Is your New Year’s resolution to travel more this year? Maybe you resolved to really start planning and organising a trip of a lifetime, maybe a gap year, or some longer-term travel beyond the scope of a normal 2 or 3 week vacation. Maybe your resolution is to travel overseas or internationally for the first time, putting aside any anxiety you may have and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. Are you single or a mom or dad who just needs a break? Did you resolve to travel solo for the first time? Or maybe, like us, you resolved to travel the world with a family? If so, I have some good news for you, and, I can tell you everything you need to know. Just stick around, make a cup of tea, and read our post.
How To Travel More!
New Year, new beginnings. Isn’t New Year an exciting time? It’s my favourite time a year and my New Year’s Day ritual is to clean, tidy, sweep and start over. I’ve done so much travel in my life that I don’t need to put a lot of thought into travel. It’s just something I do. Here’s how to become well travelled, to be a person who doesn’t think twice about throwing a few things into a bag and jumping on a plane, ship, or train to adventure.
It all starts with a change in attitude.
To be a traveller, or a person who travels more than the average person, travel has to be your priority. For travel to be your priority, you have to love travel, the idea of travel, and all of the wonderful experiences that come with travel. You may have to make sacrifices in terms of time, comfort, or possessions to make travel possible.
Some people really don’t enjoy travel and there’s no law to say you should find it fun. Read our post on why people travel, there can be many reasons, but if travel brings you joy it can never be self-indulgent or a waste of money.
Step one is to determine that this year WILL be the year you start your great travel adventure. You already made your New Year’s resolution to travel more, now you just have to stick to your resolution, figure a few things out, and start making travel arrangements.
There will be a period of figuring things out before you can set out on your travel lifestyle. Here are some things to think about while you plan and start to book.
The steps towards travelling more this year are as follows, but the first thing to know is that you do not, at all, ever, need to use a travel agent. We haven’t used a travel agent in the last 20 years and won’t ever again. You can organise everything yourself and not pay the 15% commission into the agents’ pockets. My affiliate links earn me much lower commissions than the agents. But first, could you help Obi get good dog treats by saving this to Pinterest?
- Think about what style of travel you really enjoy, and to which destinations. Consider which destinations you can afford. Southeast Asia is mostly cheap, Singapore, Australia, the UK, Dubai etc. are more expensive. Get some information on typical costs in the countries you’d like to visit. Our website is a very good source of information on subjects like this! You might find our average gap year costs comparison useful. Some people think “vacation” is synonymous with “travel” and also synonymous with beaches and relaxing. This is simply not true! My perfect vacation would be hiking in Nepal, exploring remote places, for instance. Yours may be swimming with manta rays or visiting the 4 Disney theme parks in Florida. Any of these options are great travel ideas, if they are what make you happiest and healthiest.
- Figure out a way to fund your travels. Do you need to save up, sell possessions, use existing savings, or create a location-independent income? The latter was my choice, but our first year of travel was funded on savings, the next 6 years were funded by website creation, AKA blogging. I’ll warn you that making an income from travel blogging is much harder today than it was over a decade ago, when I began. But if you need help, I’m here for you, visit our blogging section.
- If you have a job now, can you take leave or will you resign? Could you find a job that gives you more annual leave or allow you to work remotely? Do you have skills or a trade that will make it easy to find a job when you return (if you return)? Read our post titled “Have we thrown it all away?” for inspiration on that!
- Decide what to do with your possessions/house/car. Will you keep them or sell them? Maybe put some in storage. We have a post on selling everything to travel, detailing how you can raise thousands by selling possessions.
- Decide what to do with your pets. Do you have family who would look after pets while you’re away? Will you need to rehome them? This is hard. We now have a lot of animals and there’s no way we could just abandon them, but that was the choice we made when we got pets, we knew we were unlikely to travel full-time again. It is possible to travel with pets, pet-friendly travel is something we’re exploring right now. The same goes for your house plants, but they’re much easier to rehome!
- Consider costs of travel insurance and pre-departure vaccinations. This can be very expensive, factor these costs into your travel costs.
- Link your destinations into a rough route that makes sense and is cost-efficient. Then open our tips for using Skyscanner and use them to plan your best, cheapest route. Direct flights are not always the best option. You may be able to break up a long journey in another country and have the benefit of a few days to explore that country. With flights being cancelled so frequently at the moment, this is a very sensible thing to do and it’s what we’re doing this year.
- Set a date for your planned departure and start aiming everything in your life towards being ready to go on that day.
- Check visa and health requirements for your planned destinations.
- Get all necessary travel vaccinations, a few are required, most are optional. This can take months, so do your research well and consult with a trusted medical professional if necessary.
- Buy travel insurance.
- Invest in suitable luggage.
- Pack your clothes and travel gear. Do a test pack, see what will fit and figure out if you need to buy any items. Pack as little as possible.
- Buy the flight to your first destination, a few clicks, enter your payment details, and you’re done!
- Book 2-3 nights in a hotel, guest house, or apartment on arrival, or, plan out your whole trip, if it’s short. For a long-term travel experience it doesn’t make sense to have everything booked in advance.
- From there, just continue to travel wherever you please, booking all accommodation, tours and transport online, checking visa and entry requirement closely. I give you the links you need for this further down the page.
You can, of course, alternatively, pre-book many flights, tours and stays. You could even buy an around-the-world air ticket, but we strongly feel it’s best to stay flexible. Particularly in 2023.
If you keep your flexibility you can take advantage of opportunities such as flight sales, mix in a repositioning cruise or decide to travel overland by bus or train.
If you fall in love with a destination you can stay longer, months even, if visas allow. If you dislike a town you can be on the next bus out.
We travelled the world as a family like this for 6, almost 7 years. It’s very possible, was great fun, and was really good for our kids and our family unit.
If you plan to travel with kids or as a family you need to be certain that the whole family will enjoy and get a lot out of a travel experience. You also need to look into worldschooling, if you’re travelling for more than a few months.
Is Travel Expensive This Year?
Travel can be cheaper than staying home, that’s a fact. But short trips can have high price tags. How are prices this year for travel of any kind?
I have personally been planning a big trip for the New Year, I’ve watched flight prices plummet. Yes, we seem to be heading into some sort of global financial crisis, some people will be badly affected by this and I’m sorry if you are impacted, but travel is looking pretty cheap into next year.
There are incredible bargains to be had in the travel industry right now and into the New Year, hotel prices are good, there’s plenty of availability, and I’m seeing flight prices as low as they’ve ever been on the routes we need between London, Asia, and Australia.
I can’t over-stress the importance of planning flights like a Ninja using our Skyscanner tips.
If you can’t manage a big international trip, get more travel in your life by exploring your local area. Take a Staycation nearby or rent a campervan or RV for a few days. Just go somewhere new, it’s all travel and it is what you make it.
Some currencies are down, for us, it’s a great time to visit some countries as our money will go further.
Luggage for Travel
Soft, hands-free luggage is absolutely the best way to go for short or long-term travel unless you want to pack formal clothes. You really don’t need formal clothes for most destinations but a lot of first-time of novice travellers tend to severely over-pack, both toiletries and clothing.
I like a backpack for trekking, but I also like travel packs as luggage. No way would we ever travel with suitcases or wheely bags!
We’re also, now, very proficient at carry-on only travel, which is quite a skill! If you can get by with a minimalist wardrobe and few supplies, it’s achievable even for travelling long-term or on a multi-destination trip.
Packing and Travel Gear
You don’t need a huge amount of specialised travel gear for travel to most destinations around the world, but a few special organisers and packing cubes can make life more manageable! If you plan to travel carry-on only, we don’t recommend you use these as much, these organisers take up valuable space, but a few organisers or packing cubes may be helpful.
The flat wash bag, above (click the image to go to Amazon and buy it) is my #1 best travel product ever. This is one piece of travel equipment that I really can’t fault. Or just buy it here.
If you plan to become a travel blogger you’ll need a lot of gear for video etc.
We cover all the gear you’ll need, or may need, below.
Where Should You Travel?
Where you go when you set off to travel should be down to personal interest, financial restrictions, and opportunities. These opportunities could be visiting friends and family, special offers, educational value, diversity, or just fun.
Your working requirements may also dictate your route or location.
We travel to cover places on this website, for instance, and to accept occasional press invitations.
Which parts of the world do you find most interesting? What are the major world landmarks and sites that you just have to see? Is there a particular museum or theme park your kids should experience? Also, which countries are the cheapest or offer best value?
A cheaper country often allows you to travel for longer, what people call slow travel. An expensive country should be a flying visit packed with must-see highlights.
You’ll need to visit our travel destinations page and have a browse.
Selling Up and Leaving
People do sell everything to go travel. It’s not as rare as you might think. It’s also not foolhardy if you have a solid plan. Some people sell their homes, cars, and all possessions to travel. Some keep a house and rent it out, or put possessions in storage.
The year in which we first sold everything and got our ducks in a row ready to leave for travel, was an interesting one. We faced a lot of critics, but we proved them all wrong, and so can you.
We talked about that, and blogged about the process month by month in the posts I link to below.
One of the upsides of going through such a big declutter at least once in a lifetime is that you really do streamline your possessions and become more minimalist. It’s an easier way to live.
All future house moves become much easier after shedding junk. We moved house this year, to a smaller, cheaper, home with solar electricity and its own water source, another way to create more financial freedom in life. If you want to see our farm, you need to visit our new site.
How To Book Hotels, Tours, and Transport For Travel
We never use travel agents unless there is absolutely no choice. For instance, we had to use a local agent in Nepal to visit Tibet.
The companies we use to book all of our travel needs are below. These are the companies we personally use, that we’ve found to be easiest, most reliable, and cheapest.
- For flights, we always check prices for particular dates and routes on Skyscanner (see link above) but then we cross-check prices on the airline’s own website. Sometimes it’s cheaper to book flights direct with the airline. We never reserve particular seats and we’ve never had a child seated away from an adult.
- For hotels, apartments, guest houses, hostels, and any kind of accommodation, we use Booking.com or Agoda. Agoda are Asia specialists and our #1 choice for travel in Asia but we have also used Agoda in Europe. We never book direct with a hotel and haven’t used a travel agent in 20 years. Booking your own travel is easy online. See Agoda here, and Booking dot com, here. We do occasionally use the hotel comparison site , Hotels Combined, but we generally find that checking all the sites just eats time and makes life difficult.
- For tours, tickets, transfers and activities, even multi-day tours, we use GetYourGuide. We’ve used them for years and highly recommend them as a ticket and tour provider. They’re often cheaper too. They’re a great way to research what activities are available in your chosen activity. Click through here and test them out for a few cities or towns.
- For online shopping we use Amazon. If you’re in one place for a few days, in one of the countries Amazon covers, we’ve been able to get items delivered. Visit Amazon here.
How Can I Travel More? Any Questions?
We hope you found our thoughts on sticking to your New Year’s resolution to travel more useful. Bookmark this page (maybe to Pinterest) or in your browser to refer to as you plan your travels. Does this post fully answer your questions? If we’ve missed anything, or you have any more questions, please do drop them in the comments or send me an email. I love helping people plan their travels and mostly I do it for free. We aim to be the most comprehensive travel guide on the internet because we’ve done it ourselves, we found the best ways and we know what we’re talking about when it comes to travel and life changes. Happy to help you travel beyond your comfort zone! Don’t forget, “travel more worry less” is more than just a shirt slogan, it’s a life choice.
If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!
We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of travel insurance.
Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!
Tuesday 3rd of January 2023
I plan to travel to Thailand in 2023 and start my first overseas travel itinerary
Alyson for World Travel Family
Wednesday 4th of January 2023
Great! Me too, I'll be in Thailand very soon, and Bali, Singapore, London, Jordan.
Saturday 31st of December 2022
Hi Alyson, Thanks for another great post! I'm a fulltime traveler and appreciate your posts as they are chock full of wonderful tips and advice. Question: I'm an affiliate partner for booking dot com and wondered if it makes sense to use your own affiliate codes when you book your family travel. Whenever I try to do this it doesn't seem to work. Happy New Year from Mary, CEO of Fun
Alyson for World Travel Family
Saturday 31st of December 2022
We always do Mary, you should see the sale in your dashboard almost immediately. Amazon don't allow this but the hotel platforms do. They want you to use their platform rather than a competitor's. Are you with booking dot com affiliates direct though, or through a 3rd party like Travelpayouts? We only use direct.