Updated: Oct 24
I recently was chatting with someone who said, "you travel a lot. why do you like traveling so much?" I thought this was a strange question. The question of "why" I travel is irrelevant to me, so I answered, "it's the air I breathe".
Now I understand not everyone thinks like me. In fact, I only have a small handful of people in my life who are truly addicted to travel like I am. These people thrive on researching travel, planning itineraries, curating the perfect wardrobe for the trip, and for savoring the moment once we get there. Travel really can be like a drug, if you have the thirst and hunger like I do!
But, to the earlier point, not everyone has the travel bug. The person I was speaking with said to me, "I've never even been to New York!" When I asked why, she said she didn't have the money for it. Sigh.
Trust me, I get it. I used to have the six figure income and dropped money into travel pots like crazy, but now that I'm a full time blogger and travel writer, that old me laughs at the pennies I get in comparison. So, I scaled back. I'm not doing the $12,000 family trip to Japan, I'm more like the "can we pull off two weeks in Europe for $1500?" version of me now.
I wanted to tell this person, "you can do it!", but ultimately travel isn't for everyone. But, I do think it's good for the soul, for the family, and for your general outlook on the world. So if I were to run into you today and ask you, "why don't you travel?" I'd debunk all your excuses, or at a minimum get you thinking.
In this article I will review the following travel excuses and how to push past them:
Note: Always Pack Tissues represents many tried and tested travel sites as what is called an 'affiliate' partner. That means if you click on my ads I may get a commission from a resulting sale.
Travel Excuse 1: "I can't afford to travel"
Traveling domestically or abroad brings different levels of expenditure, so first, gauge your budget based on your destination.
Consider that transportation will be your highest expense, followed by lodging and daily incidentals.
I'm of the firm belief that with the right tools and dedicated research, you can book travel cheaply for every single vacation. I have outlined some of the details on how to travel cheaply in another article, so be sure to peruse and get some ideas on tools to use.
Psst...you CAN do it. I promise.
Related: How To Travel Cheaply in 2024
Travel Excuse 2: "I don't have enough time to travel"
To which I say, I get you and I hear you. I was a slave to my own PTO earnings, and it was brutal. I had pretty decent PTO coverage compared to many, but with my voracity for travel, it wasn't enough. I'd start splitting travel days into half days and "maybe I can work from the train" days, and that's just not a fun way to take a vacation, believe me!
So how do we avoid the cuckold of our own schedules? Meticulously. Very meticulously.
Some ideas I can provide include:
Planning around holidays. It WILL be more expensive, but if you travel on a Tuesday, you will get the best deals.
Front-loading a travel week with appointments, chores and meetings. Leave Thursday/Friday appointments at a minimum to free up that time for you.
Discuss the possibility of an every-now-and-then short week at work, meaning four ten-hour days instead of five 8 hour days.
Make time. Block your calendar as far in advance as possible and don't schedule anything for that period.
You can make the time to travel, but it will take some effort.
Travel Excuse 3: "Travel doesn't entice me"
This one is so easy to debunk. Simply put travel in front of your face, and trust me you will be inspired. Maybe that means following my page regularly (I love new subscribers!) or maybe you have a favorite influencer on Instagram to inspire you. Whoever it may be, get their visuals in front of you, often.
I love following @TravelTomTom on Instagram. He spends time in these exotic places on my wish list, and has an amazing quality of teaching the viewer a bit about where he's at and what he's doing. It's an awesome way to lean into a new culture or society and to get those travel juices flowing. It also doesn't hurt that this is the first picture I stumbled on of him. Oh my god! (Sorry husband, stop reading).
Another amazing influencer that I'm loving right now is Jon Miksis at @Global.Viewpoint on Instagram. This guy has traveled to every.single.country. in the world! I came across him reading an interview where he describes his travel style and how he humbly managed this awesome feat.
My favorite thing about his posts is that they empower the viewer to do what I'm trying to do right here - inspire you to get outside your comfort zone and travel.
Lastly, consider signing up for magazines like Travel + Leisure, Afar, Conde Nast, or even local travel publications. Weekends are for flipping through travel mags in my house. I rip out ads that entice me and research them later.
Travel Excuse 4: "I'm scared of traveling abroad"
This very common excuse is not unfounded, because there is a certain level of caution we must take just about everywhere in the world, but it IS a complete waste of time to let fear stop you from doing something so rewarding.
Rather than spew statistics, let me tell you facts from my own experience. Have I walked through shady situations? Chasing down thieves in a Roman subway? Yea. Knife fight in the Sicilian parking lot? Yep. Mopeds snatching purses in Vietnam? Yep. There's tons of circumstances that your sensory receptors will say "stop that! don't go there! danger!" and that's good, that's your body sensing that maybe something isn't quite right. And in that moment, you trust your instinct and you deal with the situation at hand.
I'm very badly trying to illustrate that situations happen but we need to be alert, educated, and smart when we're in them. Bad things happen everywhere, every day. For me to sit here and claim to you that you'll be safe anywhere you go would be bogus of me, because it's not true.
You can have your fear, but education is the only thing that will prevent you from succumbing to it. Read up on the travel advisory websites, take heed of the warnings, and make educated decisions on where is a safe place for you to travel. The sun is always shining somewhere, so follow the rays 'til you find a happy, safe place that will be right for you. May I suggest Scandinavia?
Travel Excuse 5: "My kids are too young to travel"
Baloney. Bah-lone-eeeee. That's your fear talking again. You are afraid of traveling with your kids because it will be a lot of work for you. Let me tell you something, I have been taking my now four year old on every single trip with me since she was six months old.
This girl is making friends in every country without speaking a word of common language. She's eating raw sushi in Japan and sleeping on tatami mat flooring. Every trip is an adventure and her mind is just expanding exponentially every time we go anywhere.
I involve my kid. I educate her. I get her ready for each trip by studying up with her, introducing her through movies, books and games. I have fostered her sense of wonder and adventure and have made her into a tiny mini-me traveler, with a thirst that can't be quenched.
She loves it, and your kids can too. Does that mean extra baggage? Yea. Does that mean wrangling tots on airplanes? Yes. Diaper troubles? Increased anxiety and worry? Yes. Yes. It's hard work for parents, it's more money too. But dang it all if it isn't the most amazing thing in the world to see your child's eyes glow with awe when they discover a new place.
Traveling with children is the most rewarding type of travel I've experienced yet.
Travel Excuse 6: "I don't know where to start"
Do I need to show you another picture of @TravelTomTom? This guys is living it up, and he had to start somewhere.
Refer back to #3, getting enticed to travel.
Start somewhere. Anywhere. Try some weekend getaways near home. Take that trip to New York to see a Broadway play.
Maybe take a cruise and sample what it's like to experience one day in port before moving on to another destination.
Find the type of travel that works for you by getting out there and doing it.
Travel Excuse 7: "My health restricts me"
Listen, I am not completely without empathy, but there are travel opportunities for EVERYONE.
Check out this list of travel bloggers with disabilities and tell me that you can't do it.
If you are too sick, get cleared with a doc on what is possible for you. I believe that with the desire to travel, anything is possible.
Travel Excuse 8: "I have no one to travel with"
I hear this a lot, and I was there once too. I always traveled with my family or my husband, but after my first marriage ended I was in limbo land for travel. I had never traveled alone, but as it turns out, I didn't have to.
With groups like Contiki (for 18-35 year olds) or SmartTours for the older age group, a solo traveler can effectively be alone, but with other people. These group tours are amazing for meeting like-minded people, and for having most expenses already built in. If you don't want to travel alone, consider a group tour!
Travel Excuse 9: "I'm too old to travel"
If your heart is ticking, you're not too old. By golly get yourself out there and live before it's too late. You don't want to be on your deathbed saying "I wish I had gone to Argentina", or "We never did take that trip". Gah! There isn't anything more depressing than that. For god's sake, get out and do it now!
So at the end of the day, the choice is yours to travel or not, but I hope I'm leaving you with some food for thought. Maybe this article made you mad. Maybe I should have added Excuse 10: you're too stubborn. Maybe you really just hate the idea of having a good time. And that's cool. But in the meantime, I'll be planning my next adventure and thinking of your plight. I want you to travel more. I want you to experience some of the amazing things that can happen to a person when they travel. You'll be so much better for it!
With utmost respect and sincerity, Maria