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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?!
Thanks for reading,
Aimee & Paul (the Snap Happy Travel team)