It’s a brand new year and an opportunity to turn your travel dreams to reality, this time. You said it last year, you said it in 2015 and in 2014 but it didn’t quite happen. Surely this year has got to be different, correct? Here’s how to make 2017 your year of travel. Just like every other goal you have set this year; fitness, spiritual, financial, you must work towards it, put in the time and effort needed or it is going to be just another year where you wanted it but nothing happened. I hope that is not the case for you. On this travel recap of 2016, I shared the places I visited last year and I got messages asking how I did it. The short story is: Proper planning, savings and motivation levels peaking through the heavens. For the not-so-short story and how you too can do it, please continue reading.

HAVE A REALISTIC BUCKET LIST

Saying “goals” to every single place you see is not going to get you too far, literally. To put this in perspective, there are 195 countries in the world (if we do not count Taiwan) and about 4,416 cities. It’s unrealistic to be wishy-washy about places you want to see. You cannot see everything. Draw up a realistic bucket list, one that matches your time and budget. For example, there is no point wanting to do a three-week safari trip when you know your full time job only allows you two weeks worth of vacation time.  Let’s be all the way real here.

TRAVEL CHEAPER

It’s 2017 and people still think travel is a luxury and only associate travel with expensive resorts and overpriced tours. A travel experience is made up of these three major things: Transportation + Accommodation + Foodall of which can be done on a budget. I kid you not. Transportation: Air or Road or Sea? Find deals and a mode that suits your need. For air transportation which is usually the most expensive, sites like TheFlightDeal and HolidayPirates have amazing deals. For more information on how to get great deals on airfare, I wrote a detailed post on it here. Accommodation: There are cheaper alternatives to forking out thousands of dollars per night on a 4-star hotel. Alternatives like, Couchsurfing, AirBnB and some affordable places on Booking.com. Food: Sometimes, eat like the locals. Isn’t that what travel is all about anyway? For every expensive restaurant, there is a cheaper one. Think about your home country and how there are a wide variety of cheaper alternatives. It’s the same everywhere. Yes, travel will cost you money but it is certainly not as much as widely believed.

GET RID OF THE FEAR OF COMMITMENT

We have established that traveling does not have to be expensive, right? Right. So why do people still fail to realize their travel dreams? It’s the fear of committing. It’s easy to put away your plans when you haven’t made any financial commitment or haven’t put one foot forward. This right here, is a mental issue, more than anything else.  Commit to buying that plane ticket, booking that hotel, buying that travel guide, joining a local city tour or else, it’s not going to happen. Simple.

START MAKING CONCRETE PLANS

Remember that bucket list we made earlier? Put some fire to it by making concrete plans.

  • Design your bucket list in order of priority.
  • Pick one place where you are going to next.
  • Research what it will cost you. You can use this great vacation cost calculator, as a guide.
  • Work towards it.

While this might be cliché, If you want something, you have to make conscious efforts to get it.

OPEN A TRAVEL FUND

I talked about the importance of having a travel fund here.  Opening a specific account for your travels and putting money away occasionally is such a bold and deliberate move. Find a system that works for you and do it.

PACE YOURSELF

Traveling can be overwhelming and there are so many places to see so, you must pace yourself. Personally, this works for me. I remember years ago I wanted to do a 25 countries by age 25 goal but first, it was unrealistic at the time and second, I really could do without that extra bit of pressure. I find that pacing yourself works just fine. By all means have a goal or bucket list but do not hold on too tightly. Remain flexible and see the world one city at a time, slowly but surely.

EXPLORE YOUR IMMEDIATE ENVIRONMENT

When people think travel, they think airplanes and long distances and that is really not true. If we go by the lay man’s definition, Travel means the act of going from one point A to another point B. From me to you, there is so much beauty around you to explore. Here’s a good start point:

  • Find out the countries closest to you. Typically, they have the least cost of transportation. Use GoMapper.
  • Explore your local environment.
  • Find time to go to a place in your country you have never been at least once a month.

BECOME A STALKER 

Stalk those travel deals on Flight Deal and HolidayPirates. In the world of travel, early movers are the real winners. It’s like winner takes all. They are always on the look out for jaw breaking deals and buy it without giving it too much thought. Subscribe to flight deal notifications, newsletters, etc.

STOP WAITING FOR YOUR FRIENDS

It takes so much for two people’s plans to align. It can be an absolute miracle sometimes. If you have to wait for your group of friends to be ready, come closer, let me tell you something; It might never happen. Ditch your friends and adventure on your own if you must. Else, 2017 is going to be that year where you really really wanted to travel, your heart was in the right place but ummm, it never quite happened.

STAY INSPIRED

Read and subscribe to your favorite travel blogs, like this one of course! Follow travel pages and social media accounts. Get the inspiration you need to make that travel journey happen. Studies show that if you see something very often, it registers in your subconscious and start forming a pattern. I hope you never run out of inspiration to see the world.


No step is too small, baby steps count too! Do something from the list above and you would have gotten that little bit closer to making 2017 your year of travel. If you need help on planning your next travel journey, I am only an email away and will be more than happy to help. (info@theufuoma.com)

If it’s important to you, you will find a way. If it’s not, you will find an excuse.

Cheers to a 2017 filled with travel adventures! Love,     Subscribe below for more travel tips and exclusive deals and giveaways.

Author

Young Professional by day, Travel Blogger by night. Here, I share my personal life and travel experiences as well as helpful tips to help readers start their own travel journey. Want to talk? Contact me on info@theufuoma.com. Don't be a stranger!

30 Comments

  1. This was a great read! I just planned my first vacation for 2017, decided I wasn’t gonna wait for anyone and am going alone. I am so nervous, but couldn’t be more excited!

    • Ufuoma Reply

      Thanks for reading, Sarah and I am glad you planned your first vacation for 2017. Have an amazing one!

      U.

  2. Excellent points and all very valid! I think you mentioned every single thing that might stop someone from travelling (if they want to) in 2017. Having the right mindset, that travel can be done cheaply, that you can visit countries, cities close by and that solo travel is really awesome can make all the difference.

    • Ufuoma Reply

      Yes, yes! Keywords here: If you want to.
      In the end, it all boils down to the desire to make it happen, doesn’t it?

      Thanks Amarachi. Very spot on.

  3. Maureen Adebayo Reply

    I have decided to stop with the excuses and start making the moves to travel or else I will remain stuck in my tiny little city. I admit that I have always been one to wish for it but not act on it. This was just the kick in the butt that I needed. Thank you!

    • Ufuoma Reply

      Yesssss! And I hope that translates into you booking something. You can explore your tiny little city for starters too! That can spark a wanderlust in you, turn you into a travel beast and then you won’t be able to stop! Haha! *evil grin*

      No. Thank YOU for reading, Maureen.

  4. “Saying “goals” to every single place you see is not going to get you too far, literally”
    Hahahaha. But all those places are goals now.

    Being married sometimes means I have to align with my husband. But this year, we’ll hopefully travel more! Great post (and yes to eating like the locals – not a fan of fine dining anyway.)

    http://www.KacheeTee.com

    • Ufuoma Reply

      Haha! I know those places might be goals but if you do not have a list you will want to go to A tomorrow and then B the next day and end up going to none of those places.

      Ah, I can imagine! But it also means epic couple getaways. The beauty of that is, you get to experience life with your life partner. Just perfect. I hope you travel more with Tee this year. Can’t wait to read all about it.

      Thanks for stopping by, Kachee.

    • Ufuoma Reply

      Happens to all of us, Steph, even the very best of us. We have got to fight that spirit of procrastination. I hope you get the inspiration you need through that recap.
      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Ufuoma Reply

      Yes to no excuses. You totally should start planning right away. Glad you found it helpful.
      Thanks Tega.
      U.

  5. This year, I have started keeping a travel fund and also making realistic travel goals. I am not sure I can solo travel though, I feel like its going to be boring. Maybe its because I have never done it before. Travel can be cheap if you research well, plan ahead and stalk deals as you rightly mentioned. Great Post!

    EatTechTravel

    • Ufuoma Reply

      Thank you Simi. Great to know you have started keeping a travel fund. Way to go!
      Solo travel is one of the best things to do, honestly. I haven’t met someone who traveled solo and didn’t make new friends. It’s an amazing experience you should totally consider. But one step at a time.
      All the best with your travels this year. Looking forward to reading about all your adventures on EatTechTravel 🙂

      U.

  6. Dagbeyon Thomas Reply

    Nice post and very realistic too…and I totally agree on not waiting on friends, just do it.

    • Ufuoma Reply

      Yes, yes. Just do it.

      Thank you for reading and glad you liked it.

      U.

  7. Titilayo Akparah Reply

    Thank you so much for this piece Ufoma! Every tip is so helpful. I’m not waiting for friends this year. I’ll work towards achieving my travel goals one at a time! what is your take on travelling with a child? Can you please do a write up on this someday?

    • Ufuoma Reply

      Glad you found this post helpful, Titilayo.
      Yes to not waiting for friends. If they do not come, great. If they do, that’s cool too.
      Oh, I will work something out for you and will point you in that direction once it is up.
      Thanks for reading.

      U.

  8. Great post Jess girl! My personal travel expert – except traveling is not even in my plans this year :'(

    • Ufuoma Reply

      You that you’re coming to Mexico with us lol. Girl, if you don’t stop it.
      You will have travel plans this year in Jesus name.

  9. Thanks Jess!

    Yes to being realistic.
    Sigh, every destination is a goal till I check the bank account. Haha. I actually just started a travel fund this year.
    Best decision I ever made, really. The plan is to stick to it.
    No fund, No Travel 🙂 okay, Yes Travel but on a budget. Haha
    ❤️

    • Ufuoma Reply

      Girl, the struggle is real! Lol. Happy you started your travel fund, it’s definitely the way to go. No fund, no travel indeed. Lol. One day, we will travel for free. One day. Till then, it is travel fund and proper planning.

      Thanks Fey.
      U.

  10. I love love the tip to explore nearby areas! For someone like me who has an atrocious sense of direction, this is a good way to really get started!

    • Ufuoma Reply

      Yes, always great to start with nearby cities and once you build confidence, explore farther.

      Thanks Jummy!

    • Ufuoma Reply

      That’s amazing! All the best with going further. It’s worth it.

  11. My biggest fear when it comes to travelling is moeny block. I’m always worried about how big a blow the trip will make on my bank account but I’m taking the first step this year. I can’t wait!

    • Ufuoma Reply

      Don’t worry about the blow in your account. Life is meant to be an adventure, not heaps of money stored away in a bank account. Live it up. All the best Alma!

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