Do you spend all day scrolling Instagram, wondering why everyone else is living such a dreamy life and traveling to fabulous, far-flung destinations all the time? Are you wondering why even your friends with student loans are jetting off to Paris while you binge watch Friends yet again on the couch?
I wholeheartedly believe that you can have that dreamy trip that you’ve been dreaming of—and you can have it for less money than you think. I love to share strategies and ideas for where to save and where to splurge to achieve the right balance of luxe for less travel.
Before we get there, though, you need to accept a few potentially uncomfortable truths about luxe for less travel. Once you learn these 5 things, you’ll be well on your way to living a life you love.
But trust me, you won’t be achieving your dreams anytime soon without first realizing:
1. Mindset is Everything
First of all, I’d like to acknowledge that I speak from a position of incredible privilege. I carry a passport that makes it fairly easy to travel between countries, I have white skin that blends in in many locations, and I have a family support system to fall back on if I royally screw up my finances. I get that this makes it easier for me to travel and live a luxurious lifestyle than the person next to me.
But I also know that you can’t achieve what you don’t believe. If your first thought when you dream of fabulous trips to Paris is that it will never be possible for you, than you’re absolutely right. You have the power to create whatever life you want for yourself, but the first step is believing it.
Even if you have no idea how you would possibly get to one of those overwater huts in the Maldives, the first step is to believe it and declare that it will happen.
2. Stop Comparing
Comparison is the thief of joy. No matter where you are in life, there’s always someone out there who has it better than you. You could be sailing on a yacht in the Mediterranean, but guess what? The boat over there is bigger. You could be in a gorgeous 4-star hotel, but there’s a 5-star hotel down the street. You could be having cocktails on a beautiful rooftop, but the view is better a few blocks away.
If you spend your life comparing, you’ll never be happy. You just won’t. If you want your life to feel luxurious, you need to be able to quit comparing and appreciate the wonderful place you’re at—whether that’s a hotel you’re staying in, a job you like, or an apartment that works for your family.
Sure, maybe you don’t have the best of the best all the time, but that doesn’t mean your life isn’t amazing. Whether you’re comparing to other people, or a fictional idea of how your life “should” be, you’ve got to quit comparing if you want to truly fall in love with your life.
3. You Can’t Have It All
I follow fashion bloggers that are always posting about new designer handbags or fancy shoes. Meanwhile, I don’t own anything from Chanel or Louis Vuitton. Could I if I stopped spending my money on plane tickets? You bet.
The fact is, if you want to build the life of your dreams, you need to focus on your dreams, not anyone else’s. That means appointing your spending money to the things that make you happy—be it travel, designer bags, or having a beautiful place to call home. You can’t have it all, but that’s okay if you just focus on what makes you happy.
4. Sometimes, You Have to Spend Money First
There are so many bloggers out there that are happy to tell you all about the joys of travel rewards programs and credit card points. “Travel the world for free!” they say. And they’re not wrong (I love travel rewards and credit card points).
But, the only way to actually get these rewards is to spend money first. You have to spend a minimum amount to get your sign-up bonus. You only get a free night after spending 10 nights in the hotels in that program. You get triple points on travel expenses, which of course means you have to spend money on travel to get those points.
I know this seems obvious, but I just point it out to say that, while rewards programs are great, they depend on you spending money in the first place. Don’t get so hung up in the romantic idea of “free” travel without realizing that, sometimes, you have to spend money to make money.
5. Start Saying Yes
Just like you need to start believing and declaring your travel goals if you want to make them happen, you also need to recognize opportunities when they show up. That means saying yes when a friend invites you to their destination wedding, or jumping at the chance to go to a work conference in Seattle.
This doesn’t just mean sitting around and waiting for opportunities to travel to come your way, though. You can also create opportunities for yourself if you begin to keep your eyes open. Do you have an old friend you could visit in another state? Find an excuse to see them. Does your company have a budget for conferences or other opportunities? You never know until you ask.
Luxe for Less Travel Is Possible
I blog because I want to show you that the life of your dreams is possible, and you can absolutely make it happen.
With these mindset shifts, plus the right combination of saving and splurging, the luxe for less travel life is possible. I hope you’ll join me on this journey and we can get there together.
Tell me in the comments where you’re headed next (even if you’re not yet sure how you’ll get there!).