The new year often brings New Year’s resolutions. Among the most popular resolutions are to lose weight, get in shape, save money, or travel more often.1 While many people mean well, only about 8 percent of people actually keep their New Year’s resolution.2 Most of us know the rules to lose weight, get in shape, or save money, but how much do we know about how to travel more? If you’re interested in keeping a resolution to travel more in 2016, then read on.
Plan ahead: Write down the dates during which you’d like to travel in the new year. Studies show that people who write down their goals have a much higher chance of achieving them.3 While you’re at it, tell everyone you know that you plan to travel more. People who talk about their goals tend to have a better chance of accomplishing them.
Research: Once you have your top destinations on paper, take the time to research the places you’ve selected. Note the cost that it will take to travel to your dream location and observe the best times of the year to travel there. The more your plan, the more likely you will be to succeed at your goal to travel more in 2016.
Gauge costs: For some lucky travelers, cost is not a factor when planning to travel more often. The rest of us have to plan our travel and the money we spend. If the cost is more than you expected, look for ways to cut expenses or for a comparable destination that you can visit at a more affordable cost.
Save more money: If cost is one of the factors that keeps you from traveling frequently, make a plan to save more money. Instead of eating out during the week, put that money toward traveling. If you like to snack during the work day, pack treats from home instead of spending money at the vending machine. Have a long commute to work that adds up in big expenses? Carpool with a co-worker to save money. Comb through your billing statements and cut unnecessary expenses with the goal of applying the savings toward your next getaway.
Take shorter trips: While frequent travel overseas may be desirable, it might not be financially feasible. That doesn’t mean you can’t travel; it just means that you’ll have to travel within your means. Take more trips closer to home. Pack a cooler and take a road trip with a few friends, or pack up the family and set out to explore theme parks and national parks close to home.
Weekend warrior: If you believe you just don’t have time to travel, consider becoming a weekend warrior. It’s possible when you hop on a red-eye flight on Friday after work and take the red-eye home on Sunday. Imagine how many more places you’ll be able to see!
Frequent flyer credit cards: Credit cards that offer points that are valid toward travel may be invaluable if you wish to travel more in 2016. Don’t have any cards like this? Research the most appropriate card for your needs and consider signing up! But use credit wisely and keep in mind that if you don’t pay your card balance off in full every month, the resulting interest charges may erode your travel budget.
Seek free or discounted travel: While researching where to travel, note any vacation sweepstakes offered by reputable companies and be on the lookout for travel discounts. Sometimes employers even offer travel discounts to their employees. Do your due diligence and look at all of your options before booking your travel.