How to Travel More This Year

traveling couple
Photo: iStock
Pack your bags.

When it comes to travel, the FOMO is real. Between pics of exotic spots and quaint cobblestone streets filling your Insta feed and that colleague or friend that always seems to be on the go, it's hard to not to feel a serious sense of wanderlust. Travel can be difficult to plan when your schedule is jam-packed, time is at a premium and cash is low, but there's good news: You can travel more too! Read on for some trips and tricks to help you on your to a year filled with new adventures.

1. Change your outlook.

Travel is often viewed as a luxury, especially when it comes to far flung destinations. And it's exactly this misconception that can keep you from realizing your full adventuring potential. Shift your perspective and start to view travel in the same way you would new duds, dinner out or decorating your digs. Think about it in these terms: You could spend $7 on your morning latte or you could put it towards that trip to Cambodia you've been dreaming about forever. Ya dig?

2. Prioritize your plans.

Sit down and create an action plan with solid goals and deadlines — then make the leap and commit. Making a financial commitment to your plans, like purchasing a ticket, renting a car or booking a retreat will encourage you to actually follow through. Planning in advance also allows you to book the time off and earn a bit of extra cash in the meantime if needed.

3. Make a budget.

Commit to travel by putting away a small chunk of money each month in the same way you would for retirement (and if you haven't started, get on that STAT), groceries and rent/mortgage. It doesn't have to be a lot — you could even start with $15 per paycheck — just choose an amount and stick with it. When choosing how much to set aside, consider your travel goals for the year. An all-inclusive escape to the tropics is going to require a little more investment than a handful of weekend getaways.

4. Go local.

Chances are there are plenty of cool spots close to home that you haven't yet explored. Become a weekend warrior and spend a few days immersing yourself in the your region's local flavor, or head out hiking in a nearby national park. The opportunities for travel or endless — make it a point to branch out near and far.

5. Create a travel squad.

Tap into your social network and invite your fave couple or two along for the ride. Making your travel plans a group affair means you're more likely to stick to your plans and actually follow through on that much-needed vacay. Having a few extra heads in on the planning may even mean you have see or experience things you wouldn't have thought of on your own. Another bonus? It'll help cut costs too.

6. Take advantage of existing opportunities.

There may be opportunities for travel that you've never even thought to consider sitting right in front of your nose. Those company sponsored conferences and studio retreats you see advertised on the regular? Start taking advantage of them stat. Or if you regularly travel for work, try extending the trip a day or two to give yourself some extra time to explore. Employed by a company that allows you to work remotely? Why not crush those expense reports in Rome?

7. Be flexible.

When it comes to planning a trip, keeping an open mind can mean big savings for your wallet. If you know you want to visit Buenos Aires, but you're not set on a specific date, you can keep your eye out for deals. Being flexible also allows you to avoid peak travel times, which not only means lower costs, but fewer fellow tourists too. Try using tools like Google Flights, Kayak and Adioso to find the best times to fly to destinations across the globe.

8. Embrace the unexpected.

Don't let your practical side get the best of you. Seize last minute or unexpected travel opportunities if they come along. While an impromptu trip to Paris may not be in the cards, a weekend road trip is totally within the realm of possibility, and you can actually save big time by booking hotels last minute. Check out apps like HotelsTonight to scope out the best spur-of-the-moment deals.

9. Create an extra income stream.

Need a bit of extra cash to make those travel #goals a reality? Rent out your space on Airbnb, VRBO or Home Exchange and use the extra cash to fund your next trip. If you rent, just make sure your lease gives you the okay.