Quit dreaming about it and just do it already! (Photo: Nils Hendrik Mueller/Cultura/Getty Images)
The U.S. Travel Association released a report this week — appropriately titled Overwhelmed America: Why Don’t We Use Our Paid Time Off — saying that 40 percent of U.S. workers don’t take all their vacation time.
We all say that we want to travel more, but a lot of times it is just easier to create excuses than to actually make that plan and get the heck out of Dodge.
We’re here to tell you that the little voice in your head creating reasons that you shouldn’t — or that you just can’t — travel isn’t always giving you the best advice. Sure, we all can’t just take off on a whim and sail around the world for a year. But most of the reasons why you think you can’t take some time away to unplug, recharge, and refresh might be moot.
Here, the things we tell ourselves that aren’t always true.
If you plan ahead you can absolutely afford that trip. (Photo: Sam Diephuis/Blend Images/Getty Images)
1. I can’t afford it! Not every vacation needs to be a five-star, luxurious experience. Just because you might not be flush with cash right now doesn’t mean you can’t take a trip. In fact, you might even be able to make money on vacation by housesittting your way around the world.
Your boss actually wants you to go on vacation. (Photo: Tetra Images/Getty Images)
2. I can’t take the time off. In some cases this is true, but in a lot of cases it isn’t. Your boss wants you to be happy and productive. The U.S. Travel Association survey showed that workers who use all of their vacation time report a higher degree of happiness, and almost all of the senior business leaders surveyed (91 percent) agree that employees return from time off renewed and ready to work more effectively.
There is no age-limit on getting a passport. (Photo: Andreas Zierhut/Getty Images)
3. I’m too old. More and more senior citizens are getting out there and seeing the world. Group trips and tours are bending over backward to cater to this demographic.
Kids who travel usually turn into adults who travel. (Photo: Paul Viant/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images)
4. I’m too young. You’re right. We do not condone solo toddler travel. But we do think that teens should absolutely venture out and explore the world. Convince your parents that this is good for you — it might just be educational too. One of our writers, 13-year-old Abby McElroy, wrote a piece for us about how the movie “Dirty Dancing” inspired her to want to travel. And there’s a family in England who lets their 11-year-old kids travel alone.
Stop looking at other people’s fabulous Instagrams and get out there and create your own. (Photo: onemileatatime/Instagram)
5. There is nowhere I really want to go. That’s just not true. You probably just need some inspiration. Here are some of the travel Instagram accounts that make us want to get on a plane each and every day.
Sometimes solo is the only way to go. (Photo: Joel Carillet/E+/Getty Images)
6. My partner hates to travel. So go alone. Solo travel is on the rise, particularly for women. Check out these stats. In fact, one of our writers travels without her husband, and she thinks their marriage is better for it!
There are 1,00 different ways to communicate if you don’t speak the native language. (Photo: altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)
7. I don’t speak another language. Doesn’t matter. Not only are there thousands of destinations around the globe where people speak English (if that is your native language), but also there are countless new technologies available that can help you translate quickly and easily.
8. Traveling is dangerous. Sure, traveling is dangerous, but so is crossing the street, and we know you do that almost every single day. The great thing about travel is that you make the choice about where to go. You don’t need to choose some far-flung, terrifying destination. You can stay within your comfort zone or find somewhere new and exciting to visit close to home. Here are a few guidelines for determining when you shouldn’t travel to a particular country.
Hate planning? Don’t do it. (Photo: Seb Oliver/Cultura/Getty Images)
9. I hate planning trips. So don’t. Leave it all to a travel agent. Or visit a website like Jetsetter, which has deals and packages that are mostly pre-planned. And remember: a little advance planning will pay off in a much bigger way when you’re sitting on a beach enjoying the fruits of your labor.