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We’re coming up on 6 months of full-time travel. There are lots of different ways to travel, and we’ve tried quite a few of them in the past 6 months! Which one is the best? In honor of our 6-month nomadaversary, here are 6 tips about finding your own travel style.
1. Figure out your travel style for accommodations, and how you can budget for it.
When we used to travel for vacation, I was still budget-conscious but less so than I am now. We were only staying in places for a few days or a week, so I thought nothing of spending $40-50 per night to stay at a park. I wanted someplace that had nice amenities and was in the perfect location. I could afford to spend that money for a few days so I could really enjoy myself. But if you think about it, $50 per night for 30 nights is $1500 per month. Do you really want/can you afford to spend this much when you could perhaps compromise on amenities? Or move a little further from the main attractions and save some money? That way you have more money to spend going out and having fun, or traveling for even longer.
2. You’re going to get tired. Be realistic about your itinerary.
It’s easy when you’re starting out to want to see everything in a particular place. But if you’re driving every day or every few days and packing in all-day outings and then driving again, you will run out of energy. Imagine when you try to do this on vacation. How tired are you when you get back? How often do you say “Now I need a vacation from my vacation?”
So if you’re worried about missing out on things, you have a few options. One is to stay longer so you don’t have to cram too many activities in at once. Another is to choose a few of the most interesting things. You can make plans to come back a different time. But if you can’t see everything, learn to let that go. If you burn yourself out then it won’t matter what your travel style is. Because you won’t be going anywhere.
3. Be willing and prepared to have down time.
Dovetailing off #2, things happen. Some days it’s good to just relax and hang out at home. For example, due to upcoming weather conditions along our route, we really pushed it yesterday and drove nearly 350 miles. We had to stop a few times to run errands, and we traveled through some mountain roads, so it took us 10 hours. Today I’d like to go out, but I’m completely exhausted. Instead of pushing through and probably not enjoying myself very much, I’m going to stay inside and take it easy. When you’re planning your stay somewhere, sometimes it’s a good idea to schedule in relaxation rather than having it forced upon you.
4. Speaking of weather…
No matter what your travel style, weather is going to be a factor. It will affect both your ability to travel as well as to explore the local area once you arrive. The weather can also affect how busy a location is, and how expensive it is to stay there. Think about what type of weather you are most comfortable in, and try to plan your route based on it. We call this “chasing the weather.”
5. Be prepared for last-minute changes
Sometimes things don’t work out the way you plan. Maybe you want to stay somewhere longer. Maybe you want to leave sooner. If this makes you uncomfortable, think about ways you can build preparation into you travel style. There will be times when you can’t avoid it, but there are ways to make it easier. For example, our credit card has built-in travel insurance. So if we purchase lodging, tickets, reservations, etc. with the card and have to cancel due to emergency, the card should kick in and protect us from cancellation fees or companies refusing to issue refunds. To make myself feel more comfortable about when plans don’t work out (such as RV park we want to stay at being full), I have lots of back-ups prepared. I talk about this more in my post about repositioning.
6. It’s all about you.
It’s very easy to get caught up in other people’s adventures. Maybe you heard about someone’s amazing vacation. Or you read about someone else’s full-time travels and are envious because they seem to be able to spend more, do more, stay nicer places, etc. I’m certainly guilty of that myself!
But then I remember that we are different people, and I don’t necessarily want to do everything they do. Also, what you’re hearing and seeing is a snapshot of a moment in time. Even the most experienced travelers have ups and downs, and once the story ends or the cameras are put away, life goes back to normal. They still have to cook, clean, and pay the bills just like the rest of us. So while it’s great to gather inspiration from other travelers, don’t forget to focus on what you find most important. Do what makes you happy. Find your own path.
I hope these tips help you find your own travel style! If you’d like to be notified of our upcoming posts, please subscribe below!