Travel Takeover | How and why you should travel little and often
All this week on the blog I’m hosting a Travel Takeover to help you blow away those winter blues. Today we've got the ace Lauren who, like me, can't go for too long without a trip. She's kindly written a great post on the benefits of travelling little and often - enjoy!
I'm so happy to be able to write for Sophie's little corner of internet. I've been reading her blog for a pretty long time now and we share a big passion for travel. When she emailed me asking if I would like to contribute I of course said yes. It's so nice to be able to blog in a community where people you've never met can be your mates- so here's hoping there's more of this in the future! I had so many ideas about beaches, resort reviews or bucket lists, but then I thought about my favourite travel posts, and they're usually about the practicalities of travel- something I like to think I've gotten good at myself.
When I was younger, I remember being told the best way to eat right, was to do it little and often. This is not a rule I've grown to live by. Not for food anyway, because carb binges are life and I have to eat crumpets by the packet load. When it comes to travel though, little and often has given me a way to hold down and grow a career, while still travelling as much as I can.
Back in 2012/13 when I was working my first meaningful adult job, I travelled every couple of months. I ticked off about seven places from my European bucket list in one year by looking at travel as a necessity.
Of course it isn't a necessity, but actually, for a lot of people it's a source of happiness, and being happy IS a necessity. You can pretty much make anything you want to do in life acceptable by relating it to your happiness. That includes Krispy Kremes. "The donut will improve my day, which improves my week, which overall makes me happier." See. Ideal.
Anyway- travelling little and often is the perfect way to keep yourself afloat in the wanderlust stakes if you don't have time for big trips or the budget to shell out on far-flung locations or long haul flights. It's the ideal way to see the world in affordable little snapshots while your life at home remains stable.
Here are 5 extremely helpful ways to do it:
1) The Sky Scanner 'anywhere' function
This is pretty much the greatest travel tool I've discovered and it's oh so simple. You head on over to Sky Scanner, type in where your flying from, and leave the destination blank. Then you just search and it'll list flights in order of cheapness. This is how I've flown to Copenhagen, Ireland and Croatia for less than £50 return in summer. Not being fussed about where you're going will open you up to way more chances to travel, and the less you spend getting there, the more you can spend on getting fully accustomed with the culture once you are there (eating everything and going shopping obvs).
2) Use your annual leave wisely
Take out the days you need for birthdays or weddings or whatevs, then split up your annual leave in blocks of two days. Use as many as possible over weekends, and go on 4 day trips. For most European cities, that's a good amount of time. Bank holidays can be more pricey for accommodation so while it's worth looking it up, be prepared to just go on standard weekends. 6 days of annual leave could amount to three trips away, and still leave you enough for a week laying in the sun with friends and a hangover.
3) Sign up to as many travel companies email updates as you can handle
No ones likes a clogged up inbox, and there's not much worse than sitting and deleting about 50 spam 'FLASH SALE' emails on your phone, but actually, when it comes to travel, it can be just what you need. When travel companies and airlines offer sales, the best deals and locations go quickly, so you may as well be ahead of the game and let them tell you when you can book up a cheap trip. The EasyJet sale for example, sells out mercifully fast, and you really can get a mother of bargain to places a couple of hours flight away- perfect for a 4 day stint exploring. A little alert never hurt anyone.
4) You don't have to leave your home country
Until a couple of years back I'd seen so little of the UK it was actually embarrassing. This was partly because all I wanted to do was get away, and partly because I just never did any research. More fool me. I've seen more breathtaking views on staycations and weekends away than I imaged possible. I've hung out on beaches in Cornwall in the sun, trekked through the Lake District in the snow, chased the sunset in Scotland and spent sunny days being blown away (and very hungover) in Wales. Travel is no less of an experience for not involving an airport Instagram and a boarding pass. Adventure is adventure and if you want to get away as much as possible, look a little closer to home sometimes. You'll likely be very surprised.
5) Do some maths
Think you can't afford another trip? Do some calculations. If you didn't go away for five days, what would you likely spend in that time? How much goes on commuting, food buying, coffees, a night on the town, a couple of meals out and an accidental Saturday trip to Primark? It's not much on an individual basis but how easy is it to spend a couple of hundred pounds in a standard week at home, going about your business? Pretty easy. I know because I do it all the time and I would not say I live to excess even remotely. Last year I went to Copenhagen for three days- £50 on flights and £50 for an air b&b when the cost was split between 2. Throw in £100 spending money and voila. Done. Another city ticked off and another trip slipped into the year.
We live in a time where travel can be cheap, easy, accessible and relentless, so what are we waiting for?