For me, 2017 was all about figuring out how to travel more. I set out with a goal to take one trip a month, and at the end of the year, I couldn’t believe I actually took 12 trips. 12 Months, 12 Trips. It didn’t have to be a big trip every month – just get out of NJ once a month – and I can’t tell y’all how refreshing it was! Here’s the list, starting in February – Barcelona, Cuba (my birthday trip!), San Francisco, Boston, Tulum, Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Saratoga Springs NY, Atlanta, Dallas & Chicago! Full disclosure – I didn’t take a trip in January, but I did two trips in December. So, I guess that counts, no? If you follow me on Insta, you might have seen where all I went last year. Not all new places, but like I said – the goal was to get out of NJ once a month! A lot of people have asked me how I managed to pull this off. So, I figured I’ll do a blog post with some tips on how to travel more!
Exploring Havana, Cuba on my birthday
Right off the bat, a couple things that worked in my favor –
- I had an incredibly flexible job and an awesome manager. So, I had the ability to work remotely – used this perk for 3 of 12 trips.
- I was really only working around my own schedule, which made it a lot easier. Mayan Ruins, Yucatán, Mexico
That said, I’m excited to share a few tips with y’all that have helped me travel more in the last few years –
- If you haven’t already done so, check out my blog post 👉 about 6 Tried & Trusted Websites to Find Cheap Flights! That post also includes my methodology for booking flights – what websites/apps to use when I have set dates but not a set location and vice versa + tons of other info like subscriptions for cheap flight alerts, and more! Tulum, Mexico
- I always, always …. ALWAYS book my flights first ✈ (refer to #1 on how to find best flight deals). I generally find that once you take into consideration your dates, origin & destination airports, most feasible flight times, durations, and the million other factors that go into buying a flight, there’s a lot less flexibility with flights. Accommodations are a little easier to book since, generally speaking, there is an abundance of hotels, hostels, airbnbs, etc. So, booking a flight first makes a lot more sense, especially when you are flexible on dates/destination. This tip, of course, doesn’t apply when you HAVE to take a specific trip on specific dates – like a wedding, family reunion, etc.
Somewhere along CA-1
- Visit a friend! When you have a friend who lives in a different state/country 👯, and you’ve told them you wanna visit them, mean it! I visited friends in San Francisco, Boston, and Barcelona! Interestingly enough, when I did my solo trip to Colombia in 2016 (travel guides here), I became friends with a wonderful girl who’s from Barcelona, and she’s the one I visited in Barcelona! She was kind and gracious enough to host me, and let’s be real – the best way to experience a place is having a local show you around!
El Bunker, Barcelona – best view of the city of Barcelona, and I would’ve never known about it had it not been for my friend!
- Extend work trips 💼. My Pittsburgh trip was actually for work, and then I ended up staying through the weekend to explore the city, since I’d never been! My flight was covered by my job so, all I had to do was cover accommodations and other expenses for the weekend! If you get to travel for work, maximize on those trips!
Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh
- For shorter duration trips, travel East 🌎. This is especially true for people on the East Coast of the US. Got a long weekend? It works a lot better in terms of timings, and you can make the most of a lot weekend! Take a red-eye Friday night & land somewhere in Europe Saturday morning. Take a Monday late afternoon flight back, & still get back to your home base at a decent enough time. This might require a lot of coffee whilst in Europe, but are you actually complaining about that? 😜
Barceloneta, Barcelona || I highly recommend renting a big, and riding around this area and Barrio Gótico if you’re ever in Barcelona!
- Road trips! 🏎 4 of my 12 trips were road trips! It’s a great way to save on flights, plus you get a ton of flexibility on time!
The coolest ever Peet’s Coffee location, in Boston, MA
- Go solo! One of the biggest challenges, when it comes to traveling, is aligning schedules. So, if I ever want to go somewhere and can’t align my schedule with family/friends, I just …. go! If I waited till I had someone who wanted to go where I wanted to go, when I wanted to go, had the means to go, and most importantly …. is someone I’d actually want to travel with, I’d never go anywhere!
- Keep an open mind! Personally, I rarely ever stay at big resorts or chain hotels. When I’m traveling solo, I especially love staying in Airbnbs – typically, a private room vs getting the entire place for myself. This is a much cheaper option + a great way to meet people!
Mayan Ruins, Yucatán, MexicoAnd there you have it! All my tips on how to travel more. Tell me – do you think this is helpful information? Would you like to see more posts like this on the blog? What else would you like to see on the blog?
You can follow me along on –