Man traveling with a map

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, and if you’re like many people, you’re busy crafting your New Year’s resolution list right about now. If one of your resolutions is to travel more, we’ve got some suggestions on how to make it a reality!

How to Overcome Time Constraints

You’re probably busy. You might have a job, a side hustle, and/or a family. You likely can’t just take off and go. But does it mean you should let the wonders of the world pass you by? No! Start small. Get on the road whenever you can.

Weekends

Start right there. America is a land of stunning, unparalleled beauty, and some of her wonders lie only a road trip away. Mark January 2018 as the month when you go on your first road trip of the year.

Use a web or app-based road-trip planner like My Scenic Drives or just Google your location. Find a quaint B&B, a spa, a vacation rental or hotel room for the weekend. The options are endless, and you might be surprised how many interesting landmarks are out there, close to your own backyard.

Long Weekends

Holiday breaks might give you a chance to hop on a plane and catch three to four days of sun in Florida, Mexico or the Caribbean. The downside is that holiday travel is often going to cost you more, but there are ways to mitigate that problem.

Business Trip Add-Ons

“Workation” isn’t a real word, but it’s become a popular way for busy people to enjoy some go-time when traveling for work, and it’s also a great way to save money.

If you’re lucky, your company has already picked up your transportation tab, so your travel expenses might just be limited to lodging, food and sightseeing. Just add a few days to your business trip if you can, and you’re all set.

If you’re a freelancer, telecommuter or digital nomad, you can work wherever there is an Internet connection. There are even digital nomad retreats all over the world for people like you.

How to Overcome Money Constraints

With the advent of civil aviation, the world has become smaller, travel times shorter, prices cheaper, and the era of mass leisure travel was born. In travel, things can get expensive, but there are ways to travel on a budget.

Look for the Experience, Not the Place

Unless you’ve been everywhere, consider destinations that are easier on your wallet. You may be able to find relaxing beaches, gorgeous hiking spots and historical monuments for a fraction of the price by staying in the continental U.S., rather than traveling internationally.  “You get what you pay for” doesn’t always apply in travel.

Travel Off-Season and Off-Peak

If your vacation time is flexible, try to fly during the low or off season. Traveling in September rather than August can make a huge difference to your wallet. As an added bonus, you might find the weather more pleasant, hotels and restaurants not as full and beaches not crowded.

Take this approach further. Want to fly on Friday or Saturday to maximize your vacation time? Smart, but costly. Friday and Saturday flights are very popular with leisure travelers, and airlines have very few incentives to offer discounts during peak times. If you can tweak your vacation schedule by a day or two, you can save big.

Join Hotel Loyalty Programs

You’ll often get hotel perks just for joining the program, like member-only prices, free Internet access, spa or restaurant discounts, etc. In addition, some hotel chains, like Hilton and Marriott, offer excellent benefits to their mid-level members.

Free breakfast and access to the club lounge can go a long way, and the best part is that you can often get elite status just for getting a hotel co-branded credit card.

Consider a House or Apartment Instead of Hotel

Renting an apartment instead of a hotel room can save a lot of money and provide you with much-needed space and a more immersive experience.

Thanks to Airbnb, vacation rentals are popular like never before, but Airbnb is not the only game in town. Many homeowners and brokers list their properties on multiple sites. Sometimes you’ll find a better deal on Airbnb, and other times on HomeAwayBooking.com or FlipKey, to name a few.

Check Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Many banks have joined forces with hotels and airlines in issuing cobranded credit cards, and they frequently offer fantastic sign-up bonuses. You can use these miles and points to book a fabulous vacation, but you need to be careful, because no amount of miles and points is worth carrying high-interest credit card debt.

Now you’re ready to go ahead and see the world at your own pace. Make your New Year’s resolution stick – and make your friends envy you for your travel skills and planning savvy.

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