Travel vlogs and filtered social media posts rarely capture the less glamorous side of travel, and, to be honest, it can be tough for even the most intrepid traveler to get motivated to head into the unknown. Traveling can mean chaotic airports and rescheduled flights, flat tires, lost luggage, and frustrations big and small. The reasons to put off traveling until later can quickly stack up. However, traveling can also be the most transformative and fulfilling experience, filled with breathtaking sunrises on mountaintops, laughter and learning with locals, and moments of deep realization on forested trails. For all these reasons and more, travel is always worth the effort and the headaches along the way. Overcoming a lack of motivation isn’t always easy, so we have compiled ten practical ways to get fired up and ready to travel this year!
10 Get Inspired
Travel inspiration is a great motivator to travel. Travel blogs, Instagram hashtags, and Pinterest boards are all great ways to soak in some travel inspiration. This option is fun but can be overwhelming if potential travelers choose a broad hashtag to follow. For example, the #travel hashtag has hundreds of millions of posts associated with it on any given day. It’s recommended that inspiration seekers follow more specific trends like #fallfoliage, #lgbtqtravel, or #solotravel, depending on specific interests. Following travelers with similar backgrounds and interests can be inspiring, too. For example, traveling as a family with small children can seem like a daunting task. However, watching and learning from those who do it can give potential family travelers an essential confidence boost to book that dream trip. Inspiration is just a click away.
9 Watch Shows About Interesting Destinations
Looking for travel inspiration can be a challenge. Fortunately, streaming services, conventional cable television, and YouTube channels are making it easier to dream up itineraries and learn about what to expect on a future trip or to get curious about possible destinations. Travel shows are a minimal-cost option for potential travelers who are just starting to think about planning a trip but who aren’t quite ready to invest in preparations and place tickets. Set a goal to watch one or two shows a week. Because of the low time investment and cost, this is one of the easier ways to find inspiration for would-be adventurers on a budget and with limited free time.
8 Try An International-Themed Staycation
Sometimes, creating a vacation vibe in a familiar place is a helpful boost to the travel appetite. Aspiring travelers can plan a staycation in their cities or even their homes with a few creative touches to inspire. It’s easy to create a special travel ambiance at home: Italian songs playing on the stereo, pasta takeout by candlelight, a Tuscan wine, and an Italian film on the television can be just the right inspiration to make that booking.
7 Learn A Language
One of the simplest and most practical inspirations for travel is language learning. Immersion can help language students deepen their skills and cultural understanding. Download a free language application and begin learning new phrases to awaken curiosity about other ways of communicating and living. Getting the chance to practice a new language in a country where it is primarily spoken is a rare opportunity and a great reason to travel.
6 Start A Travel Fund
Watching a bank account grow with hard-earned money is a great motivator to save – and to travel! Set aside a savings fund just for traveling and contribute to it as often as possible. Aspiring travelers who set a financial goal for travel and reach it will be motivated to turn travel dreams into reality. It’s not necessary to use a formal savings account, although that might be the best option for some savers. Some potential travelers are most motivated by actually watching their money grow and might be most inspired by stashing savings in a jar or small fish tank. Not sure how much to save? The global cost of living calculators can help.
5 Plan A Dream Itinerary
Travelers who can’t decide where to go and feel stuck in the planning process can use travel planning tools and apps to dream up ideal itineraries. Kayak.com's Explore feature and other booking sites allow travelers to find flights between any location, anywhere in the world, at any time. Another great resource is Rome2Rio. This site allows travelers to choose a departure location and multiple destinations, then displays the various means of travel between each destination, including flights, driving routes, public transportation, and ferries.
4 Plan Trips With A Friend
Sometimes, getting the travel bug requires a little accountability and personal support. There’s no need to go it alone when it comes to travel planning. Planning a trip with a friend or group can help would-be travelers stay on task. A simple call or video chat with a travel buddy to dream up a new trip may be all that’s needed to spark a passion for travel. Bonding and making memories with friends is a special inspiration for getting out of the comfort zone. Watching the faces of your loved ones light up when they see new sights and have new experiences is sufficient reason to get excited about traveling.
3 Shop For Travel Essentials
A bit of retail therapy can go a long way toward helping travelers feel like taking on new adventures. Upgrading travel necessities and gear can stoke excitement for getting out and seeing the world with new gadgets in hand. Brand-new luggage or an upgraded travel pillow can be exciting purchases that help travelers visualize their next trip. Practical purchases can also reduce travel anxiety and make the experience more comfortable. For example, a new travel wallet with spaces for cash, a hotel keycard, a passport, and boarding passes can take the stress out of getting organized for an international trip.
2 Start Local With A Weekend Trip
Perhaps the best way to get into the mindset of a long trip is to start with a short weekend trip in the local region. Travelers who want to try this tip should begin with research into the hidden gems in their region, decide on the accommodation, and plan a safe route. A first aid kit, spare tire, and emergency items like flares and thermal blankets can help travelers feel prepared for the uncertainties of the road. A weekend away exploring the region can be all that is needed to get into a travel groove.
1 Book The Ticket
After saving, learning, planning, and working with a buddy, it’s time to book the trip! Few things inspire travel, like having a fixed departure date and a confirmed ticket. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to save on airline tickets. The excitement of knowing that adventure awaits on a specific day in the future can quickly kickstart those travel butterflies. If potential travelers are uncertain about future schedules, refundable ticket and accommodation bookings are a safe choice. Travel insurance can also relieve worries and “what ifs” and give travelers the confidence to make reservations…with no reservations.