Tag Archives: Travel More

Travel Interview: Travel? Yes Please!

Travel Yes Please
(Rhonda answered the questions on behalf of the couple below)

If not traveling, what is your 9-5 life like?

When not traveling, I (Rhonda) work as an elementary school substitute teacher. I also have a portrait photography business and love to go the gym in my free time. Mike works as a forester and reclaims oil well sites. He likes to watch football and go fishing in his free time.

Who, or what, inspired you to travel the first time?

My parents both have a love of traveling so travel has always been a part of my life. Growing up, my parents were always taking us places, even if it was just camping for the weekend. My first trip to Europe was in eleventh grade and that’s when I absolutely fell in love! I loved Paris so much that I might have teared up a little when I had to leave. I’ve been passionate about travel, especially Europe, ever since.

Mike had not traveled very much until he met me. Hearing me talk about all the places I love and seeing all my photographs has made him excited to start exploring the world as well.

How have you changed your life to travel more?

Mike and I live a modest life so that we have more money to travel. We aren’t big shoppers and don’t need to have the latest and greatest gadgets, fancy furniture etc. We collect Air Miles as well as Aeroplan Rewards to help finance our travels. We’ve been able to pay for flights, cruises, tours and hotels all by cashing in our reward points. Mike also works a lot of overtime and banks his hours so that we can take more time off for vacations.

How has travel changed your life?

Travel has made Mike and I more well-rounded, knowledgeable individuals. Travel has sparked a curiosity in us and every time we visit somewhere new, we become more passionate about traveling and learning about our world and its history. Travel has also taught us a lot about ourselves and each other. Travel is not just about discovering new places, but it’s about discovering your own self as well.

What is your main purpose/goal of your travel blog?

Mike and I hope our blog first and foremost, inspires people to travel. We want to show people that the world is a fascinating and beautiful place. Secondly, we set out to inform people, whether it’s explaining the historical significance of a place or giving some helpful tips for visiting a destination, we want our readers to learn something new every time they visit. And lastly, we hope people think of our site as travel planning resource they can trust.

This or That:
Backpack or Rolling Suitcase? Rhonda: Rolling suitcase, Mike: Backpack
Cities or Open Spaces? Rhonda: Open Spaces, Mike: Cities
Salty or Sweet? Rhonda & Mike: Sweets
Sandals or Snow Boots? Rhonda & Mike: Sandals
Comedy or Drama? Rhonda: Drama, Mike: Comedy

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Follow Rhonda and Mike at:

Take Advantage of Long Weekends

For us Americans with only two weeks of vacation each year, we dream about three day weekends! It’s one extra day to sleep in, catch up on recorded TV and work on your never-ending honey-do lists, right? WRONG! Don’t waste one more three-day weekend on what you can do on a two-day weekend! Get up and go somewhere!

Now, I’m not suggesting you fly to Europe (although, wouldn’t that be a fun weekend?), but you should go somewhere. Here are some ideas of quick, easy and FUN 3-day weekend getaways:

1. Pick a town you’ve never visited that is within a two hour driving distance. Spend 1 hour researching restaurants and local attractions as well as booking a room. That’s 1 hour of planning, and 4 hours of total driving time, roundtrip for a grand total of 5 hours. Who doesn’t have time to do this?

2. Research a bed and breakfast in your area and book a night. That’s right. Just one night. One night for fun. For romance. For relaxation!

Key West Homes

3.  Find a National Park that you’ve always wanted to visit. Make transportation arrangements for getting there and then GO! Hike, bike, kayak, and explore! National Parks are family-friendly and inexpensive to get in to.

4. Find the nearest and largest body of water and book a room close by. It might be the beach, it might be a lake or it might even be a natural spring but one this is certain, being on, in or near the water brings instant enjoyment and relaxation. Who doesn’t like to swim, dig their toes into the sand or float on a raft while sipping a cold drink? The water is always a great choice for an escape!

Palm Coast Beaches

Making time for travel is tough. Work schedules and family obligations can monopolize your time. Both are good. Both are wonderful. But intentionally making time to get away is good and wonderful as well. It can relieve stress, strengthen relationships and teach you!

Quality Versus Quantity … How about BOTH?

There is a debate out there. It can get heated at times. I have my opinions, but I try not to give them unless asked. But, since I’ve been asked, here are my two cents on how we prefer to travel.

The question at hand is this: Should you spend a lot of time in one place OR spend a little time in a lot of places? While travel is travel and everyone has their opinion, we think spending small bursts of time in as many different places as possible is a great way to travel. But there are as many methods of travel as there are travelers!

Relaxation on Marco Island

Michael and I are always on the go when we travel. We don’t really relax like some people do while on vacation – but this craziness has served us well! Our unspoken motto is “go, see, go!” Instead of booking a hotel and staying in one place for 7-10 days, we hop around to different cities and regions after 1-3 nights. We save tons of money and time by combining a lot quality activities with a high quantity of places and movement. We see as much as we possibly can in the smallest amount of time on every single trip we take!

Some would caution against this fast paced travel. I get it.

But, here’s the thing: Michael and I are part-time travelers; we have a limited number of days off work (and bank accounts). We might not see every cobblestone street, waterfall or museum in each place we see, but we do experience each place we visit!

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Here are a few examples of our fast-paced, but amazingly memorable trips 1.) We’ve squeezed in skiing in Tahoe, wine tastings in Napa Valley and an NBA game in Sacramento in just 4 nights in Northern California. 2. ) We’ve also spent 10-days in southern Africa where we were face to face with Great White Sharks, marveled at lions in the wild, drove beside a herd of Elephants, rode ATVs in the Namib Desert, hiked Dune 45 and grilled wild oryx meat a campsite.

Pride of Lions Etosha

We see a lot and do a lot! I assure you, nothing is watered down by moving quickly during travel! Hear me when I say that we are exhausted after a trip. We need a vacation from our vacations, but we wouldn’t change a thing! We do not limit ourselves to one hotel, one city or one view! We have been blessed to see so much using this “mindset.”

Bali Coffee Tasting

I hope this travel tip encourages you to travel more! Dream up a trip around a specific city, and then increase the radius at which you explore! Don’t settle for one place, one view and one experience! Yes, traveling is expensive and exhausting, BUT, if you blend quality and quantity you can increase what you see and decrease what you spend.

Pack Lightly and Live Modestly

I like to feel prepared when we travel. Try as I might, packing lightly is a tough thing to do! I do not go too overboard (at least that is what I tell myself), I just always seem to bring one or two extra shirts, pants, etc. too many. In reality, packing too much becomes burdensome because it literally weighs me down. Mike even has to carry my backpack at times (which I feel horrible about). Plus, packing too much can empty your wallet with all of those hefty fees the airlines charge for heavy baggage.

For one of our trips I tried something new. I downsized before we left. My process was simple. I packed everything I thought I would need and then removed 3 items. At first, I was No matter upset about what I had to leave behind, but that feeling faded when I zipped up the bag and realized it was not heavy. Packing lightly makes travel easier, and less stressful and even less expensive.

How to Pack Lightly for a Trip

Travel Lesson Learned: Pack Lightly

Real Life Application: Don’t let your possessions weigh you down; Live modestly.

Traveling lightly through life can also make your everyday easier, less stressful and certainly less expensive. Author Josh Becker puts it like this “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” What do you value? Are your possessions getting in the way of those people or activities? If so, downsize.

I cannot deny that new stuff doesn’t bring me satisfaction. But, the feeling is fleeting and pails in comparison to the memory of laying on the beach in Thailand or hiking to remote waterfalls in Costa Rica.

Costa Rican Waterfalls

Figure out what you value and then get rid of everything else. Do not let your possessions weigh you down and cost you extra money. I’ll never forget a man from church telling me this truth. “We buy a house and fill it up with stuff. Then, we buy a bigger house to accommodate all of our stuff, just to fill that bigger house with more stuff.” I was 14 when he told me that. I understand it now. It is so easy to accumulate junk and random possessions. Fight the urge!

How to Find Time and Money to Travel

Friends of ours invited us to their home for dinner last Saturday. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it because we were going out-of-town for the weekend. Our friend’s response was one we hear a lot: “How do you find money and time to travel so much?”

I chuckle every time I hear it. It is true, it seems like we are always on the go – but that’s how we like it. Travel is as much a part of our lives as family, friends, exercise and even work are.

How to find time and money to travel more

I usually pause before giving my answer; you’d think I’d have a scripted answer by now. But to be honest, the answer to how we find time and money to travel so often is multifaceted and ever-changing. While my answer to anyone who asks is not always the same, the heart of my message is: we love to travel and we make it work.

This works for us, but  you might have to adjust these ideas and tips to fit yours.

  • Prioritize Travel – It might be obvious, but it is important. All other tips and ideas listed below will seem silly, extreme or not important enough if travel is not at the top of your list of things you want to do. Since you are reading this article, I will assume travel is on your radar – or you want it to be! We choose to travel, even with careers. That choice makes it easier for us to prioritize travel.
  • Budget your time – Most people understand that budgeting money is a given when it comes to planning a trip. However, what most people do not actively budget is their time. If this is true for you, you will need to re-think the way you spend your days off. If you are like us and have full time careers (which means at least 40 hours of work each week), you time is a precious commodity. You have to budget your time well in order to travel with a full time career. For example, Mike and I do “weekend chores” during the week. Therefore, when weekends roll around we are open for weekend getaways and not bogged down to our honey-do lists. We also look at a calendar at the beginning of each year to map out when and how we can best utilize our vacation days. It takes time to manage your time, but we find it to be worth it. It is very difficult to spend money wisely if you don’t budget it; the same applies to your time. William Penn said “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” Is this true about you? If so, start today re-examining your days off and see if you can’t carve out a day or even a week to use for travel.
  • Go Natural – This one is (mostly) for the women. Quick question: how many pedicures have you paid for this year? Here’s some quick math.  At (at least) $30 a pop – just one pedicure each month will cost you $360 each year. As of today, a round trip flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Palm Springs, CA was $250 on Virgin America. Hello! Take that flight and have $100 left over splurge on a killer spa day in California. It is amazing how quickly the “extras” in our life can add up. Maybe pedicures aren’t your beauty vice. Maybe it is your hair? Maybe it is facials? The list of costly beauty treatments is endless. All I’m suggesting is you paint your own toenails instead; make your own moisturizer mask or buy your make-up at the drug store, not department store. I wear make-up, and use hair products and paint my nails; I like to feel pretty, but just at a lower price point.
  • Be a minimalist – It seems like a logical place to mention that besides beauty regiments, Mike and I  also go without other luxuries such as lots of designer clothes, bling and new electronics. These things are not bad. They are just not on our priority list because I know we are saving for travel. I ask myself before each purchase “Do I want this more than a trip to Europe?” If the answer is no, I put the item back, even if it was a shirt that only cost $20. It is amazing how easy it is to you nickel and dime (or $10 and $20) yourself out a vacation. Less is more in this case!
  • Earn Rewards – Pick a hotel chain, airline and/or rental car agency you like and stick with them! We’ve been able to fly many places for free (or at a significantly reduced rate) just because we are loyal to that company. We always shop around, but will always pick “our” company over another if the cost/convenience difference is not that much. We do this because we know we will still gain points, miles, etc. for being a consistent customer. The more you travel, the more you earn … who can resist that deal! One hint: research the “local” business in your area. For example: One of Delta Airlines’ hubs is in Atlanta. If you live within 2 hours of Atlanta, fly Delta, every time!
  • Travel Buddies – We travel by ourselves a good bit. However, anytime we get the chance to travel with friends or family, we do. First and foremost, it is just FUN. Secondly, it can save you money on hotel rooms, rental cars, gas for the rental car, even excursions or outings if your group is big enough. What’s that? You say your extended family does not like to travel. Hmm, maybe you should reconsider who you are related to! Just kidding, keep asking. Someone will want to go with you.
  • Waiting in Cue – Even if flights are not booked and hotels are not reserved, Mike and I are (almost) always planning a getaway. This helps us budget our time and money even more wisely since we know we’re working towards the goal of booking that trip. The trip waiting in our “cue” is like a piece of bait dangling in front of a hungry fish. We just keep swimming towards our goal because we know how great it will be once we get it!

Saving Time and Money for TravelWork, family and friends are huge, but worthwhile, commitments. Finding the time and the money to travel is not always easy. However, if you make travel a priority, budget your time and money and stay flexible with your plans, you will be able to travel without sacrificing your career.

No more excuses! If you want it, go after it! Set a goal to travel at least once this calendar year. Whether your trip is overnight to a local B&B, a weekend trip to a nearby beach or even a longer adventure to another state or country, do it! Michael and I are living proof that you can travel, even with full-time careers and commitments.

Oh! And let me know about our trip once you’re back – I LOVE to hear about other’s travels!