Today, I visited incredible places all over the world. I was transported to some beautiful fall destinations, from a Vermont B&B to a beach in sunny California. I explored 26 alternatives to typical vacation hotspots, like Montreal instead of Paris; Moorea instead of Bora Bora. Even my own lovely Finger Lakes Wine Country instead of Napa Valley. A travel blogging couple I follow wrote a post about Italy’s Cinque Terre, one of the single most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and it made me recall my time there. Another blogger is in New Zealand right now, so I saw amazing pictures from the other side of the world. I got a jump on the holiday season by learning about the best European Christmas markets. And, my brochures I ordered through Viking River Cruises came in the mail!
And I never even left my apartment. In fact, that was—for the most part—just my Facebook newsfeed before lunch.
Last week, we talked about vacation days—or lack thereof. The vast majority of us get two or three weeks per year, if that, to excuse ourselves from our daily grind and to recharge our batteries somewhere new. So, what do you do when you, like me, have used your allotted vacation time (or have it planned out for the rest of the year)?
Can’t physically travel as much as you’d like? Do the next best thing!
If you have a touch of wanderlust in you, make travel a priority. Even if you can’t physically go somewhere, be sure it’s part of your daily life. I spend what some would probably consider an unhealthy amount of time devoted to travel during my day. Between checking social media, catching up on my favorite travel blogs and scouring the internet for travel deals, I spend 1-3 hours consuming travel-related content on any given day. More if I’m actually planning a trip.
Now, if you want to spend hours on end with all things travel, be my guest, but most people probably don’t have the time. I’m guessing you do, however, have 5-10 minutes to do a few small things that will ensure you get just a taste of travel in your life every single day.
How to Fill Your Life with Travel:
- Social media is your own personal travel buddy. Your Facebook and Twitter feeds are customized to you, so fill them with your favorite travel information. Have you taken a cruise in the past (or is it on your bucket list)? Find the company you’re thinking about cruising with and follow them on social media. They’ll share photos taken from cruises all around the world, and they’ll even post some deals that might just entice you to book.
- Tourism bureaus have the best photos! Have a favorite destination? Find the tourism office (there are sometimes multiple) for that particular place, and you can be assured you’ll see tons of beautiful images crop up in your newsfeeds. Before our Hawaii trip last year, I found all the Hawaiian companies (tourism offices, hotels, activity providers) I was going to be using and followed them all. Now more than a year later, I still get to experience Hawaii every single day, without leaving my living room. Even though I’ve never been, Tourism Australia does a phenomenal job on social media, and I always love looking at their pictures.
- Top 10 lists are my downfall. Travel publications love to suck you in with list after list of exotic destinations. Again, follow on social media or bookmark the URLs. A few of my favorites are Budget Travel, Travel & Leisure, and Afar (they have great travel guides). I always click on a list from Facebook, and an hour later, I’ve bounced around to a dozen more, and have added seven new destinations to my bucket list.
- Start a Pinterest board of beautiful destinations. Seriously, do this even if you have no intention of going to them. Beautiful pictures are inspiring and make you feel better about your day. Trust me. The same is true of Instagram. You can follow companies and travel bloggers, and be treated to gorgeous images that tell captivating stories of far-off lands each day. Trover is another site/app a lot of travelers like, although I haven’t used it much yet.
- Travel blogs are awesome—and I’m not just saying that because I have one. Travel bloggers are just awesome, inspiring people. I started working with them as part of my day job several years ago. Their energy and zest for life was absolutely infectious, and it didn’t take long before I knew I had to be part of that community. There are hundreds if not thousands of travel blogs out there, but find a few favorites and check back in with their adventures. A few of my personal faves are The Planet D, Adventurous Kate, Twenty-Something Travel, LandLopers, Everything Everywhere, Girl Gone Travel, My View from the Middle Seat, and The Constant Rambler.
- No time to read through lots of blogs? How about a travel podcast! I highly recommend Amateur Traveler podcast as a great way to do some controlled daydreaming while in your office. Listen to one of Chris Christensen’s shows while you’re working in the afternoon, and you’ll have your travel fix for the day, and will perhaps be inspired to do a little research when you get home.
- TravelZoo: The reason I love Wednesday afternoons. Do yourself a favor and sign up for TravelZoo deals. Ever Wednesday after lunch, a notification pops up on my phone. TravelZoo has published their top 20 deals list for the week! My little heart skips a beat. You have to sign up via e-mail, but it’s completely and totally worth it. They have crazy deals to places all over the world—they can be airline deals, discounted hotel rates, or even all-inclusive vacation packages, like 7-night getaways to Ireland with air, hotel, and car rental starting at $699/person. I seriously almost booked that one on the spot. Although I’ve never booked a TravelZoo deal (since they usually require you to act quickly, and unfortunately that’s not how I roll), I look forward to receiving each new list, and am always tempted enough by something to do some more research. Johnny Jet also does a fantastic round up of deals, so he’s a good one to follow, too!
- Dare to dream a bit. Sometimes it’s just fun to see where you could go, just for the heck of it! I’ve got some great apps installed on my phone, and when I have a spare minute in my day, I like do some browsing. My go-tos are SkyScanner, to check out any airfare deals from airports near me, and Airbnb, so I can find a sweet place to stay when I get there! From houseboats in Paris to a castle in the UK, and yes, even your own private island in Fiji, Airbnb is a good place to do some serious dreaming—and a good place to realize a lot of these things are actually attainable. That private island? Only $500 per night! (Which may seem like a lot, but think about it…)
If you enjoy travel—and I hope you do since you’re reading this blog—make sure it’s a priority in your life, even if you can’t physically go somewhere all the time. Just seeing a beautiful destination or a great travel deal each day is enough to fuel that positive energy that surrounds all things travel. Try it—let me know how it works out for you.
What sources of travel information do you have in your life? What’s your favorite travel company or destination to follow on social media?