I was driving around with a friend talking about places we’d like to travel to. I told him that I was leaving for Greece in a few days and expressed how much I was looking forward to the trip. He responded saying, “That’s so amazing that you’re going there! I wish I could go somewhere cool like Greece.” I paused for a moment then looked at my friend and said in a loving but also firm tone, “Wishing you could go somewhere cool like Greece won’t get you there. If you had to choose one place you want to visit more than anywhere else, where would you go?” He looked back at me, a bit shocked that I called him out so quickly, and said, “Well, I’ve always wanted to go to Australia.”
We then started talking about different ways to get him to his dream vacation. Because I know my friend isn’t the only person who gets caught in the fantasy of traveling but never actually taking the steps to make it happen, I’m going to share 5 ways that have helped me get to my dream vacations because what I want in addition to adding more stamps to my own passport is for you to do the same. I want to help you starve your excuses and feed your dreams. Hungry for adventure? Keep reading.
1. Write it down! Decide where you want to go, put it down on a piece of paper and hang it up some place you can see it every single day. Research shows that if you write down your goals you are 42% more likely to achieve them. After my friend and I had our conversation in the car, he went home and purchased a white board on Amazon. The next day, he hung it in his bedroom, and wrote “Australia” in all caps. He even drew a money meter where he could keep visual track of how much more money he needed to save. Which leads us to our next step.
2. Open a second savings account. One important thing I’ve learned in my 20s is that we live within our means, meaning if my paycheck is (hypothetically) $1,200 every two weeks then I will use that $1,200 to pay my bills, add to my savings account, buy groceries, go out to dinner and drinks with friends, potentially buy a new dress, and purchase a lottery ticket in hopes that I can start bringing in more than $1,200 every other week. All kidding aside, opening a second savings account allows us to save without even realizing that we’re doing it. You can choose to set up automatic transfers from your checking account into your second savings account so the bank automatically takes it out of your pay check. You can even ask your bank to not display your separate savings account on your phone app so you can’t even look at it! Start with $25 or $50 a paycheck and see how quickly you start saving. You’ll be surprised how little you miss this money because it was transferred before you even saw it. And now, it’s living in a place that will help it grow, which is ultimately the life we want for our cute little dollar bills.
3. Set a date. it’s easy to fall into the routine of saying “I will go there some day.” But guess what? There are seven days in a week and someday isn’t one of them. In moments of decision, ACT immediately. You want to go to Australia? Great! When? I want you to set an exact month and year. Then you can begin to look at flight prices.
4. Download “Hopper”. When looking for flights, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Hopper is a great app for booking flights. You enter where you want and when you want to go and it tells you when the flight is at it’ guesstimated most affordable price. Most airlines have newsletters you can sign up for to receive promotions as well.
5. Start telling people. This may sound like a silly tip, but it’s always worked for me. Start telling people your plans. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in conversations with friends or Lyft drivers or bartenders about my upcoming trip or desire to go on a trip, and have made received some sort of tip or connection from it. You never know if the people you share your travel plans with have friends or family who live in the country you’re visiting. And there is no better host than a local!
These 5 steps will help you get from a person who dreams about traveling the world to someone who actually travels the world. It starts with the vision but comes into fruition with a plan. Good luck.
And now, I’m off to Greece! OPA!