There are 80 million millennials in the U.S. and each person travels an average of 2.6 trips per year. But the twenty-somethings aren’t the only ones bitten by the wanderlust bug. Research shows that 64% of millennials who travel are parents.
Millennials value experiences over material possessions. That’s why they travel more compared to any other generation. They don’t like missing out on life. Thus, they splurge on travel, hoping to encounter new adventures and to experience new cultures.
The advent of technology has played a crucial role in this generation’s urge for wanderlust. As you can see on social media, there’s an increasing hype around travel. User-generated content has been fueling the young travelers’ wanderlust, and it pretty much influences their decision to plan a trip. You’ve probably seen so many people quitting their jobs to travel full-time. Of course, as amazing as that sounds, not everyone can afford the same luxury.
Despite working nine-to-five jobs, millennials make it possible to globetrot. Anyone can follow their lead. Sure, you too can have a full-time job and travel as much as you want to. By adding a touch of creativity to meticulous planning, you will be sipping mai tais by the beach in no time.
So, how can you do it?
Finding time or coming up with a travel fund isn’t easy. However, it isn’t impossible. People who want to travel often blame their inability to do so on not having enough money. But if you truly want to dive into this kind of lifestyle, you shouldn’t cling to such excuses. Don’t let these things hold you back.
The first step you will have to take is a step away from such a mindset. Believe that you can, and you will be able to achieve your dream vacations. Put in the work so you can raise more money for your trip. Whether it’s working extra shifts or cutting unnecessary expenditures, there are several things you can do to come up with travel funds.
Use Your Vacation Days
Research shows that Americans aren’t using up their vacation days as much as they should. In 2016, about 54% of employees in the U.S. wasted their vacation time. For some reason, taking time off work has become an act of courage in corporate America. But it shouldn’t be.
Remember that these vacation policies are part of the compensation package. Plus, they exist precisely so that you can take vacations. Think of it this way: If you’re well-rested, your productivity and performance will be so much better compared to when you’re burned out. So don’t forfeit those paid leaves. If you want to travel while working a full-time job, use all those vacation days.
Take Advantage of Holidays
Another brilliant way of maximizing paid vacation days is by planning trips around the holidays. For instance, you can turn a mid-week Fourth of July into a week-long vacation. This way, you get ample time to explore new cities, and you won’t have to use so much of your paid vacation days.
Be sure to plan ahead. Book all your flights. Make reservations. Traveling during the holidays can be pretty overwhelming. Airports are going to be insanely crowded. Hotels are bound to raise their rates. Plan that trip ahead of time.
Plan a Weekend Getaway
A weekend getaway won’t give you enough time to explore new countries. But it presents plenty of opportunities for you to travel around a new city. If you think two days won’t be enough, then extend your mini-break. Take time off work on a Friday or a Monday.
Instead of traveling outside of your country, maybe you can go on a road trip to cities close to yours, ones you haven’t fully explored. You can also opt to fly to your destination to save time. Again, plan everything ahead to save time and even money. So that you can stick close to your budget, you can subscribe to airline newsletters and keep track of cheap flights.
Make the Most of Business Trips
Do you travel for work? There’s little opportunity for exploration if you’re on a business trip—but you can have ample time for sightseeing if you ask to extend your trip for a few days. Of course, the company may not shoulder the extra expenses you incur, but your flight back home should be covered. Still, you won’t have to spend so much. Business trips are often scheduled during off-peak days, which means prices will be relatively low.
Since you are already in a country or city you’ve yet to explore, you might as well take advantage of the opportunity.
Be a Digital Nomad
Technology has made the world increasingly connected. You can be halfway across the world and still be able to catch up with what your co-workers are doing. If your company offers such flexibility, then you should dive right in and embrace the offer. If you are your own boss, for instance, you won’t have to sacrifice work to have a vacation. Given that you can connect to the Internet from your vacation destination, you should be able to sneak in a few hours of work.
Hold Out for a Long Holiday
Instead of taking a few breaks every few months, you can opt to hold out and blow it all on a long holiday. For sure, this is one of the best strategies you can do to explore more of the world. With a three-week holiday, you can probably even visit several countries and still have enough time to just sit by the beach and do nothing.
Plan everything months before you make the big trip. Create a travel budget, and save as much money as you can.
Are you ready to travel the world? The most important thing you can do is to get started. Make a conscious decision to turn away from needless expenditures. Muster up the courage to talk to your boss about using your paid vacation leaves. Finally, learn to step away from work and other obligations. Convince yourself that you do deserve that vacation.
Cal Bailey runs Mountain Leon – a travel blog he started after two years on backpacking around the world. If you want to learn more about life on the road or tips for travelling, you can read his latest post here.