When it comes to living your best travel life, don’t let anything hold you back. We all have increasingly busy lives and time is a luxury for most of us, and that includes the amount of annual leave we have at our disposal.
Travel can be expensive too, so it’s natural that you might
feel there are barriers keeping you from seeing more of the world (or your own
back yard for that matter), but are the excuses really valid? Are you sure you’re
not just a little daunted and it’s not fear holding you back instead?
Read on for some of the common excuses that could be stopping you from living your best travel life, as well as tips on how to overcome them.
1. Your excuse “I don’t have enough annual leave.”
Join the club! I’ve been with my current employer long enough to have increased my annual leave up to 25 days…which is still nowhere near enough for everything I try to fit into my life!
How to overcome the annual leave challenge
To make the most of my allowance I use Bank Holidays to create long weekends, which means I only need to book a day or 2 of leave either side to give me a decent block of days or even a full week at Easter.
The other thing you can do is take greater advantage of
weekends by booking a day of leave on Friday and leaving late after work on
Thursday so you can get a 4-day break in, but with the need to book just 1 day
of leave to make it happen.
If you are lucky enough to have flexi-time, use it to your advantage and store it up and use it for breaks and holidays.
If you work remotely, you might have the option of logging into work from wherever you want to visit which could mean more time spent at your destination without eating into valuable annual leave.
2. Your excuse “I can’t afford to travel.”
Travelling doesn’t have to mean jetting off long-haul and having to save for months to be able to afford it! I’m a huge fan of cheap and cheerful staycations and exploring closer to home means the financial outlay is much less prohibitive and you can still get an awful lot out of it. Check out 5 Microadventure Planning Considerations for some inspiration.
How to overcome the financial barrier
A road trip is a great way to cut travel costs, and if you’re savvy about accommodation, you can go on an adventure on a tight budget right here in the UK.
Check out the thousands of budget-friendly glamping pods all over the country
Consider camping as your accommodation choice to keep costs to an absolute minimum, or if you’re wanting to travel during the colder months, opt for a cheap Air B&B stay or check out the thousands of budget-friendly glamping pods all over the country, where you can stay overnight from around £30.
Alternatively, you could opt for a holiday park. A stay in a static caravan can be surprisingly cheap, it’s possible to pick up a week in Cornwall for under £300 in September in a caravan large enough for a family of 5, so check out what the likes of Haven, Hoseasons, Park Dean, Darwin Escapes, Park Holidays, South West Holiday Parks and more can offer, especially if you’re willing to go out of season.
If that’s still beyond your budget, consider a stay with YHA, just make sure you book in advance, and if you’re happy to share a room you can get comfortable overnight accommodation in a dorm cheaply.
If you still feel you can’t afford even a weekend away, take a look at your budget and work out where your money is going. Can you cut back on something for a month or two in order to fund a weekend away?
Most of us have expenses that aren’t strictly necessary – cocktails out at the weekend, appointments at the hairdresser, entertainment subscriptions or the occasional takeaway – if you’re determined to fund a few days away and money is tight, you may be able to identify areas you could cut back on to facilitate this.
The way I do it, is I have side hustles that I work on alongside my main full time job. I write and I also make and sell jewellery on Etsy, all of which help to fund my travels.
I aim for a ‘big’ holiday every 2 or 3 years. This means that some years I don’t fly overseas at all and stick to staycations here in the UK and other years I have cheaper holidays, for example, heading to the South of France for a caravan holiday.
Doing this means I can take a couple of years to save up, so I can then afford to blow out on a bigger, more luxurious holiday.
3. Your excuse “I don’t have anyone to travel with.”
I get it, solo travel can feel like a daunting prospect, but you might be surprised by just how liberating it is and just how much fun you can have on your own. Please don’t let fear of going solo hold you back – I promise you, you’ll get a to out of it and might come to love it too!
“I felt like a tit doing things on my own initially and was wrapped up in what people might be thinking of me being on my own.”
I’m not some kind of weird anti-social loner, like most, I thrive in the company of others and have plenty of friends, many of whom however don’t seek adventure in the same way that I do or are tied down with a young family. But even now I’m married, I still often take off on my own fairly regularly and I love it!
How to overcome the fear of going solo
Making the excuse of not wanting to travel alone is a bit of a cop-out, and it’s one that I used for decades! I felt like a tit doing things on my own initially and was wrapped up in what people might be thinking of me being on my own, and for some, it can be a lack of confidence.
I mean, sure it’s nice to share experiences with other people, but really, doing something just for you and making no compromises can be an amazing experience. So how about doing something you’ve always wanted to do or going somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, alone?
Make your first experience something small, so it’s not too daunting. Start by finding a small local campsite for just one night. Take a good book, a tablet with a couple of good films on, your walking/running gear, some crafts, practice some mindful meditation and do a bit of yoga and hey presto. 24 hours of blissful relaxation on your own terms, more than enough to give you a dose of healthy self-confidence!
The best thing about traveling alone is that you have more time to focus on and be present in the moment and you get to really take in and appreciate what you’re doing as there are fewer distractions. There’s no small talk or distracting conversation (apart from the endless narration running in your own head that is) You don’t have to make any compromises and you get to live totally on your own agenda for a few days. It’s also a great confidence booster!
If you’ve never traveled solo, I really can’t recommend it enough and you can read more about how I plan my solo travels here.
4. Your excuse “I have too many family responsibilities.”
If you’re a carer I feel for you and understand that getting time off to yourself can feel next to impossible. Not only do you feel obligated to be there, but practically speaking, you might feel like there’s no one else to step in if you’re not there.
How to overcome the barrier of responsibilities
If this is the case, call on siblings or other family members and don’t forget that there are support groups and charities that can help and may be able to offer short-term care in your absence (see links at the end of this feature for more information).
If you’re a parent, as long as your little one has
grandparents or you have someone else co-parenting with you, I don’t think
taking a few days out for you is a bad thing. In fact, when my daughter was little,
I went away a handful of times. As a single parent, thankfully I had a
wonderful family and my parents were happy to look after my daughter for a few
days when I needed a break.
Taking care of your own needs can seem selfish and women in particular I think, get used to making sure the family is looked after and tend to put their own needs last, but the fact is, some time away can do you the world of good and is far from a selfish act.
Suggesting it to your other half, or asking grandparents doesn’t make you a bad person at all – being aware of your need for breathing space is I think, healthy, leaving you in a better space mentally with more energy and renewed vigour once you’re back.
I’m not suggesting for one moment you leave your newborn to go off for an around the world backpacking trip for a year, but a weekend away will probably do you the world of good!
Go for it!
Whatever your excuse, think about it objectively and if you really want to make it happen, you can probably find a way around it, don’t let the voice of doubt or anxiety hold you back.
So go on, get out there and live your best travel life!