It’s the back end of January which means three things: (1) Congrats – you may it through the bleakest month of the year! (2) You’ve most likely just been paid. (3) You have a whole year of possible holidays ahead, which means 2019 could finally be your year of travelling. And don’t worry – this is a realistic guide which tells you how to travel without quitting your job.
I’ve created a practical travel calendar, which includes twelve goals – one for each month – which will help you make the most of travelling this year.
January – How to travel more – Get outside!
Goal: Wrap up warm and go for at least one walk per week in a place you’ve never been before.
Is there a better time to make use of a free activity than after the Christmas period? The answer is, of course, my friends – no! Plus if you’re like me (i.e. a gannet), then you may be feeling a bit podgier after all of the pigs in blankets, Terry’s Chocolate Orange’s and gin after the festive period.
Why not reignite your wanderlust senses by using those two things at the bottom of your legs – your feet – to do some low-cost adventuring? Try going for a long walk at the weekend, or even start a new hobby – running, or cycling.
Heck, you could even get yourself out there and take some Instagram photos in a plea of putting everyone else at shame as they hide under their blankets, and watch Friends re-runs for the 3474786th time.
February – Go on a solo adventure
Goal: Go on a trip alone, even if it’s not far from where you live.
I know, I know – you think I’m having a laugh with this big ask considering it’s only the second month of the year. However, everyone knows that February is often associated with Valentine’s Day. So if you’re wanting to turn your back on this nauseating time of the year, why not book a solo trip?
You don’t even have to book an overnight stay – you could take yourself off on an adventure to somewhere close for the day. Get those steps in. Clear your mind. Realise how bloody brilliant making decisions are when you only have to think of yourself.
March – Try your hand at glamping
Goal: Your year of travelling wouldn’t be the same without a glamping trip.
If you’re from the UK, you’ll know that March sees the worst of the cold weather over the winter. In fact, last year my boyfriend was *so* close to missing our flight to Vietnam due to the snow. He had to hike, backpack and all, for an hour in the snow before being picked up and heading to the airport.
Nevertheless, with every cloud – there’s a silver lining, and in this instance, it means affordability! Accommodations are often looking to fill the books in March, so there’s usually some good deals and offers on with glamping. A personal favourite glamping site of mine is Canopy & Stars.
From yurts to lodges, and bell tents to pods, there really isn’t a better time to experience the luxury side of camping whilst still on a budget. Just make sure there’s a log burner and if you really are wanting to flex those purse strings, why not book an accommodation with a hot tub?
April – Visit a new city
Goal: Take a city break somewhere new, or rediscover a familiar city from an outsiders perspective.
If you’ve been following this guide to plan, firstly – drop me a message as I’m going to name my firstborn after you for your straight up loyalty – and secondly, you’re probably sick of the wilderness by now. But fear not! You now have my permission to visit a new city and take in the busy streets and lively atmosphere.
This could be anything from a full-blown getaway out of the country or if that hot-tub set you back, why not visit the closest city, but with a new perspective? Are there any exhibitions on? New restaurants you’re yet to try? Bars you haven’t dabbled in? Do it all.
May – Book a last-minute getaway!
Goal: Be spontaneous, and book a holiday last minute.
It’s officially shoulder season, or if you’re a Northerner – bikini season, so why not celebrate with a last-minute getaway? The weather is starting to perk up, and flights are relatively cheap as the kids are still at school.
You also don’t have to splurge out – use Skyscanner and search “everywhere” which will list the cheapest destinations in low -> high price order. If you also want to save money on accommodation, book a hostel. I’d say a good 80% of my accommodation bookings have been based at a hostel. I always use Hostel World and look for boutique hostels. Not only are they a good way of meeting people but the money saved could be used towards actual experiences on holiday. It’s a no brainer, really.
June – Go wild camping
Goal: Pitch up a tent in the middle of nowhere for one night.
Although it sounds a lot crazier, this essentially just means pitching up a tent outside of a designated camping zone. In fact, this is as raw as camping can get unless you’re partial to taking Nakd protein bars as a snack.
The concept of wild camping may seem daunting for newbies but it’s the most simple (yet rewarding) experience. You could even Google wild camping spots to see what locations other people recommend (‘wild camping Northumberland’).
July – Hit the beach
Goal: Find the most secluded beach near your home, or hop on a plane to paradise.
In the words of the great poet, Nicki Minaj, “let’s go to the beach, beach. Let’s get away.” It’s July – our full-blown summer – so why not make the most of it?
Try and visit the most deserted beach near where you live. Take a book, download a new podcast, and grab some gin tinnies from your local. Relax.
August – How to travel more: Adventure at home
Goal: Get to know more about the city or country that you call home.
Travelling in August can be a bit of a nightmare – it’s peak season with most places meaning that flights and accommodations are more expensive, and even if you can afford to holiday in August – it’ll still be packed.
Instead, why not take advantage of peak season by staying put? Your year of travelling doesn’t always have to be a wild one. You could explore your own city, or venture around your homeland whilst visiting a couple of places you’ve not been to before.
September – Combine life’s greatest two pleasures: travel and food
Goal: Learn to cook more dishes from around the globe.
Often, people associate September with the end of summer but that doesn’t mean that adventures have to be put on hold. Lots of fruit and vegetables can be found at this time of year – making it an ideal opportunity to get cooking. You might also be a little strapped for cash after the ever-busy months of June, July, and August, so lay low for a while, travelling the world through your taste buds.
Look up some recipes that come from a region you’re interested in visiting. Test some of these out in your own kitchen at home, and also see if there are any restaurants serving this food in your local area. This is an easy way to learn about other cultures and their eating habits without having to go very far.
October – Make the most of the National Trust
Goal: Visit two National Trust landmarks that are new to you.
October is a beaut month where the season slowly transcends into Autumn. Among the best places to witness the altering colours are at your National Trust landmarks. They’re often surrounded by nature and are the perfect place to savour the still pleasant weather.
To make this more exciting, spend some time in National Trusts you’ve never visited before. Try and visit two over the course of the month, and if possible stay a night in a local B&B so you can get to know more of the surrounding region.
November – How to Travel More and Give back
Goal: Help one local charity for a day, or go on a trip with a purpose.
With Christmas looming, it’s easy to forget the bigger picture and just start focusing on the cost of Christmas. From presents to decorations and from food to parties, the festive period leaves many of us out of pocket.
But it shouldn’t be all doom and gloom: Why not complete some research about local charities and organisations that carry out project work near you? Although this may not feel like a travel experience, listening to other people’s stories and lending a hand are ways of discovering more about the world.
If you have the time and a little extra cash for travel expenses, volunteer abroad in November. Work exchange websites such as Workaway offer ethical placements where you can lend a hand (even just for a week or so) and travel to somewhere new. Many of these offer free room and board so they’re cost-effective too.
December – Have some festive fun with the family
Goal: Take a trip with some of your family.
December, Christmas, and the holiday season, in general, is a time to spend with family. Perhaps you’ve never been away with your family before so why not make 2019 the year of change? s
It could be a city escape with your brother or sister, or a treat for your parents to a countryside hotel. Whatever you do, it’s a wonderful experience to share travel, especially if it’s something you’re passionate about. Make memories and spend more time with the people you love.
And that’s it! Do you feel like this guide has showcased how to travel more? Are you looking forward to any particular month or a specific trip? Let me know in the comment box below.
Alternatively, why not check out my other tips and trips for the Filler Chapters of your life.0