“How do you get to travel so much?”
“Why is it that you always seem to be traveling somewhere?”
I’m asked questions like these on a regular basis. It’s rather surprising too since I really don’t feel like I travel all that often. I travel roughly three to four times a year, but there are people out there that travel way more than that. But if you consider that the people who ask me these questions travel maybe once every couple of years, I can see why they’d think I travel a lot.
After some self-reflection I’ve realized that I have different habits from those who don’t see much of the world. These habits have helped build a lifestyle where travel becomes a big part of my life. What is more, I’ve noticed these same habits in other regular travelers.
I’ve narrowed them down to six habits that seem to work best for those who see a large portion of the world. Those habits are:
1. Save and spend money wisely
Look at how expensive it is to travel. You have to spend money on plane tickets, somewhere to stay and food to eat. Add to that any additional costs for entertainment and various other expenses and the tally goes up even more.
People who travel more know this. They know that if you want to travel more you have to pick and choose what you spend your money on. Are you going to spend the majority of your money on a large TV and fancy car or that awesome trip to the pyramids?
Simply put, good savers make good travelers. If you’re willing to give up a little bit of spending power while you’re at home, you can find more money later when you want to travel the world.
2. Becoming familiar with frequent flyer programs
It’s no surprise that one of the most expensive items for traveling is the plane ticket. So getting a plane ticking for nothing or perhaps a few dollars would be a great way to get you traveling more. That’s what frequent flyer miles can do for you and if you’re not racking up those miles right now, you could be losing out on some travel opportunities.
When you buy a ticket through your airline, you should have the opportunity to get miles on the flight. You can also get many miles through credit card applications (just make sure you pay it off every month) or special deals like signing up for a new Netflix account. Eventually all those miles add up and you can get a flight for practically nothing.
3. Use weekends and holidays
You don’t always need to take time off work to travel. You can use weekends and holidays to take a short trip too. This works especially well for cities nearby that don’t take long to see.
In the past few years, I’ve used weekends to see places like San Antonio, Texas and Washington D.C. I didn’t have to take any time off and I got to see each city really well. It’s a great method to use when you’re in between big trips and you want to satisfy your travel bug.
4. Make travel a priority
Traveling is important for those who travel a lot. They’ve made it a big priority and because of this importance, they go out of their way to fit travel as much as possible into their life. Because of this importance, well-traveled people look for ways to travel and find new opportunities to see the world.
They also think about travel a lot too. In fact, I think about it almost every single day. It’s not just a once-a-year thing to me, it’s an everyday thing. I read about it, watch videos on it and think about all the places I want to see and what I’ll do when I’m there. Just thinking about it right now is making me want to hop on a plane and go somewhere.
5. Think beyond two weeks
If you look hard enough, you can find opportunities to travel for longer than the two week standard in the US. I’ve managed to travel for long periods of time twice before and I’ll be living abroad for six weeks in Morocco in just a few months.
It’s a simple idea: travel more by extending the time you devote to traveling. Get into the habit of looking for those opportunities to travel longer than two weeks. If you’re in college, find out if there is a study abroad program or apply to join the Peace Corps. If you’re working, ask your employers if you can take a sabbatical or leave of absence. It’s worked for me in the past.
6. Finding the right jobs for travel
Some jobs are just going to be more accepting of travel than others. I’ve had employers in the past let me take off several long periods of time to travel and a few others who would only let me take off two weeks a year and that’s it. Those who like to travel would do well to find one that is generous in time off to their employees.
One thing many well-traveled people do is become self-employed or own their own business. This can give you a better position to let yourself travel whenever you want. I knew an owner of a business who took off a month to travel through Norway while at the same time only allowing his employees two weeks a year.
Many jobs such as working in a hospital or as a teacher offer longer periods of time off each year. Other jobs like travel nursing include travel in the job description. Some people prefer to work entirely online so they can do their job from anywhere in the world.
Do you have any travel habits that get you to see more of the world? Share them in the comments below so we can all travel more.
photo credit: WanderingtheWorld