conspire to form a society of people who say, “I’m too broke to travel.” So save. If you know you’re going on a trip over a long weekend, spend that month not going out every weekend drinking or eating out. It’s really easier than it sounds. And now you have a set amount of cash you know you can spend.
STEP 2: WHERE
This is a facet of travel that everyone is sure to have an opinion about. The real answer, of course, is where ever the hell you bloody well feel like. Okay, disclaimer, I’m not endorsing you go to a war zone.