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Wanderlust is at my core. It’s actually more of a fernweh, which is defined as an aching for distant places. A homesickness for the places you’ve never been. I know there are others out there who understand that deep insatiable yearning for travel. Soon, I’ll explain the how and why we’re able to travel as often as we do. In the meantime, here are some of Nathan’s suggestions to get traveling immediately. It’s a simple list, but it’s exactly what we started doing as we learned to travel better and more often, and ultimately learned to get paid to travel.
Whenever you ask the average person what they want to do with their life, the phrase, “Travel more” ends up on just about anyone’s bucket list. The whole idea of exploration is part of what it means to be human. Humankind has traveled the seas, deserts, and even to the moon. But sometimes it seems almost impossible to travel from our desk at work back to our house each day! So here are ten basic steps to set you on the right track to adding travel back into your life, or maybe even integrate it for the very first time.
1. Free Travel Options.
If you are anything like most people, you probably hang up on telemarketers most of the time. But did you know you might be missing out on a cheap or free vacation! In case you didn’t know, not every destination in the world is visited with the same smashing power of Disney World, and that means that there are thousands of resorts, cruise lines, and cabin rental companies all over the world that are desperate to have guests stay with them! However, with all these choices, many times these destinations have to give the appearance of success in order to succeed. And that’s where you come in!
There are plenty of locations that will give away free nights, weekends, or even entire week long packages. Why would they do this you might ask yourself… what’s the catch? It is pretty simple.
A.) They want to always have other people staying at their location. Sure being full can be a headache both for the guests and staff. But nothing is as eerie as a place being empty. Having a steady flow of guaranteed guests can be the difference between a hotel stay feeling like commercial or the set of The Shining.
B.) Especially with cruises, the goal isn’t just to get you on the ship, it’s to get you to buy all the extras! Many cruises will give away nights for the same reasons listed above, but they will also give away two nights with the hope that you will end up purchasing a third, fourth, or two weeks! Not to mention there are a million options that cost a little extra, from drinks all the way to horse back riding on the island or swimming with dolphins. It’s worth it to them to give you a free night or two in the hopes that you will spend a little extra cash while you are with them.
C.) They are just getting started and they need the word of mouth! The easiest way for a company to get a good reputation is to have loyal guests who are willing to make recommendations and also go the extra mile and leave a good review. And nothing makes people have a positive feeling like free stuff!
Most of the time these places will simply ask that you pay for the taxes and gratuities. Not bad.
2. Ways to Save (And Make!) Some Cash.
The easiest way to save money is to do something that can be quite difficult for some… drop an addiction. We’ve all got them, whether its something like smoking or always buying a candy bar, each one of those dollars adds up. But there are people who’ve taken their entire family on vacation just by kicking a soda problem. If you feel like you are too short on cash to make travel part of your reality, it’s time to dump something that’s not good for you and use that cash to make your life one worth telling people about!
Speaking of telling people all about your awesome life, another amazingly passive way of making some extra money for your next vacation is blogging. That’s right! People will actually pay you to mention their products in your blog. One well written blog can continue to make you money for months or years after you write it. Don’t believe me? Well, you are reading my blog aren’t you? You can get started with your own blog right now by clicking here.
Another amazing way to get your vacation kickstarted is by selling all of your useless junk. Don’t think you have useless stuff lying around? Think again! I had an old computer that had been hit by lightning and wasn’t working anymore. However, I sold it to a guy on craigslist for parts for almost $400. Between eBay and the Flea Market, most people have about $1,500 worth of useless items sitting around in their closet or garage that could easily become the next vacation. Its time to get picking!
3. The Stay-cation, Day Tripping, and Weekenders.
Some people really get stuck in the rut of thinking that if they can’t fly to Spain tomorrow, then they might as well not travel at all. But the reality is that travel is in many ways like exercising. The more often you do it, the better you get at it. You don’t just go bench pressing your body weight on the first day. You’ve got to ease into it. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of people (many of whom I admire!) that have just sold everything they own and traveled across the world. I’m not saying it isn’t possible. However, for the average person that just isn’t what you are ready for. You want to have moments of adventure AND maintain your 40 hour a week job with its dental package. I get it. So here are some awesome get away options that won’t cost you and arm and a leg for travel:
A ) The stay-cation is an awesome option for the thrifty adventurer. You might not think of it this way… but did you know there are people who come to your town just to visit it. That’s right! No matter if you live in New York City or some random desert town with one stoplight, there is someone who is coming to visit because they think your community is interesting or has something to offer. Sure, you spend most of your nights saying, “What is there to do in this town?” But that’s because you aren’t thinking of your hometown like a tourist. Have you visited all the museums? What about that quaint bar down the street? I bet you haven’t taken a weekend off to treat yourself at your locally owned B&B, have you? Becoming acquainted with your own town can have a lot of amazing benefits and its a great way to take some risk free time off. Not to mention, it really cuts down on the travel expenses! Some of the most fun Tashina and I have had with the kids is getting to know our hometown with new eyes.
B ) There is a restaurant that advertises in our city with a sign says, Home of the Throw’d Rolls. You heard that right. Whenever you are sitting there in the middle of your lunch or dinner and think, “Man, I could totally use another roll right now,” All you have to do is put your hand in the air and someone throws a brand spanking new hot roll directly into your hand. You don’t even have to be a good catch either. I digress. Well, I did some research on this restaurant and as it turns out, it was just over an hour away from my house, but it was also located directly next to an amazing outlet mall. This was the perfect excuse for a day trip. Within a two hour radius of my house, there are five or six communities with AMAZING activities and tourist traps. Take some time to google areas around you. A short little drive could lead to a big adventure!
C ) This is another amazing option, the weekender. Making a round trip out of a two hour away destination is totally doable. But I have learned over the years that once you go three hours away, all of a sudden that turns into an actual trip. I mean, you can do it, but why put your body through that much stress when there is an amazing hotel option available on hotwire? There are so many search options for cheap hotels, that basically there is zero excuse for not being able to find an AMAZING and might I even say luxurious hotel for next-to-nothing. The same principle applies as mentioned above. These nice hotels don’t want to look like they are boring places that are overcharging people to stay at them, so they will dump excess rooms on these travel sites and sell them at cost just to keep up appearances. We once stayed at a $400 a night hotel that was directly next to the art exhibit we wanted to see and it cost a whopping $50 dollars a night. Which, by the way, was $30 dollars cheaper than the nasty motor lodge off the interstate. Another time, we stayed at a fantastic $2000/night hotel for $300/night with an amazing view of the city. There are deals out there! Go find them.
There are a million and one ways to travel, but starting small and spreading your wings is always a good option. So start with these basic ideas to help you fund, find, and flourish during your next traveling experience! Once you master these techniques, it’s time to move forward toward the next adventure! The road trip and world travel. Get ready!