It’s still winter here in southern Manitoba… And I’m sick of it. Of course, the first day of spring isn’t for another couple of weeks, but the temperature is still below freezing and there’s a few feet of snow on the ground that doesn’t seem to be melting anytime soon. I can’t even afford to travel right now as an escape!

Well, I can, but I can’t take time off work right now for the trip. With a bunch of big projects on the go, a tonne of new writing clients, and some personal endeavors I want out the door ASAP I just can’t afford to take a week off lying on the beach. Even if I really want to.

Can’t Afford to Travel? Do This!

So whether you’re like me and can’t afford the time or you’re on a budget and can’t afford the price there are still ways to at least feel a little bit better when you can’t take a vacation right now.

Some of these I’ve done before, other ones I’m actually in the process of doing right now. They help!

Focus on any upcoming trips (even if they’re far away)

Look, for the sake of transparency I have to admit I am going to California in May. I wish I’d booked it for a closer date but that one worked with my fiancée’s schedule at the time. Only problem is he’s switched positions and has a lot more flexibility now so we totally could have gone whenever. Sigh. (I sure hope they don’t close Disneyland because of Coronavirus!)

So to make myself feel better about not going to Cuba or Mexico next week I’m focusing on my upcoming trip. Should you have one on your schedule, do the same. Even if it’s several months out.

Some things you can do include:

  • Making plans for activities
  • Picking out places to eat
  • Pre-booking anything you can
  • Shopping for travel accessories
  • General research about your destination
  • If you’re heading to a foreign country lean a few common phrases

It might not be the same as going, but anticipating a trip is all part of the fun!

Plan a new trip

Plan a new trip

If you don’t have one on the horizon, or you’re still wanting to do the trip you can’t have right now as well, you can at least start planning. Research and choose a destination and look up general costs. That way you can set a budget and figure out what you need to do to save up and make the trip happen.

Don’t forget when planning a trip that you’ll need to book in advance. If you’re saving up that will mean calculating how much to save before your booking date, not your travel date.

Make a bucket list

Make a bucket list

OK, so maybe you truly can’t afford to travel and trips are completely off the table for the next little while. It happens! To satiate that travel bug, make yourself a travel or activity bucket list. They might not happen tomorrow but it represents someday. If you’re passionate about travel you’ll probably make that someday happen.

You can go with travel destinations in general (for example, ‘visit Tokyo’) or be very specific (ie: go snorkelling in Bora Bora). Whatever you add to the list, try to be realistic while still letting yourself dream a little bit.

Also, see if there’s anything you can check off your bucket list now. Maybe you just put ‘learn to scuba dive’ on your list and lessons are offered at a local pool. It might not be the same as doing it in the tropics but at least it gets you closer to your travel and adventure goals.

Plan a staycation

Plan a staycation

I purposely don’t plan trips in the summertime with the exception of road trips to visit family. Why? There’s so, so much to do in my area without having to travel very far!

If you’re itching for a trip but your budget sets the destination at the end of your driveway, consider doing something close to home. You could take some time of work and just hang out at home (costs almost nothing if you have vacation time to use) or spend a small amount on doing something fun.

Great staycation ideas:

  • Camping
  • Travelling to a nearby city that you’ve never visited
  • Booking a nice hotel or spa in your city
  • Local day trips (think things like hiking, kayaking, tours, etc)
  • Acting like a tourist in your city and doing the ‘must dos’
  • Staying in and doing nothing

Still can’t afford to travel? Earn more

To be honest, I think travelling is super important. If you have any room in your budget for a travel fund start saving so that next time you’re itching for a vacation the funds are there.

If money is tight, try and earn more money if travelling is really important to you. Sell some things, pick up some side jobs, start a business, or even start a blog online to make money (I can help).

Keep your chin up

If you’re grinding and working hard but just can’t seem to get ahead it can be disheartening. Not everyone can afford to travel all the time – you have to have the funds available, the lifestyle to accommodate it, and a little bit of luck.

A couple of years ago I couldn’t imagine being able to afford doing anything like travelling! But, with a bit of determination and a lot of hard work I managed to grow a business that supports a travel lifestyle.

If travel is something you want keep setting your goals around achieving it.