This is part two of my Travel Goals Guide on prioritizing travel, overcoming limiting beliefs and taking intentional action to turn your wanderlust into reality. Click here for the full series.
So you want to travel more this year? With a little foresight, dedication and planning your Out Of Office notification could be getting a lot more use in the near future.
Just like achieving any goal, the key to having more travel in your life is to get clear on what you want and to set up an intentional system to achieve those results. That means clearing any nagging limiting beliefs that are holding you back and creating habits that will move you closer to your travel goals every day. Ready to put that passport to work? Avoid these eight mistakes.
Spending money without tracking it
As business management guru Peter Drucker says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” and there’s nowhere this rings truer than with money. When you know where every cent of your money is going, you can spot where you’re wasting money and how you can proactively save for travel instead of simply believing that you can’t afford it. If you’ve buried your head in the sand when it comes to your financial situation, time to pull it out and open your eyes to where it’s really going. Mint is my absolute favorite tool for this. It’ll track and categorize every penny and makes it easy to manage budgets and stay on top of bills.
Being vague about your travel goals
Do you want to take more weekend trips or plan an around-the-world adventure? Even if you don’t know the destination just yet, think about the type of travel and length of trip you’re aiming for. Some travel goals will require more planning and coordination, some will require more money. Get clear on what you want travel to look like for you in the next year so you can set you an achievable plan of action to make it a reality.
Leaving credit card points on the table
Every time you purchase something and don’t use a credit card with a great travel points structure you’re missing an opportunity to increase your travel purchasing (or upgrading) potential. If you’re new to optimizing credit card points, Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program is a great place to start since you can use points to pay for travel through their portal or transfer points to a number of airlines at a 1:1 ratio. (This is mostly relevant to folks with American credit cards and only recommended for those without debt.)
Wasting your vacation days
Bust out your calendar right now and mark every long weekend and holiday that you can take advantage of and request time off around those dates asap. Yes, prices might be more expensive for those dates, but if finding the time to travel is what’s stopping you, leveraging built-in vacation time will put you one step ahead. Remember, taking time off makes you more effective and productive, not the other way around. So request those vacay days stat.
Waiting for travel partners
Traveling with family and friends is great, but if you’ve been waiting for your budgets, destinations or timing to match up for ages and it’s clear that your plans are going nowhere (just like you are) then it’s time to go it alone. Honestly, there aren’t many experiences as freeing, exciting and rewarding as solo travel so don’t miss out on the opportunity because it feels scary. What’s really scary is letting others hold you back from your travel dreams.
Leaving airfare to fate
We can hypothesize all day about when’s the best time to buy plane tickets. Don’t let that take up too much headspace when an app can do it for you. Kayak, Google Flights and Hopper will all track and alert you to airfare fluctuations and let you know when to hit book. Of course, the further in advance you know when and where you want to go, the more flexibility you’ll have in price. Set up alerts for your ideal destinations and dates and let the algorithms tell you when to hold ‘em or when to fold ‘em.
Prioritizing the wrong things
Oh man, this is a biggie when it comes to making anything happen in life, not just travel. The concept is pretty simple: Put what matters most, first. The harder part is making a decision about what’s going to be a priority in your life and committing to it. If you’re prioritizing travel this year, then your choices need to reflect that, which means saying no to more of the tasks, events or purchases that don’t matter at this point.
Letting limiting beliefs, well, limit you
We all have stories we tell ourselves that we believe to be true. Our own self-derived narratives become fact to us, whether consciously or subconsciously. Beliefs like “I can’t afford to travel,” “Travel is dangerous,” and “I don’t deserve a vacation” sound off on repeat in our brains. The first step to combating limiting beliefs is to become aware of them. When you can recognize your thoughts as separate from yourself, you can treat them as specimens to be studied. The next time you find yourself trapped by negative self-talk or limiting beliefs, try to prove yourself wrong.
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