This is the year! The year you have resolved to travel more; to get out into the world and see new places, across the ocean blue or in your own nation’s backyard. Or maybe travel isn’t on your resolution list but its something you know you’d like to do more of. Either way, if you aren’t sure if its possible, whether it be due to money, time, you don’t have anyone to travel with or you have kids and find the thought of traveling with them daunting, this post is for you.
Now, I must be clear, I have a wandering heart but I am by no means an expert (especially not compared to the bloggers shared in this post). The bulk of my travels really only started about 8 years ago. Since then I have been to 9 countries, 6 of those in Europe during a study abroad trip about 2 and a half years ago. I had always wanted to travel abroad but I had a lot of those same excuses many have: “I don’t have the money” or “I don’t have anyone to travel with” plus a touch of fear of the unknown. I finally made the decision to go with a study abroad group because then I would have the support of a travel group to help me dip my toe in the water (while getting course credit, see places I might not have otherwise seen on my own like the Cordon Bleu and meeting other fellow travelers at the same time). I saved up as much money as I could, traded my car in for one that didn’t have a payment and even sold my nice camera to gather up funds for airfare and spending, then set out on a 33-day journey through Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, and Scotland. By the end of this trip, I felt more comfortable with navigating a foreign country and headed home wanting more. This year, now that I have a baby, I have resolved to learn more about how to continue forward with my traveling dreams, kids and all (you know once I have mastered taking them out in public at home, hehe).
Today’s post contains a large number of resources I have collected during my own personal research as well as some extra stuff to help other wandering hearts overcome those common barriers to travel. My hope is to both inspire you as well as help get you on your way towards a well-traveled life.
Do you want to travel but don’t have anyone to go with you? Don’t let the absence of a travel buddy stop you from living your dreams. These fearless female travelers/sites will persuade you to set out on your own, while helping you learn how to do it.
Be My Travel Muse – Bomb-diggity adventure girl and solo traveler with a beautifully organized blog chocked-full with inspiration.
Girl About The Globe – With 17 years of travel experience, 60 out of the 100 countries she has visited were done solo. Her mission is to empower and inspire other women who want to hit the road on their own starting with a go-to guide for first timers.
The Blonde Abroad – Left her career in corporate finance to travel the world. A beautiful girl with a beautiful blog overflowing with travel advice such as why all women should travel solo, the 10 safest destinations for solo female travels , 10 mistakes solo female travelers make (eeek!) and how to talk to worried parents about plans to travel solo .
TRAVEL WITH KIDS
Check out these bloggers who know a thing or two about globetrotting with kids. If you think traveling with tiny-humans is crazy talk, these bloggers can help you see that it is possible AND give you great ideas about how to make it happen.
Have Baby Will Travel – Online guide for travel with babies, toddlers and small children such as tips for flying with an infant or toddler, planning your first trip with baby, 5 reasons to love travel with a stroller, and camping with baby.
Suitcases & Sippy Cups – An “ordinary” middle class family of 6 whose travel adventures started out as one baby step after another (with their first being a trip to the grocery store!). They share valuable advice like ways to entertain a toddler or preschooler in a hotel room , how to pack for an around the world trip with kids, and potty training on the road
Walking On Travels – A family who believes parenting doesn’t mean giving up your passions and how to tackle the scary stuff with tips like what baby gear can be used for multiple purposes, and dealing with jet lag.
Pit Stops For Kids – Anything and everything you want to know about places to go when traveling with kids from activities to kid friendly resorts as well as stuff like: medicine tips for international travel and prepping your house for travel during the holidays.
Jet With Kids – So many great tips such as how to keep kids from kicking airplane seats, how to handle unexpected illness, books to prepare toddlers and preschool aged children for air travel, and this awesomely sneaky trick to increase chance of an empty middle seat
Where’s Sharon? – This chickadee’s goal is to inspire travel, even with kids, and how to do it smarter and more cost effectively. Since she has so much information shared on the site, she has even made things easier for readers by compiling all of her favorite and most useful articles to get you started.
Traveling Mamas – Six traveling mommas from the US, Canada & Europe with kids of variable ages, share their travel expertise with articles such as this road trip packing list for safety & sanity and a global baby gear rental directory.
Travel With Bender – This nomadic family of four that has traveled to over 65+ countries, so they definitely know a thing or two on the subject. Check out their extensive destination guide collection!
Family Travel Times – Travel blog written by all four family members, including the two children aged 10 and 13, which offers a unique perspective.
TRAVEL ON A BUDGET
Save on airfare:
Hipmunk – I used this website when I booked my tickets to Europe a couple of years ago. It shows a clean price comparison of flight combinations available across various airlines with a visual of total flight time including layovers.
Kayak Explore – Perfect for the person who just wants to travel, this tool is a great way to find the cheapest tickets available if you are flexible and aren’t married to a specific time or destination. Choose a departing airport and time frame (ranging from a specific month, to season to anytime) then see airfares for the entire globe all at one. The closer you zoom in the more ticket options you will see for a particular region.
Skyscanner – Like the Explore tool, you can do a more general search of tickets, for instance by month or by cheapest airfare. With Skyscanner you can choose to select your arrival destination as well as specific travel dates so your search can be as narrow or as broad as you wish.
Get a credit card that earns travel points:
Last year my husband and I made the transition to a travel rewards credit card. We both were using non-travel credit cards that were racking up points that weren’t doing anything for us travelwise. So we decided to consolidate to one credit card, and chose one with a great points system. We use this card for all of our everyday purchases (make sure your spending doesn’t exceed what you can pay off every month) so everything we buy earns us points towards future airfare. Check out this post about how to pick a travel credit card.
Budget Travel Bloggers
The Budget Minded Traveler – Striving to make travel easy and accessible
Budget Traveller – Travel in style on a budget
EuroCheapo – Europe’s best budget hotels
Travel.Paint.Repeat. – Check out how you can still travel even if you don’t have a large travel budget.
JUST TRAVEL (you DO have the time)
Use your vacation time to vacate. Don’t waste valuable travel days to say home and work on that chore list. And take advantage of long weekends.
Happy Wandering, Erica