One of the best resolutions you can make in 2018? To travel more! Travel opens your mind, pushes you out of your comfort zone, takes you to beautiful destinations, and changes your life. I wholeheartedly believe that the world would be a better place if people of privilege traveled more.
But what if you're a broke student with loans to pay and essays to write? Will you really be able to find the time and money to travel more in 2018?
Yep! Here are 10 ways you can travel more this year.
Explore Where You Live
The word staycation may make me want to vomit, but it's one way for you to bring more travel to your life in 2018.
Rather than heading as far away from home as possible, why not put on your traveler's mindset and opt to explore where you're currently living? You could opt to spend a day checking out the city's museums, spend an afternoon relaxing in a park you've yet to visit, or if you're short on cash, researching any free activities or events that are taking place at the moment. You could even take a tour of your hometown if you have a spare afternoon.
One of my favorite things to do in my hometown is to check out a funky-sounding museum, visit a new restaurant, or find a cool event to check out.
Make Use of Secret Flying
One of my top travel discoveries of 2016 was the website Secret Flying.
Every day, they publish dozens of amazing round-trip flights they've found online from the United States, and I've managed to pick up several amazing deals myself. How does $300 return ticket to Europe sound? What about $500 return to Asia? I've spotted deals on the site for similar prices on a near-daily basis. Subscribe to their email mailouts and if you're anything like me, you'll have booked a flight within 24 hours of signing up.
If you have flexible dates and can take some time off every now and then, Secret Flying is a great way to see the world for cheap.
Cut Back on Eating Out
One of the easiest ways for me to save up money to travel was by making my own lunch and dinners rather than buying it at college or eating out at restaurants. Every time I turned down an invitation or opted to bring my own food, I'd make a note of how much money I'd saved and transfer it into a savings account.
I ended up saving around $200 a month just by taking a packed lunch, so by the time summer rolled around, I had enough money to spend a month traveling across Europe!
Check Out Skyscanner's Everywhere Function
If ever I need to book a cheap flight somewhere, I head straight to Skyscanner. And if I just want to get away and don't care where to, I utilize their "everywhere" feature.
Fill in your starting destination on their site, enter in the dates you want to travel on (you can select flights over an entire month if you're flexible), and type in "everywhere" as your destination. Skyscanner will then bring up the cheapest destinations you can fly to on those dates.
This is a great travel technique if you're just wanting to explore a new place and don't have a large travel budget.
Score A Taste of Luxury on a Budget With Voyage Prive
If I'm fancying a bit of luxury on a backpacker budget, I always check out the deals that are available on Voyage Prive.
You'll have to book your own flights, but the deals on resorts are seriously special. You can often find deals for 5 star resorts for as little as $100 a night, saving yourself thousands of dollars in the process.
Follow Travel Deals Accounts on Twitter
An easy way to pick up a bargain is to follow Twitter accounts that tweet out travel deals. Some of my favorite ones for flights are: Expedia, Hotwire, TravelZoo, AirFareWatchdog, Secret Flying, or specific airlines, like Southwest or JetBlue.
When it comes to picking up a bargain on accommodation, check out Hotel Deals for some seriously cheap stays.
Buy a Guidebook
If there's a trip I'm dreaming of taking, I'll always buy a guidebook to that place. It doesn't feel like an unnecessary expense, because if I'm desperate to visit the place, I know I'll get there eventually.
What buying a guidebook does is make your trip feel more real. It's no longer a dream, it's something you're actually planning. It's often the first step that's the hardest when you want to travel, and buying a guidebook represents the smallest shuffle towards booking a ticket. If you have a guidebook to a place, it will encourage you to make the trip a reality. In your downtime, you can browse the travel planning pages and research the history of the place; and whenever friends spot it, you can tell them you'll be visiting later this year.
I usually opt for Lonely Planet or Bradt guidebooks, which are the best on the market.
Subscribe to Travel Blogs
Travel blogs are a fantastic source of inspiration, so finding four or five that speak to you is a great way to figure out where you want to travel and how you can save money once you're there.
Some of my favorite travel blogs are: Adventurous Kate, Alex in Wanderland, Be My Travel Muse, Flora the Explorer, Hecktic Travels, Legal Nomads, This Battered Suitcase, and Uncornered Market. And, of course, I can't forget my own travel blog, Never Ending Footsteps.
Take Day Trips With Viator
If you live in a reasonably popular town or city, head to Viator to check out some of the day trips that are offered on there. If I feel as though I need more travel in my life, I'll take a look on Viator and sign up for a day trip that looks interesting. It's through this that I took a cocktail tour to learn more about my home through its history with alcohol, that I checked out a nearby winery, and that I spent an afternoon on a street food and street art tour of a nearby town.
Make Travel Your Priority to Help Save Money
This is the number one thing I recommend doing if you want to travel more in 2018.
If you want to travel more in 2018, the easiest way to do so is to make travel your priority. If travel is your priority then it means that whenever you're tempted to buy something, you should weigh it up against how many days of travel the cost is equivalent to. For example: if I decided to buy a $50 pair of jeans, I would then remind myself that I could spend three days in Guatemala for that price, and suddenly I don't feel as though I need those jeans anymore.
Decide where you most want to visit this year, research online to figure out how much you'd be likely to spend each day, and then equate everything you're tempted to buy with how many days of travel you'd lose if you did so.