What the hell is stopping you from travelling?

Varadero, Cuba

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Every day we stop ourselves from doing something that deep down we want to do with some lame excuse. ‘I’m tired’, ‘I haven’t got much money’, ‘I’ve got nothing to wear’. But, what’s the excuse you give yourself for not travelling? I know you want to travel, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading the Snap Happy Travel website. I bet you’ve told yourself a million little excuses to delay your travels. Believe me, we’ve heard them all! Do you know how many times people have told us “I’d love to be doing what you’re doing BUT…” and they’ll give us one of a few ‘trusty’ excuses. It’s crap. Which is why I’m writing this post, to shoot these excuses down. Where there’s a will there’s a way as they say.

Exploring Cinque Terre, Italy

BUT, I don’t have a penny to my name…

The most common response for sure. I’m certain you have some savings put away for a rainy day. It could be 500, it could be 5000 – at least it’s a start. Say you only have €1000 in your savings account, that’s all you need for a month in South East Asia (or even Eastern Europe or Central America). Honestly, that’s including food, buses, hostels and even some cheap day trips. If you’re tight on cash for a trip don’t let it deter you, as I said €1000 will get you far in certain parts of the world. My advice is – before you leave write out a detailed budget of what you’re willing to spend every day on essential items like food and accommodation then do lots and lots of research into the most achievable way of sticking to this budget. Having limited funds means you’re going to have to be okay with hostel dorms and street food but look at it this way, the less you spend on food and shelter the more spare change you have to do fun activities like a bungee jump or snorkeling. Is a certain city looking too expensive? Maybe avoid it and come back another time. Or, if you really want to visit why not try couch surfing – it’s free. Also, try to avoid travelling at peak times like school holidays or over Christmas/ New Year as accommodation prices will increase massively during these times.

Okay so €1000 will cover your daily expenses for a month, but what about your flights – they’ll set you back another €500. Now for this extra dosh, it’s time to knuckle down and do some serious saving. About 3 months before you leave cut out the daily barista coffees, stop ‘popping into Penney’s’ on your lunch break, bring your lunch to work 4 out of the 5 days (because everybody needs a ‘treat day’), stop buying MAC makeup (buy a cheap brand instead you’re only washing it off at the end of the day), dye your own hair, do your own eyebrows – you get my drift. If you can, move back home or sleep on a friends couch for a couple of weeks so that you can sublet your apartment out – that would be a serious amount of extra cash that will go a long way on your travels. Et voila you’ve easily saved an extra €1,000 over 3 months.

Our ‘old home’ in Whistler. Canada

BUT, I’d miss my parents/ best friend/ dog too much…

The other night I watched the movie ‘Brooklyn’ with Saoirse Ronan, and it made me realise how goddam easy we have it as travellers now. Back in the 1950’s it was hard to be away from home. There were no flights, only a very long boat journey home and the only way to keep in touch was a letter in the mail. Now, in 2016, we have Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, Snapchat the list is endless, so, you can keep in contact with your mammy every hour of the day if you like. Plus, flights nowadays are so inexpensive and frequent that you could literally fly home at the drop of a hat if you needed to.

BUT, I’m running out of time – I want to start a family/ buy a house…

You’re not running out of time, there’s plenty of time to do the responsible things that you may feel like you HAVE to do. If you don’t travel now, I guarantee you never will, the longer you put it off the further you push it away, until, eventually it’s nothing but a distant dream. Travel, then have the baby. Travel, then buy the house.

Once you have a kid travel becomes a lot harder, I know some people make it look easy, but I bet if you actually sat down and had an honest chat with them, they’d tell you that it was a hundred times easier without the baby. Maybe, you really really want to buy a house, that’s great – what a grown-up decision. But don’t jump the gun, travel for a few months first, explore other cities and cultures. If you’ve only ever lived in one place how can you be absolutely certain that’s the place for you. There’s lots of houses out there, the right one will come along at the right time.

Lincoln Park Steps, San Francisco

BUT, I already have a kid(s)…

Yup, it will definitely be harder to travel with kids. You will have to be even more careful about where you travel to. If you’ve never traveled as a mammy or daddy before, then, I recommend sticking to safer more westernized countries like Spain, Italy, Bali, Vietnam, Mexico, Australia and Belize. We’ve been to all these places and they are more than ideal for family travel. Read about our Vietnam and Belize travels here and here. Also, you will need to travel a lot ‘slower’, kids can’t deal with being uprooted every two days for a new city. Take it easy. Or travel for shorter periods of time. Be more careful what transport options you choose, maybe hire a car instead of using local buses. Use airbnb and get a spacious apartment for the kids to run around in instead of a hotel room. Eat earlier, kids like that, they get tired quickly, which is great for your wallet because you’ll avail of all the early-bird specials at the local restaurants. And at the end of the day, what better gift to give your child than the opportunity to see the world.

Ubud, Bali

BUT, I’ve got nobody to go with me…

Solo travel is a thing, you know that right? It’s a big thing. There’s article upon article about travelling solo, especially for all you single ladies, click here for some great tips by perhaps the most famous female solo traveller – Adventurous Kate. Honestly, google ‘female solo travelers’ and you’ll find lots of excellent tips for staying safe and making friends on the road. My advice is to stay in hostels as much as possible, here you’ll quickly find lots of like-minded people to hang with and some may even continue on with you in your travels. It takes guts to travel solo, I salute you and we bet you’ll never ever regret taking this leap. Plus, you will only have to think about yourself for the whole trip. Feel like eating Mexican food every night of your trip, well you can because you’ve got nobody to consult with. Want to lie on the beach for 3 days straight, guess what you can do that too because you’ve got nobody to compromise with. Want to buy that cute little dress at the local markets, you can do that too without a nagging voice in your ear telling you you shouldn’t be spending money so freely. I’m actually getting a little jealous now.

Snow-mobiling in Whistler

And when you just can’t go…

Sadly, I completely understand that some people can’t go travelling due to more serious circumstances. A loved one may be sick, you may be sick yourself or your may be in significant amounts of debt. If that’s the case, I hope you get through this tough period and get to travel some day in the not so distant future. And when you do be sure to read our blog for advice.

Havana, Cuba

I know there are times in life when you have to be sensible and buy that house or stay in our job for that long-awaited promotion. But you know what – if you really want to travel, then do it, if you want it you’ll find a way if not you’ll find an excuse. It’s as simply as that when it comes down to it really. Plus, any employer worth working for will appreciate your sense of adventure, you’ll be bringing back a heap of new skills and an unrivalled understanding of different cultures. That sounds like a ‘gold star’ employee to me. Go ask your boss if you can take leave for a few months, tell them you’d love if they would consider rehiring you on your return, that you love your job blah blah blah. I’m sure they’ll leave the door open for you and if not open at least slightly ajar.

You’ll never be as young as you are at this moment, embrace culture-change, embrace new and exotic foods, embrace friends from faraway places, embrace travel.

Now, tell me again, what the hell is stopping you from travelling?!

Snorkelling in Belize

Thanks for reading,

Aimee & Paul (the Snap Happy Travel team)

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17 Thoughts to “What the hell is stopping you from travelling?”

  1. Inspiring post. People are always asking me how I can afford to travel so much, but the fact is if you want to do something you can make it happen for yourself. Great post!

  2. Cool article you make some great points in this piece. Travel can be accomplished by anyone if they put their mind too it. We travel with our children for upwards of 2 months every year to year and half. It is hard work but for me far more rewarding than traveling solo or with my wife. There is nothing more special than seeing the world with my kids and making memories that will last for ever

  3. Hi guys! Really great article. It all comes down to one thing: If you really wanna do it, there’s nothing that will stop you. P.S. It’s not called St. Peters Basilica but rather St. Mark’s Basilica. 😉

  4. The money thing is a big one. For some reason people don’t question little splurges like expensive coffee or new clothes, but traveling, even when done on a budget, seems like a luxury item reserved for the wealthy. I was a victim of “I don’t have anyone to go with me” for too long. Once I just took the plunge and went out on my own it was very freeing, nerve wracking, but freeing.

  5. Love this article! You are absolutely right – we all have things stopping us from travelling, but it is possible if we really want it, whatever the circumstances.

  6. S

    Really great points on most of it! We have to find opportunities and take them – there are many programs for volunteering, exchanges etc., and I try to grab them when they come my way. And everytime i have something saved to travel as much as i can.

    I always feel a bit uncomfortable when it comes to advice on money and budget because we don’t all come from the same financial level – whether it is because of the country we live in, family or whatever. So if for someone is easier to save money, then for other it might be impossible.

  7. Nice post. I agree. If you want to travel badly enough, you can make it happen. For sure.

  8. You will always find excuses if you look for them. I know many people like this, but maybe we can show them how to think and do things to reach their (traveling) goals 🙂

  9. What about when the boss says no? It’s not like I can just quit my job and travel…I mean I could, but it wouldn’t be the best idea. For now I lust over trips I want to take, and save money, and I am working toward getting myself a more flexible work environment.

  10. Excuses are such an energy killer! Of course we all have real lives, but not incorporating the things that you apparently really want to do, is just living a dishonest one. Either try and make it happen or you probably don’t really want to do it. I heard Elizabeth Gilbert say that when she was younger and complaining to an older writer that she never had time to write, but wanted oh so badly to be a writer, this woman said to her, What’s your favourite TV show?. At the time, it was the Sopranos. The woman said to her, well say goodbye to the Sopranos. If you really want to be a writer, you have the time if you just cut other stuff out. It’s exactly the same way with money (for most of us) – we could save a lot more each month if we really wanted to. Thanks for this!

    1. What a fantastic comment! I’ve just subscribed to your mailing list – love your outlook and look forward to reading your posts 🙂

  11. I find that people always have excuses for not travelling. But I’ve found in their heart of hearts that they really don’t want to give up anything for it.

  12. I think travel, like anything, is about making it a priority (if it is one for you) and figuring out how to make it work!

  13. Nice post!! I always encourage people to get out and travel as well, but I also know that it’s a privilege as well. But it is possible for the majority of those who want it!!

  14. Excuses are easy to find, experiences are easy to make 🙂 I love this post and everything it stands for.

  15. Love the picture on Lincoln Steps. SF has such colorful staircases.

  16. Love this! Think it’s so important for people to not keep putting off traveling. And if you can’t find anyone to go with, solo travel is a great experience! And there’s plenty of organized groups that do trips in different parts of the world!

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