They say money makes the world go round. And in some ways, it does. It certainly provides a deciding factor in what we can and cannot do. But in reality, you can always make more.
There is one thing that once you spend you can never get back: time.
Time is precious. Once the clock has ticked by, you can never get those minutes back. Unless you’ve figured out the trick to time travel, in which case kudos to you. For the rest of us, we have to make the best of what we have left.
And for me that doesn’t mean sitting back and watching it pass.
There’s been a trend around the internet about the concept of slow travel. Rob Loyd wrote his five reasons to give slow travel a chance in a post published on the Flights.com blog earlier this year, which points out solids reasons in favor of taking an easier pace versus checking the sights off a list. He makes a solid argument. I mean really, how much fun does it sound to rush from landmark to landmark, struggling to conquer the mysteries of public transportation in a new destination (if there even is any), and fighting the hoards of tourists trying to do the exact same thing as you?
No thank you.
The thing with the travel slow concept, as I see it, is that people assume that in order to slacken that pace, you need lots of time. Not true.
Let’s say you have one weekend. Now, you know how you would ideally like to spend that weekend, right? Relaxing, I’m sure, after a long week of work. I’m totally on board with that idea since starting my new full-time work gig (newsflash? Yes, but more on that later!). The weekend comes, and like you, I want to sit back, kick up my feet, and go on at least a mental vacation. If I can convert that into a physical vacation though, all the better.
And guess what? It’s entirely possible.
Let’s make a hypothetical situation out of an actually possible scenario. I live in Fort Lauderdale. Puerto Rico lies pretty much in a straight line to the southeast. And there are direct 2-hour flights between FLL and San Juan. So, in theory, it would take me roughly 3-4 hours to transport myself to San Juan for a weekend. Or even just for a Saturday night. Fly out first thing on Saturday morning, leave after dinner on Sunday. Spend one day wandering the streets of Old San Juan, the other sitting on a beach. Could I sit on a beach in Fort Lauderdale? Sure, but it’s not Puerto Rico. And it’s so close it’s almost a sin not to go.
There’s a cost to be sure, but that comes down to priorities. Lunch out every day? Or a plane ticket for a weekend away? It’s a choice. I’ve talked about this before in a post arguing that yes, you can travel too, so I won’t go there again now.
I’ll step off my soapbox on the value and importance of travel, and instead offer you my own five practical tips on how you too can make time to see the world.
1. Realize that time is a limited resource
And then decide what you want to do with it. If travels seems to stressful, that’s fine. If feeling like you’re missing out on living life to the fullest by sitting at home is more stressful, then take the next step.
2. Do your research
Find out which places are in your 2-4 hour radius, and start looking into what’s there that might catch your interest. It could be as simple as a really awesome brewery, or a concert that’s coming. And don’t forget to look in your own backyard as well.
3. Keep an eye on expenses
Determine how much money you would need to enjoy a chosen location properly, and then save. Don’t go if you can’t afford it and you’re going to have to watch every penny, because trust me, that sucks. And kind of defeats the point.
4. Find travel buddies
To each their own as far as travel style, but my hostel days are over. The only accommodations I want to share are those which my friends are sharing with me. Whether you rent a hotel or an apartment, having other people there is the easiest way to help with the costs. Plus you’ll have people there to help you catch that perfect shot of you gazing effortlessly off the balcony to post on Instagram later, and won’t get frustrated with your 150+ attempts to capture said shot.
5. Just. Book. It.
Planning is well and good, and talking about it and researching are certainly part of the process, but if you don’t do anything about it… well, have fun sitting on the couch scrolling through other weekend adventurers’ photo feeds. No one wants to be THAT girl/guy…
But in all honesty, don’t let excuses stop you from getting out and about if that’s what you want to do. Time will pass, so make sure you’re leaving behind a story worth telling. Even if some chapters are shorter than others.
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Flights.com. All opinions and thoughts stated are completely my own in order to provide the most honest and beneficial information possible.