Towards the end of this past spring, my husband Jave and I took a two day trip down to San Diego to basically hole ourselves up in our hotel room and catch up on some much needed R&R. In between long naps and binge-watching episodes of Naked and Afraid in our room, we hung out at Balboa Park, enjoyed the seaside cliff views at La Jolla Cove, tried a few new restaurants, and we even drove further south to Chula Vista to check out the U.S. Olympic Training Center. It was such a refreshing and necessary break away from our regularly scheduled program.
That’s essentially what travel is: a refreshing and necessary break away from your regularly scheduled program.
It’s really that simple.
These breaks away have worked wonders in so many areas of my life. For example, travel has been one of my main sources of continued education and real world learning, it’s been a form of therapy in our 7-year marriage, and not to mention the numerous benefits it’s had on my physical and mental health. And these are just a few of the ways travel has positively affected my life. So it’s no wonder that I try to incorporate more travel into my life every single chance I get.
I’d be willing to bet that travel has had some of the same benefits in your life as well.
So in this post, I’m sharing 3 simple ways that you can start incorporating more travel into your life without having to request extra vacation days and without having to hop on a plane. Read on…
#1 – Maximize Your Off Days
Making sure that you’re maximizing your days off from work is one of the first steps you need to take if you want to start incorporating more travel into your life. By “off days”, don’t just consider vacation days, but if applicable, also think about your paid personal days, paid holidays, and paid sick days. Yes, sick days.
Here’s the thing about sick days: some people rarely get sick. I, for example, can go for an entire year without ever catching a cold or any other debilitating sickness that would render me incapable of working for the day. What can I say – by the grace of God, I have a strong immune system! Similarly, you may be someone who rarely gets sick either. However, don’t let your excellent physical health dissuade you from using your sick days as mental health days.
There’s no denying that your work schedule combined with life’s daily trials can leave you mentally exhausted. Using a paid sick day away from work could do you a world of good! Plus, many employers adhere to a “use it or lose it” sick day policy, so don’t let your sick days go to waste! Take mental health days and wisely use those days to incorporate some therapeutic travel into your life.
#2 – Explore Your Own Backyard
One reason people don’t travel more is because they fail to realize that exploring their own backyards qualifies as travel just as much as hopping on the next flight to Morocco. So opportunities to explore local sites and attractions, to try new restaurants, or to take local tours are missed because people often fail to view where they live through a touristic lens. You’d be surprised by just how much there is to see and do right where you are, but the challenge is to go out and do it! And in doing so, chances are that you’ll develop a newfound appreciation for where you live.
Backyard travel has other perks too: it promotes sustainable tourism, it holds you over until your next big trip, and it’s much more affordable than traveling out of state or abroad.
#3 – Take Day Trips + Quick Jaunts
There’s an art to day tripping and taking quick domestic and international jaunts, but once you’ve mastered the art by meticulously planning ways to maximize your quick getaways, you’ll be hooked.
Research destinations that you can get to quickly and affordably by using Google Maps (for day trips) and tools like Kayak Explore and Google Flights (for quick jaunts that are further away), research and prioritize your list of things you want to see and do once in your destination, and go! You’ll find that quick 1-3 day getaways will be just the fix you need to break up your regular routine so that you can return refreshed and refocused.