We see a lot of comments on Facebook and Instagram from people saying things like, “OH, I wish get to X” or “I wish I had the money to do this.” or “You guys are so lucky!” We see comments like this as self imposed roadblocks to these rewarding travel experiences. 1. We are not lucky, this is a lot of hard work and we chose to make Caribbean travel a priority, that’s why the whole RumShopRyan/Caribbean Castaway thing was born. 2. Stop wishing and #JustGo!
We understand that money and time are the biggest factors when it comes to pulling the trigger on a trip. You just have to fix those and change your mind frame to make travel a priority and we are going to give you some tips on how to do that.
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Tips for Making Travel a Priority
1. Figure Out Your Motivation
Growing up, every summer my family would go to Pennsylvania. So for me (Crystal), traveling once a year seemed like a normal thing, but talking to people these day I hear some people haven’t even taken a vacation in 5 to 10 years. That’s just so sad. I feel like everyone should be able to travel AT LEAST once a year if they really wanted to and if they didn’t have health issues or taking care of someone with health issues. My parents were not rich. My mom worked part time, my dad was a diesel mechanic and they had 3 kids to raise. But they made our trip to PA a priority every year and they made it work.
For me, my motivation to travel is to experience new things, when I travel, it’s the only time I’m totally present. So in a way, traveling is therapy to me. It helps clear my mind and become grounded again instead of worrying about all the every day tasks I have to do or wonder what the future holds. I travel because that’s when I feel like I truly experience life in it’s most authentic way. Maybe your motivation is due to a bucket list, or your motivation is that travel gives you something to look forward to. We weren’t born to just pay bills and die. There is a whole lot of world to explore out there.
2. Make Your Savings Automatic.
Instead of having to rely on your willpower to save, make it automatic by setting up a direct deposit every month into a traveling savings account.
Best apps for saving money
3. Weigh The True Cost Of Things
Say you’ve been dreaming of going to St. Lucia for years now, but just can’t seem to find the extra funds to go. But you have them — you’ve just been spending them on lattes, Uber rides, and pretty summer sandals. It can be hard to let go of those day to day luxuries, but in order to make saving easier, start weighing the true cost of things. For example, say you need $200 a day for a 4 day trip to St. Lucia. Next time you want to buy $60 sandals, or drop $100 on a dinner, you can see them as nearly 25% of your budget for a trip to St. Lucia and make your decision from there. We do this too, Ryan wants a new Jeep, but the old paid off one runs fine, but because we prioritize travel, those are the sacrifices we are happy to make.
4. Make Your Credit Cards Work For You
If you’re going to whip out plastic to pay for your margaritas and tacos on Friday night, you might as well make it work for you. As in, get a card that gets you airline miles! Just be sure to pay off the balance every month. We’ve done this with American Airlines, we signed up for their Citi Bank and Barclays cards, each with big bonus miles on sign up, and we pay our rent with the card each months so the miles add up quickly.
5. Get A Weekend Job or Side Hustle
Whether it’s freelancing or working at a coffee shop during the weekends, the extra dough coming in will make it so much easier to budget for your travels. I (Ryan) did this back in 2007-2008 when I visited the US Virgin islands for the first time and fell in love with the islands. I didn’t have money coming out of my ears, so I had to find a way to make it possible. That’s how RumShopRyan.com now CaribbeanCastaways started. I knew blogging and design, so I thought I could make a little money from writing about my new found Caribbean passion. You can do that too, if you are an expert at something, teach other people, love boats? Go wash boats at a dealership on the weekend for extra cash.
6. Turn Everything Into A Mind Game
Would I rather go out to dinner with my husband tonight or in six weeks when we’re in The Bahamas? Would you rather go to the bar on Friday night, or enjoy a drink in Old San Juan next month? Play those mind games and you’ll see your travel become a priority.
7. Dabble In Weekend Trips
If saving up for that week long sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands is difficult, break up your travels into smaller, easier-to-budget trips. We do this a lot little staycations here in Florida (I also like to call it, exploring your own back yard), or visit a city in the US we’ve always wanted to see. We had 10-11 trips in 2019, only 3 were big trips to the Caribbean. Smaller weekend or overnight trips not only will it cost less money, but it could be just what you need to refresh and get you out of your daily routines. Pick a spot you can road trip to, or a place that is having plane ticket sales for, then #JUST GO!
Thank you so much for listening to The Caribbean Castaways podcast! Crystal and I really appreciate it.
Cheers and always be exploring!
RumShopRyan & Castaway Crystal