Finding time to travel can be challenging.
But we believe it can be done.
Finding Time to Travel as a Caregiver of Elderly Parents or Pets
It isn’t easy to find time to travel when you have people or pets that rely on you. But it isn’t impossible. You may need to get a little creative in finding time to travel either to take a break from being a caregiver, or finding time to travel with your loved ones. Whether you want to make plans to take a vacation or break from those that rely on you, or if you want to take them along, we’ve rounded up a list of ideas to help you travel more and make travel easier.
Become a Local Tourist & Earn Some Side Income
Traveling only to places that are within a few hours of your home can be a rewarding experience. We've met many travelers who can't tell you much about where they come from. It's not that they moved away when they were young, it's that they lived there for 20, 30, or 40 years and always thought they could do that any time they wanted, but never got around to it. If you do start exploring your local area, you may gain some valuable insight that not many people have - even if you think they would. Additionally, you don't have to be far away from your responsibilities for this to work! You can visit local museums and parks, go to a neighborhood market, check out seasonal festivals, or take a walking tour of your nearby town or city. Take the time to check out a new or new-to-you restaurant or bar. If you become a local expert, you may be able to generate some extra travel funds as well – which leads to our next section.
As it turns out, google has a thing for Local Travel Experts, and all it takes is spending time to familiarize yourself with all the things that are around where you live. So, this could be a perfect fit. As you add reviews, photos, and new locations to your Google Local Guides account, you'll begin to level up and earn special travel perks. You could sign up for other review sites to earn credibility during your local adventures as well, such as TripAdvisor or Yelp. The more you travel and write reviews the higher your ranking at each site will be and the more you'll be looked at as a serious local tourist.
Additionally, by doing this, you'll be recognized by some of the paid services as well. Once you have a bit of credibility, or even before you get started with Google Local Guides, you might want to check out some local tour guide services like ToursByLocals, Vayable Insider, Shiroube, Mazee, RentALocalFriend, or RentAFriend where you could sign up and start earning cash to give local guided tours. If you have to keep travel local because of your responsibilities, why not earn some extra money while doing it! You can use the extra income to help reduce your caregiver costs or even to help you pay for actual vacations in the future!
Travel with your Children or Pets
Your traveling days don’t have to end just because you’ve had kids. It might make travel a little more challenging to plan, but it is definitely doable!
Babies/Toddlers - (see a more in-depth help guide for Traveling with Babies & Toddlers)
Use parental leave time to travel. Some families have used their parental leave time to take that world trip they had always been planning. Certain countries give extended parental leave (some up to 1 year!), but others may only give up to 6 weeks. If you're healthy and able to travel, you can take advantage of the time off to travel with your new baby.
Since your children are not in school yet, you can take advantage of traveling during the off-season. Prices for transportation and accommodations are usually cheaper, and popular tourist destinations are less crowded. Since you won't have to fight the crowds, you'll most likely have more time to spend at each attraction.
School-age - (see a more in-depth help guide for Traveling with Children)
Utilize summers, weekends, and holidays – There are only 18 summers with your child. Use that time to travel together.
Most traditional schools would not condone taking kids out of school during the school year, but travel is a great teacher as well. If you don't feel comfortable with your children missing classes, see the next option below.
Consider homeschooling/world-schooling your children. You'll get to decide when their school breaks are, and they could also continue their school work while traveling.
Extend school/club/sports trips. If you and your children are already traveling with their sports team, scouts troop, theatre club, etc., add on a few days before and/or after to explore the area as a family.
Some people can’t find time to travel because they need to take care of their pets. If you’re able to take your pet with you, here are some considerations.
Get your pet used to their (airline/train-approved) pet carrier.
Make sure your accommodations are pet-friendly.
Check with your vet to make sure your pet is healthy enough for the trip.
Bring medical records and any other forms/documentation that may be required.
Research kennels/pet daycares at your trip location ahead of time if you’ll need them.
Travel with an Elderly Parent
Before You Travel
Travel insurance with medical coverage is an absolute necessity
Involve your parent in the decisions. Incorporate their ideas into the planning and keep their priorities in mind.
Picking a Destination
Choose a location that fits everyone’s needs. How healthy is your parent? How active are they? This should be a primary factor for your destination decision. Consider the type of terrain they'll need to be walking on. Tours and cruises are usually designed for guests of all ages.
Look for a location where you can split up on occasion and pursue your different interests. Plan to have breakfast and dinner together if possible. You don’t have to do everything together.
Consider booking private rooms so that you can both have time on occasion. Your parents room may need to be on the ground floor if there's no elevator. If you can't book separate rooms, find a spot nearby that you could go to give your parent some private time if necessary. If your parent has a wheelchair, make sure your accommodations are wheelchair friendly.
Get travel clearance and a statement from your parent's doctor specifying conditions your parent has that could trigger airport security alarms at airports (implants are common).
Pack a little more medication than is required, in case delays occur. Keep them in their original pill bottles with the prescription label clearly visible. Set alarms on your phone as reminders on when to take them, especially if you're crossing multiple time zones.
Check in advance for local hospitals at your destination and plan for dietary restrictions.
Make adjustments as necessary to accommodate your parents if they have difficulty hearing, or have vision problems or mobility issues.
Keep all insurance, emergency numbers, and medical information on you - or your carry on luggage - at all times.
Elderly Friendly Itinerary
Put more active activities in the morning and try to finish them up by noon - but make sure everything can be done at a leisurely pace - no rushing! You can plan some additional active things for yourself in the afternoon while planning for more relaxed activities for your parents. It's best if their activities finish up a bit earlier. Even if they agree with this setup, have backup plans just in case they change their minds.
The best travel plan is to get a daytime flight that has the most direct route and the shortest travel time.
Airplanes, trains, and buses usually have a disabled traveler’s section. Call ahead to take advantage of these spots. Additionally, they typically offer senior discount fares as well.
Discuss the plans with your parent(s), including who is expecting to pay for which items, and make sure that you both agree on the itinerary.
Traveling with parents is a gift that you will be grateful for for the rest of your life. It may be a bit more complicated when they are elderly, but it's a very rewarding experience that your children may one day share with you!
You can find more useful information on the blog Travel with Aging Parents.
Weekend or Week-long Getaways by hiring a Sitter and/or Caregiver
For your children or pets
If you need or just want to travel without your pets and/or children, find a sitter. Asking family or friends is a great place to start, but there are also sitter services. One pet-sitting service to check out is TrustMyPetSitter.com.
Ask sitters for references
Leave detailed notes/instructions along with emergency contact info
Do a trial run
For your Elderly Parents
The best option is to get another family member involved who is capable of coming over to your parents home to help. If that is not possible, check with your parent's daytime caregiver to see if they are willing to stay over while you are traveling for additional pay. If your parent requires a greater level of service, try hiring a home care aide. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has a list of thousands of home care and hospice facilities that provide these services in-home. Live-in aides typically charge from $140-$200 per day, or $15-$25 per hour.
If you cannot find in-home care for your parent, there are other options. Respite services can be found on a short-term basis at many nursing homes, rehab facilities, assisted-living residences, and senior communities. These services could accommodate your trip from as little as a couple days to several weeks and provide a wide rage of care. Respite services typically charge from $100 to $250 a night. If licensed medical staff is involved, insurance may even cover part of the cost. Check each location to see if your parent qualifies for a reduction in cost based on Medicaid, state agency funding, foundation grants, or even veterans' benefits.
Weekend or Week-long Getaways by Splitting Time with Someone Else
Sometimes the best way to find time to travel is by splitting time with your significant other or a good friend. Many people that we know make a deal with their spouse to look after their children, pets, or elderly parents so that they can take a break and travel. Usually, this means that one of the two will round up their friends and travel with them while the other will stay at home to be the solo caregiver for a short period of time. Now, to be clear, this is NOT the same as taking a vacation FROM your spouse. It works best if you are in a trusting, safe, and secure relationship.
Separate vacations do allow for both of you to get a break from the care giving activities that you have to refresh yourself - something that could help you clear your mind and be a better caregiver once you return. It allows you both the ability to travel, even if it is at different times. It could also allow you to try things that your spouse may not enjoy doing when you are on vacation together. Going with friends that enjoy doing these things with you can help strengthen your bonds with them as well. If this is the option that you choose, please be respectful of your spouse and considerate to where you are going and who you are going with. The location and friends should be conductive to a happy relationship. If done correctly, "absence can make the heart grow fonder." Additionally, if you have children, it sets a great example for them that romantic relationships can work with independence and trust while at the same time giving you both the travel time that you need.
How to Afford Non-Paid Time Off from Work
For those of you who would like to take time off but can’t find time to get away because you’re barely making ends meet as it is, you could think about creating some side-income. Many people seem to need every penny they earn at work and taking time off means missing out on that income. If you can’t miss out on any income, how could you possibly afford to travel?
If your credit is still in good shape, you could sign up to receive credit card bonuses (ONLY if you pay your full balance each month). These typically require that you spend a certain amount in a certain amount of time to receive the bonus - but, if you can arrange it to pay all of your regular bills with that card and then pay off the card right away then you can meet that requirement and receive $500-$1,000 in travel rewards or cash!
Another quick way to get started is to rent out your spare room or car. Listing your extra room on Airbnb takes less than an hour, or you could list your car on TURO within a few hours. The great thing about this is that you don’t have to have a house. Many people list their apartments, condos, or even list tents in their backyards successfully if they are in the right areas! Some people specifically arrange to rent out their room or house on Airbnb while they are traveling and use the extra money earned from that to pay for costs during their trip! Both places look over any applicants and will cover you for any damages - although we have never had any issues! Check out a few other ways to earn side money by renting out various things that you may have - with this article!
For a whole list of additional side-income ideas that actually work, check out the detailed list on our free Nomad Guide. Generating some sort of side-income seems to be the best way to afford to take time off from work when you really can’t afford to take time off. This side-income will offset the amount you don’t earn while you’re on your trip!
When you only have Evenings and Weekends
Many people only seem to have a day or two off from work at a time. Utilizing your evenings and weekends is a simpler way to get some travel time in. You could take a road trip to a neighboring town or city. Spend a night or two in a hotel there and explore that area instead. When we were living in Orlando, Florida we did a few mini-vacations like this to St. Pete Beach (Florida), St. Augustine (Florida), and Savannah (Georgia). They turned out to be really memorable vacations - even though they only lasted a night or two each.
You could even be a tourist in your own town or city. It’s interesting to think that many people never really explore their own areas. Many of the people we’ve met along our travels couldn’t tell us as much about the area they came from as the areas they’ve traveled to. When people ask me what to do in Chicago, the city I grew up near, I fumble for things to say because I never really explored Chicago as an adult or as a traveler. It might make sense to see what there actually is to do in your area and start putting together your own blog or website as you have the unique ability to be an expert in your own city. If you plan to do this, consider signing up on TripAdvisor and Yelp, or as a Google Guide, and put together a list of reviews. Soon, you’ll be considered a local expert and you’ll get many perks on top of website traffic for your helpful hints. Start by trying a new restaurant, check out the seasonal museum exhibits, or explore the local fairs and festivals. Do a search on Google for “best things to do in (your city)”.
Depending on your location, it’s even possible to do a weekend trip abroad. If you're flexible about the location, keep an eye on last-minute airfare deals from your home airport to get great deals on weekend trips. Some friends of ours keep an eye out for these deals and have picked up round trip weekend flights from Orlando, Florida to places like New York, Montreal, and Toronto! If you can find a great deal, the one or two night trip can definitely be worth it.
When you’re using Holidays and Vacation time to visit Family
It is difficult when your friends and family live a far distance from you. Many people end up using their vacation time to visit them instead of actually getting to go on a legitimate vacation. This is likely more of an issue for people who don’t have much vacation time to begin with.
You could try alternating years with your friends and family much like how some couples alternate holidays with parents who live in different states. Let your friends and family know that you’ll visit in the even numbered years and request that they visit you in the odd numbered years. This way you will be able to go on actual vacations every other year, and if they are insistent that you are the one who moved away, apologize to them, but insist that they consider your wishes as well. Use the holidays to go on that trip you’ve always been dreaming about.
Alternatively, you could arrange group trips. Many friends and family enjoy traveling with each other as it helps create stronger bonds between the people who go because they need to work together as a team and figure out the things that are different as a group.
Consider Work-From-Home/Remote Work
Maybe you just started a new job and don’t have vacation time accrued yet. Maybe you found a really great flight deal but it’s during a busy season at your job. Maybe you’ve already used up your vacation/paid-time-off for the year. Find out if you can do your job remotely. You may start off with just one or two days a week remotely, but with a global Wi-Fi plan your home office could be on a beach, up in the mountains, or even a comfy hotel room.
Have you been up for a promotion or a pay increase but your employer says they simply can’t afford it right now? If they are aware of your skills and you are a key employee, chances are that they’ll offer you the ability to work remotely for a few days per month instead of offering you more money. If so, you may have just found a way to take an extended vacation somewhere, albeit you may have to do a bit of work during the day on a few of those days, you can now explore a different place for a little while longer!
Work won’t let you have time off because they Need You
More than half of US workers don’t use their vacation time. Sometimes requesting or arranging time off can be challenging especially if it isn’t encouraged in your workplace. Here are some tips to help you:
Ask in advance and get approval in writing. You can send your request via email.
Have a plan delegating your responsibilities while you’re away.
If needed, offer to check-in and respond to urgent messages.
Request time off during less busy times.
Once your time off is approved, commit to your travel plans. You can always get travel insurance for emergencies in case you need to cancel, but most work situations that come up are not true emergencies. Some travel insurance policies do have cancel-for-any-reason options for additional prices, like Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. Check with your provider for their offerings.
Finding Time to Travel when All of Your Friends are Busy
Sometimes people find themselves with time to travel, but can’t find anyone to go with them. If your family/friends don’t have time to travel, then you can still travel by yourself!
Go on a solo adventure
If you’re hesitant to travel on your own, you can first try visiting friends/family that live far away or in a destination you’ve been wanting to explore. Maybe you have a friend that moved abroad to teach English for a year. Or maybe you have an aunt/uncle who had to relocate to a different city/state/country. Go visit them! You might have to visit some attractions on your own, but your friends/family will likely want to show you around and accompany you at least part of the time.
Want to travel to a specific place but don’t have anyone in that location? Reach out to your networks and ask if someone you know does. They may have a friend or a friend-of-a-friend that’s interested/willing to be your tour guide or travel buddy in that area. If they have space, they may even be willing to host you for a few days and you’ll be able to save on accommodation costs! Don’t worry if they don’t have space, or if you just like a little more privacy. You can always book a hotel nearby and meet up with your local host as needed.
Learn to enjoy traveling by yourself
You get to pick the destination and itinerary and don’t have to worry about anyone else. There’s no compromising on plans or fighting over how long you get to spend somewhere. Afraid of eating by yourself? You can bring a book or browse your phone while eating out solo, or get takeout and have a picnic. Places with counter bars are also good if you want to sit by others instead of at a table by yourself.
Women can travel solo too! There may be some extra precautions to be taken, but it definitely is possible. You should always be aware of your surroundings even in your hometown so the same applies while traveling. There are countless blogs and articles giving advice about solo female travel and an internet search will most likely even give tips about specific destinations. Some general advice: Try to travel during the day, trust your intuition, keep family/friends informed on your location and itinerary, try to blend in, and remember to enjoy the journey!
If you’re not quite ready to try traveling on your own or maybe you’ve tried it but have decided it isn’t for you, don’t worry, you still have options!
Join a Facebook group
You're not alone in wanting to travel with others. There’s a group with around 20,000 members called “Travel Buddies – Travel Companions – Travel Partners” and people regularly post looking for someone or a group to travel with. If you already have a plan, you can make a post looking for fellow travelers to join you.
Make new friends by joining a tour
G Adventures offers solo friendly tours and will pair you with a roommate at no additional cost. You can also choose to pay the single supplement if you’d like have your own room. You will get to travel with others but still have flexibility to do your own thing throughout the day if needed. Another service that brings solo travelers together is Best Single Travel. Here you can search singles cruises, trips based on when you are planning to travel, and age groups so you are with like-minded solo travelers as well.
Use an app or website
The “Couchsurfing”, “Tinder” or “Meetup” apps can help you find local people to hang out with or explore your destination. Meetup.com has groups that organize all different kinds of activities so you should be able to find something that interests you and hang out with people that have similar interests. You can also use Airbnb to sign up for tours or experiences at your destination and you may make new friends along the way!
Ultimately you shouldn’t let other people’s schedules hinder your travel plans. As cliché as it sounds, life is short. Schedules don’t always match up, and travel isn’t a high priority for everyone. But if it’s a high priority for YOU, you can make it happen. Maybe you’ll even meet a lifelong travel buddy while on a solo adventure. Maybe you’ll inspire someone else to travel more by telling your own travel stories. Need more inspiration to take the leap and GO? Check out our travel inspiration and filming location pages!
Traveling When You Only Have Weekends Available
Just started a new job and don’t have any vacation time yet? Used up all your vacation time for the year already? Enjoy the job you have, but only have weekends to travel? You can still travel more by utilizing your weekend days. Whether they’re on the standard weekend days of Saturday and Sunday or during the week, with planning and scheduling you can make it happen.
Prioritize your time
If you want to travel more, you need to make it a priority. Many people use their weekends to catch up on laundry, go grocery shopping, binge-watch their favorite shows, and meet up with friends. Time is limited and there are many things, activities, and people that vie for our attention. It may help you to make a list and see where travel falls in that list for you. When I was living and working in LA, I would take weekend trips up and down the California coast and also did some international trips to Asia. One of my coworkers asked how I found the time and money to do all the trips because he said wanted to travel more. But it turned out that his actual priorities were upgrading his car and getting more tattoos instead of traveling…and that’s okay too. We all have different interests and while some people may be interested in travel, it falls below other interests they also have. If traveling more IS a top priority for you, then read on for tips on how to best utilize your weekends!
Be a local tourist
When you live in a place for a long time it’s easy to say, “I’ll visit that later” or “I went as a kid but haven’t been recently” about local attractions. Plan a day or two and explore the area you’re already in. Check out local museums, sometimes they have displays and exhibitions from international museums at certain times of the year. Try a new restaurant or bar, go to the local festivals and fairs, spend a day relaxing at a beach, pool, or lake. It’s also convenient to stay local as it doesn’t take up travel time to get to your destination. You’re already there! You can make it feel like more of a vacation or trip if you stay a night or two at a local hotel.
Take a road trip
Get out of town and go to the next one. Sometimes the drive itself is the change in scenery you wanted. If you go with a travel partner then you can take turns driving and go to farther destinations. Of course, the longer the drive the less time you’ll have at your destination. So if you have specific things you want to do/see then you may need to make sure you plan ahead correctly.
Check for flight deals
You may be willing to shell out a few hundred dollars for a round-trip air ticket when planning a week-long or longer trip, but for most people it isn’t worth it for just a couple of days. Some airlines have annual or semi-annual sales on flights, and reasonable last-minute fares can pop up too. I have friends that take weekend trips from Florida to NYC or LA whenever they find a good deal. If you have a flexible schedule, you may even be able to stretch your time by leaving at night after work, spending two full days at your destination, and flying back early in the morning to go straight to work. Just try not to go two weeks in a row or you might be lacking on sleep!
Choose activities wisely
Basically, you be you. If you’re a whirlwind traveler, then pack your schedule full of as many things you can fit in. If you’re in need of a relaxed getaway, then take the time to unwind. Your two-day travel itinerary should reflect your style of travel. Personally, I’m all for doing and trying new things, but I also don’t want to waste my time on things I already have tried and know I don’t enjoy. Some people travel just to try new foods or the local specialties. Some people travel to see the historical sites they fell in love with in books. Some people travel to get a change of scenery. Whatever your reason for travel is, if you only have weekends, take advantage of them! 52 weeks in a year makes for 52 weekends. The possibilities are endless!
How Other Travelers Are Finding Time to Travel as Caregivers
"If it’s your passion, you plan for it and do it. My husband and I have two kids (13 and 6) and they LOVE to travel—we recently did Iceland in 2016, Belgium and France in 2017, and are doing Hawaii and Japan in 2019. We have pets at home and hire a house/pet sitter. Our parents are aging but we have siblings to help." - Devonn W.
"I used to leave my doggie in a pet hotel but now that Im living close to my mum, I asked my mum to care for him when Im on vacation. I feel confident and at ease knowing he's in good hands😊🐶" - Jelai C.
"Luckily my son and daughter in law look in on our kitty when we travel." - Colleen S.
"I take my children with me. Pets I find a sitter usually neighbor next door." - Candace D.
"Kids join, and pets are taken care off..." - Anique W.
"I have a pet, but I have someone to leave it to, and I travel for like a weekend, or 3 nights maximum when I travel alone." - Мюжи М.
"I have a neighbor take care of the pets. Care.com has a lot of helpful tips, too." - Dana C.
"Kid travels with us, pets stay with the neighbours/friends!" - Maria N.
"Pets? Use house sitters ...it's easier than putting pets in kennels. As for the kids, I agree...it is hard but take them with you...you'll find that people will usually bend over backwards to be more helpful." - Joyce M.
"For pets there’s an amazing website called “TrustedHousesitter”. I’ve been a member and I could attest a great review. And for the kids perhaps bring them along w you. Read blogs and get tips, be strict w the rules when you travel w them." - Sher H.
"I took my kiddos with me. Now they are grown I take my fur babies with me. There are a million places I haven't seen yet so I choose places they can go too. 😉" - Chichi M.
"Have older kids watch others and pets." - Debbie L.
"Pet sitter for the pets." - Linda B.
How Fellow Travelers are Finding Time Off from Work
“Work to live, not live to work” - Steven L.
“…I cover nearby place[s] which are under 50 km on Sunday by bike...and the[n] come back home at night....it keeps the stress level minimum...” - Shubham J.
“Australia has paid annual leave of 4 weeks per year. That excludes public holidays.” - Vico K.
“I try to plan something significant far in advance every couple years, put it on calendars, get commitment from manager, then actually buy tickets, book activities and events. With advance planning and spending, it is easier to push back on Last-minute work demands/requests. Then I lace this plan with lots of smaller more regional breaks through the year.” - Steven F.
“I have a well paying professional job, so i dont get much time to travel for long durations, so, i make do: Frequent travels, just shorter.” - Mike M.
“I quit…” - Mette P.
“I just travel twice a yr and during my holidays only max of 2 weeks.” - Dailila L.
“You can see a lot in 2 weeks, you just have to work harder to plan your trip! My last 2 trips have been 2 weeks, 10 days off work. This year I drove the Rocky Mountains (Vancouver - Calgary, Canada) and last year I visited Mexico, America and Canada sto[p]ping at New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and Niagara Falls. You will be amazed how much you can fit into 2 weeks and slowly cross off your bucket list 😃” - Charlotte T.
“I' am now a self employed (I am the boss of my self ) so I have time for travel.” - Natividad R.
“I also work for myself and have done so for 13 years - including digital nomad. I also travelled all of my 20's. I created a lifestyle & study to fit in with the what I wanted. Sometimes pure luck other times intentional. Very happy with my choices ❣😎 Onwards and Upwards.” - Monique D.
“I do consulting / contract work and travel between gigs. American companies are the worst about vacation.” - Brent J.
“I’ve got my own business, so I can take off when I want (to an extent). I just leave my manager in control when I’m gone. I took 11 weeks last year. So far this year, only about 5 weeks.” - Jason B.
“There will always be another job.” - Lee-vi N.
“Work online. There are many job opportunities, just gotta look hard enough. Then you can travel all the time!” - Cory W.
“Ah, the joys of the 9 to 5 job :-) Yeah, it is tough to get your travel bug fix in, but totally doable. I agree with all suggestions above. I plan 2-3 week long trips and make the most of the holiday. I typically focus on exploring 1-2 countries at a time; you can see quite a bit in 2-3 weeks. It gives me something to plan for and get excited about every year. I also take advantage (where it makes sense to) of some organized tours so maximize the shorter trip time I have by cutting out the planning phase of traveling between communities or getting to far off places needing permits. The only downside to these smaller trips, is you end up spending a bit more on travel (e.g flights) to condense it. If I were to go for 4 months traveling, I could cut down on the number of long haul flights from North America, and just hop shorter flights between countries (e.g. Japan to South Korea to Taiwan - instead of 3 separate long flights from home). In between the 'once a year' larger trips, I plan lots of weekend/day trips. There's always amazing things to explore in your own backyard - remember- people come to your country/state/province/town for tourism...so take advantage of your proximity and be a tourist in your neighbourhood :-D” - Mecailla C.
“Self employed! Freedom to work and travel!” - Maria H.
“We're rich.” - Manjeet S.
“I chose flight attendant career! At least, if I HAVE to work I still travel! 😂” - Cynthia L.
“I don't work too often.....more time for travel that way.” - Petra O.
“Until recently I worked 50 hours a week (minimum, usually more) as a restaurant manager but had 4 weeks paid holiday. Using hospitality shift patterns to my advantage I’ve managed to visit 20 countries last year, mainly through weekend breaks, which I can schedule not at the weekend avoiding peak prices, and I can even schedule in an almost 3 day weekend without using annual leave by working early or late... Work hard but play harder! You’ve always got time to rest later.” - Jenni Y.
“Money returns, time doesn’t 💕 Make memories.” - Michelle L.
How Fellow Travelers are Traveling Solo
“Pick somewhere where i want to go, make sure I know what's there (what I'll miss if I don't go out). Generally I don't have problems getting motivated while on holiday. Maybe pack a book or iPad which I wouldn't if someone was with me. And meeting people, walking tours seem to work or if staying in a hostel go into the common room and chat.” - Natasha G.
“I also travel solo, so have a list of possibilities for each place you wish to visit. Either meet a local, eat a new local cuisine, visit what the spot has to offer. Take a few selfies.” - Robert P.
“I have found booking walking tours, hikes, cooking schools, etc... To be good to get me out. As someone I met on a recent walking tour told me, it is a way to make sure I actually talk to someone else that day!” - Mary C.
“I learned that when I am travelling Solo, I don’t have pressure, because usually travel partner have list of all tourist destination to visit while I love enjoying my time, even just to sit and having coffee or ice cream while seeing the city.” - Susi W.
“I'm MORE motivated to do things travelling solo because I don't have to account for someone else and can do what I want to do. I will walk miles in a city or out in nature because I don't have to worry about anybody keeping up with me. You'll find you pay some more attention to your surroundings because you're reliant only on yourself. The biggest thing is just to be confident and don't hesitate to do what you want to do.” - James H.
“That's exactly what I would say too. I mostly travel solo but sometimes book a short tour with a small group, relax and don't have to worry about catching some transport on time. That's then not my problem. BUT even in a small group you can't really do what you want to do. It's always a relief when that tour is over and I am solo again.” - Astrid M.
“There's waaay to many things to occupy yourself when you travel alone. Just be a smart traveler. Just be aware that you will be a much easier target for scams. Remain friendly to the locals yet know when to take your exit. As for the rest, it is very nice to be alone. You don't only get to plan and do things at your own pace, you get to understand your limits and get to discover a lot about yourself too.” - Irisje R.
“Thanks to solo travel I now have friends all over the world.” - Susan C.
“Once you get to the destination motivation isn't a problem. Being solo is great because you can do whatever YOU wanna do. There's lots of volunteer opportunities that allow you to meet others traveling and the locals. And/or programs that hook you up with a local to host you at their home. Some volunteer programs do this and although I was really nervous about staying with a random family, it was the best part of my trip! Also staying at hostels is a great way to meet other travelers and find people to hang out with.” - Leigh B.
“You usually would have a reason to why you want to visit the place (sights, food, hiking, etc). If your usual reason is to take a holiday with 'x', then that will not cut it this time because you're removing the 'with'. So start from there. Travelling solo means you aren't dependent or hindered by someone else. You meet other people generally from hostels, couchsurfing hangouts or some other social medium. But only make plans with them if you really enjoy their company. Disclaimer: If you try it and like it and start doing it more often, and your usual travelling partners start having a problem with that, I will not be held liable. ;P” - Shawn B.
“Here's what changes:
- You stay in hostel dorms or single rooms instead of sharing a twin or double
- You can do whatever you want and don't have to cater to your partners differing plans/slower pace. Productivity increases dramatically if your partner normally hinders you. However that is only true if you can maintain the same degree of motivation when traveling alone.
- People treat you differently and initiate more conversations when you're alone. You're also more likely to receive help from locals in the form of invitations to dinner , free rides etc. Making new friends becomes significantly more likely.
- Costs will rise slightly due to not have a partner to split split-able expenses with ( three-wheeler, gas, motorcycle rental, equipment rental etc.).
- You will have to take responsibility for everything. This means that all your weaknesses will be exposed when traveling solo. You now have to solve all travel problems independently. Your negotiating skills will improve immensely. You have no partner to negotiate on your behalf. You cannot double team the person. It's all up to you now.
- You will feel less secure and more alert. This is because you are alone in a foreign country without an ally to back you up. You are more vulnerable now as a solo traveler but try to maintain trust in the local people. Most are not interested in taking advantage of you.
- Packing doesn't change that much. Your burden my increase slightly if you were sharing some items with your travel partner. Maybe you were carrying two shared items that you were both using and your partner was also carrying two. Well now you have to carry all four of those items.” - Eoghan D.
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