I’ve been bitten by a serious case of wanderlust lately. Part of it is the fact that I have not flown since last October, and another part is that I just really cannot wait until our honeymoon to Buenos Aires. What to do, what to do, when you are itching to travel, but cannot (at least not yet) because of lack of resources, whether that be time or finances?
Here are 10 ways to deal with that wanderlust when you’re short on time or money.
- Attend a travel convention. That’s what I’m doing this weekend – the Los Angeles Time Travel Show is here, and if I can’t head to London or Barcelona at least I can listen to Rick Steves TALK about the wonders of Europe. (If you want to go, use the code “LATR” or “LATO” for $2 off the $10 admission tickets).
- Set up a dedicated travel fund. If one of the obstacles to a trip is money, there’s only one way to resolve that obstacle – with money! Putting dollars away in a specific fund help us prepare for a big vacation – our Galapagos Fund has grown from a twinkle in my eye in April 2010 to $10,000+ now.
- Subscribe to well-written travel catalogs with lots of colorful photos and detailed itineraries. OK, this might only make your wanderlust that much more powerful, but it’s a fun way to torture the traveler in you! I especially enjoy Wilderness Travel’s paper catalog (it’s free, and they don’t spam). I have one from last year that I’ve read, cover-to-cover, more times than I can count on my fingers.
- Read blogs of folks who have visited the destination of your desire. I am a frequent visitor of this Galapagos trip blog. I try to tell myself that my time will come.
- Plan out an entire trip in your head. From airfare, to specific hotels and restaurants, to entertainment options, to local transportation. Maybe keep a few spreadsheets detailing the budget breakdown of what such a trip will cost. Go back to #2. Repeat as necessary for all the trips that you want to take. Thanks to my penchant for researching and planning trips, I now have the itineraries of Turkey, Paris, New Zealand, and a several other places floating around in my head. Hmmm.. Oops? (I can’t be the only one who does this!).
- Host a foreign exchange student or foreign traveler. If you can’t go to Rome, you can bring someone from Rome to your home! If you are ready for a longer-term commitment, serving as a host for a foreign exchange student would be a great way to learn more about that person’s culture. Or sites like couchsurfing will let you play host for a few days.
- Pretend to be a tourist in your own city. So many times we forget or overlook the tourist attractions in our own cities, attractions that real tourists pay good money to be able to visit! I’ve been guilty of this. So play tourist for a day – maybe even ask someone for directions.
- Go on a day trip. Leave early, come back late means that you save on the hotel costs but can see visit someplace a little bit different from the day-to-day. If you are in Los Angeles, you can make it to Santa Barbara on a day trip. If you are in San Francisco, Monterey (and the famous aquarium) is doable. If you are in D.C., the wineries of Charlottesville are 2.5 hours away. If you are in San Diego, land of perfect 72 degrees, WHAT are you complaining about?!
- Open a rewards credit card to pay for your hotel or flights. Done and done. Of course, only do this if you can pay off your balance in full every month.
- Drink wine and pretend you are in Paris. Enough said.