The better half and I booked flights for a couple of weeks stay in Europe recently. In all honesty, it was her. She’s got a knack for organizing and itinerizing. I have a knack for convincing her we should figure it out as we go and to roll with the punches.
I feel that being adaptive can make anything more fun. She says she hates it but we both know it’s her favorite. We had this plan, or something like it, before we even decided to leave on our 2 month USA road trip. The only reason we hadn’t done it yet is because we decided that touring our own country should come first. It may have also had something to do with the fact I hadn’t updated my passport…
The last 2 years, we’ve been saving all of our accrued miles and cash back from our credit cards. With a little ingenuity and a bit of research, we were able to get round trip flights to Europe for under $1000! That is the total for both of us! It’s insane. The points we’ve accrued are going to pay our entire way and all we had to do is be patient and spend money the way we always do. This is the kind of goal anyone can set for themselves. It may take some research and time but it is absolutely possible.
Taking two weeks to go gallivanting around Europe isn’t something everyone can do or even wants to do. One of the first things to do is to figure out what kind of adventures make you happy. The positive benefits on your psyche by just getting out of your routine and doing something for yourself are undeniable. There have also been studies done to analyze what getting out in nature does for our mental health, which has a large effect on our overall happiness.
Is there a local hike that you’ve heard of? Go do it! Don’t think you have the stamina to do the whole thing? Do what you can! Our brains respond to achieved goals in very specific ways. The great news is, the size of the goal achieved doesn’t matter; any accomplishment will improve your mental health. Try something. Ask yourself, “What is one thing that I want and what do I have to do to achieve it?” Does this task seem exhausting and scary? Then, you may need to decide on something a little more attainable, at least for now.
I have too many obligations that are keeping me from being able to get away.
I can’t afford to go on vacation.
I know how much it sucks having to adult, day in and day out, and to feel like you’re just keeping your head above water. If you really want something, there is always a way. For me and Alyssa, finding time for trips is a constant goal. There are more ways than ever, too. You don’t have to have a credit card if you don’t want to or can’t qualify for one. There are apps like Swagbucks and Ibotta that give you cash back for everyday purchases. Don’t expect it to happen overnight. It is a slow accrual but you don’t have to do anything except buy the things you were already going to buy. Another thing we do is put extra cash that we get in a place we won’t take from. Little by little, it adds up quicker than you think. Patience and research is the key to being able to find some adventure within a reasonable budget.
Don’t have the time to research and find the best deals? There are companies out there that have your back. I just recently came across a company called Next Vacay that is run by this couple out of Atlanta. Next Vacay researches and finds the best travel deals for you and sends you notifications based on information you give them. Tell them the airport you want to fly out of and they will start sending you notifications about great deals from your airport to awesome places around the world. It’s extremely easy, takes little to zero time, and could easily help you get to your next great adventure.
What about the expenses while you’re taking a trip? There’s food, lodging, etc. A popular choice for saving money on hotel accommodations is Air BnB. People open their homes to guests for a certain cost. Most times, this cost is less than a traditional hotel. This is a great way to visit a place and also get the feeling of actually living there, as opposed to staying in a hotel. There are living quarters of all kinds. The site has anything from a tree house in the woods to a room in a castle. Many people offer up their guest bedrooms, their pool houses, or even their entire home. If it sounds kinda weird and a little creepy, it isn’t. I felt like it was going to be a little weird, at first, but I’ve had nothing but great experiences at each Air BnB I’ve stayed at. It is usually easy to get in touch with the hosts and there is also a rating and review system on the website and app so you can decide, based off of other guests’ experiences, whether or not the rental is a good fit for you.
Don’t really want to stay in the city? Want to find a good place to pitch a tent after an intense hike or connect with nature in an area you’ve never been? Hipcamp is a newer app that helps connect you to different campsites around the United States. Be sure to check out their story. It shows how simple frustrations can spark an incredible idea. It works very similar to Air BnB. You can see what other campers thought about their stays and the area they stayed in. They provide information about each of the sites so you have a great understanding of where you’ll be as well as information on the cool stuff that makes each site unique. They have listings that include anything, from people’s backyards to public parks, and everything in between. Hipcamp is a good resource for anyone who prefers a tent and a sleeping bag, under the stars, over the standard hotel room.
Whatever your budget may be, whether you want to find a great hike and campsite, or if you prefer to experience a new area like a local, there are way too many resources available to help find something you like. So, the next time you start finding reasons why you can’t go on that quick trip or vacation, I hope you take some time to do a little research and find a way to make it work. Go find some adventure.
I’d love to hear about any recent trips you’ve taken or plan to take. How did it effect your mood? How soon did you start planning your next trip?
A version of this post was previously published on Gofindyourhappy.net and is republished here with permission from the author.
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