Facebook-induced vacation envy and obsession with travel-themed Instagram accounts have never been more real. From the beaches of Bali to ancient city streets, it seems like everyone is doing some sort of Eat, Pray, Love kind of thing. Great news: you can explore more too! Making travel a regular part of your life is much easier than you think. Read on for some simple ways to expand your horizons to sights unseen — we bet you’ll be packing your bags in no time.
1. Keep it local. Travel doesn’t mean you have to head off to destinations that are crazy far away. Try spending a day at a local museum or park, or grab a cup of coffee at the cute cafe you’ve been wanting to try a couple of towns away. We guess there’s a ton of stuff to see that’s already close by — make it a point to find the time to explore.
2. Prioritize your travel plans with a deadline. Traveler Emily Chen says, “Have a hard deadline set and start planning for travel. For me, my hard deadline was a one-way plane ticket that I knew I couldn’t back out of.” If you have to financially commit well in advance to make your travel happen, DO IT.
3. Plan an adventure with friends. Not only is traveling with friends a ton of fun, but it majorly cuts costs and will hold you accountable to actually plan the trip you’ve been dreaming about. Start asking around now to solidify your squad, dates and itinerary.
4. Make peace with the idea of going solo. Forget waiting around if no one has the time or money to travel with you. Instead, resolve to make it happen for yourself. We admire blogger Christine Amorose of C’est Christine who says, “There’s a freedom in being able to explore a new place exactly the way I want to: waking up early, taking long meandering walks with my camera, searching for cool street art, riding a bike around a park, spending all day in the sunshine.”
5. Look for existing opportunities. Are there conferences you can attend through work that you’ve never really considered going to? Is there a class you’ve been itching to take that’s available somewhere you’ve never been? Sign yourself up ASAP.
6. Be spontaneous! Don’t waste a good opportunity to travel just because it pops up unexpectedly. Travel writer Spencer Spellman says, “A lot of people immediately assume that booking a last-minute trip is expensive, but it can actually be advantageous to book hotels last-minute.” He suggests taking advantage of mobile apps like HotelTonight, which features several hotels per place daily, each with deep discounts if booked within a super short time frame. While you may not be able to score an equally affordable flight, road trips are an awesome option for getting to your destination.
7. Go to the faraway events you would’ve skipped. Make it a point to go to your friend’s destination wedding, or to see your little cousin graduate a few states away. Not only are these events a great way to spend more QT with friends and fam, but they’re ALSO prime opps for seeing and experiencing new places during downtime.
8. Make travel a part of your EVERY day. Jordan Bishop, editor of How I Travel, says you may not actually need to move at all to feel instantly more worldly. “Surround yourself with inspiring people who hold unique world perspectives. You’ll be amazed at how quickly this change brings a world of possibilities to your doorstep.” Take Jordan’s tip a step further by scoping out a visiting art show or exhibit, watching a foreign film or even by joining a cultural community or club that offers something totally new to you.
Where’s the best place you’ve been? Where do you want to go next? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)