9 Simple Things I Do To Travel More Frequently and Stress-Free
Traveling gives me the opportunity to see the world through different lenses. I feel a rare sense of freedom and undiluted happiness once I’m in a new destination.
But the travel life comes with a lot of planning and sacrifices. Sometimes, it can be pretty stressful as well trying to fit in your love for travel with other necessary adult life activities and expenses.
But the very simple things often make such a difference. Here are 9 things I do to travel more frequently, yet stress-free.
1. Create a travel list
Make a list of countries you would like to visit over the course of the year. If you’re a Nigerian (or similarly not very travel friendly) passport holder make a list of countries with less visa stress. Make a list of the attractions and adventures you would love to tick off or conquer.
2. Work it into your budget
If you want to travel more, you have to plan for it. At the beginning of the year I have a budget for major expenses and work in my travel into it. It’s not cast in stone, so I review the budget frequently to allow for my activities.
3. Save & forego some guilty pleasures:
To make that budget work for you, you have to be savvy. As an economist, I firmly believe in opportunity cost (the trade off for having something over another thing) . Due to my love for traveling and good food, I forego a lot of things over the course of the year. For example and maybe rather controversially, seeing as it almost ruined a friendship but as a rule I don’t buy asoebi .
4. Plan your activities:
Once you’ve been able to save for it, you have to plan. Book your hotel and tickets ahead of time. Research the different interesting spots and create a mini itinerary for your activities ahead and a daily schedule of preferred tourist activities. This helps manage your time better and you get the best out of even shorter holidays.
5. Travel with a group or Get a travel buddy:
Just as some things are achieved faster with an accountability partner, you could be able to travel more if you get a travel buddy to ease planning and costs. And if you’d rather just pay and have someone else do the hard work, find a travel group or tour company. Remember how I explored the Sahara Desert with 19 other ladies?
6. Travel during low seasons
While it’s exciting to travel during peak season, sometimes you just have to be calm and wait for discounts. So from Nigeria, I’d typically avoid the summer / Christmas rush and travel before or after “holiday” seasons . Ticket prices seem to be higher from June 13 to September 15 and skyrocket again in December. Some airlines often have the Independence Day sales and also Black Friday sales. So, it’s helpful to plan your trips around that time.
7. Merge destinations together:
This often works out cheaper than flying on two separate counts. So If your final destination is London, you could fly Emirates from Lagos and have a few days Dubai layover, fly Turkish Airlines and explore Istanbul for a couple of days or Royal Air Maroc and enjoy Morocco - or so many other options. Explore these.
8. Gather Air Miles:
It’s amazing how many people don’t take advantage of this open secret. As much as I’m an advocate of cheap tickets, sticking to a few airlines has its perks as it allows you to build air miles which could you use for free travel or upgrades. Some airlines are more generous than others so do some research before signing up.
9. Use Booking Engines:
For hotel searches or car rentals, you can score amazing deals on 3rd party sites and booking engines. These also save you the stress of searching so many different options as they compare the prices for you. Some hotels will often match the price found on the booking engine or even offer it cheaper. So once you’ve made a decision it can be helpful to call the hotel directly and ask for a price match.
So these are a few things I do to travel more frequently, because it has to be a super-conscious effort, but it’s oh-so-worth it!
It’s time to start thinking about about next year travel plans - which of these things will you be doing? Any other tip to travel more?
What countries are you hoping to explore or visit in 2019?