6 Dumb Reasons People Don’t Travel

Life is full of excuses. “I forgot.” “I’ll do it later.” “The dog ate my homework.” You all know the most common ones.

But people also make excuses when it comes to traveling. Or, more precisely, when it comes to NOT traveling.

Simply put, though, these excuses are dumb. Really dumb.

Unless you want to live a life full of regret, you shouldn’t live a life full of excuses.

Here are the most common dumb excuses people give for not traveling, along with the reasons they shouldn’t be used as excuses at all:

“I can’t afford it.”

One of my boyfriend’s friends once told me that “travel is for old, rich people.”

Well, now, that’s just not true at all. I am neither old, nor rich. In fact, I’m pretty much the opposite of old and rich at this point in my life. But that has never stopped me from traveling.

Travel absolutely does not have to be expensive if you’re smart about it. While I cannot afford to travel indefinitely or for great lengths of time, I still find ways to make my travel dreams reality. It may mean saving up for months or years for an expensive trip (do you know how far $50 a week can go in 6 months?), or it may mean choosing a destination that isn’t going to cost me an arm or leg (for example, you can live in Southeast Asia easily for $30 a day).

No matter what your income is, you CAN find ways to travel.

“I don’t have enough time.”

In America especially, time is money. Many people only have two or three weeks of vacation time each year, and don’t believe in taking more. Then you add in family, friends and hobbies, and it begins to seem impressive that anyone can even remember what day it is, let alone find time to plan a vacation.

But if travel is something you really want to do, you can MAKE time. You can make the best use of your vacation days (no matter how few they number) by planning ahead. Plan a vacation around a holiday so you use up less of that precious time off. Plan trips that are a bit closer to home. Or, go all out and plan an epic vacation to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go so that you have something great to look forward to.

Just remember that having a career or family or both doesn’t mean you’re too busy to travel. We all need a break sometimes, and making time to fit one in is important.

“I hate flying.”

Who says you have to fly to travel? Even if you’re going overseas, there are other options – like taking a ship. Believe it or not, people traveled long before there were cars or airplanes.

If you don’t have the time to take a cruise across the Atlantic, why not travel closer to home? Cars, trains and buses abound in most countries, and you really don’t have to go thousands of miles away to say you’ve traveled. Adventures can be had both on the other side of the world, or on the other side of town.

Pick a destination, and then do some research on ways to get there that don’t involve air travel. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at your options.

“I have no one to travel with.”

It may come as a shock, but not everyone has dreams of travel. In fact, some people are perfectly content living in the same town their whole lives and never leaving it.

There’s nothing wrong with this. Unless, of course, your parents or spouse or friends fall into this category when you don’t. Then it can become frustrating.

But, just remember that there’s no rule saying you have to travel with someone. Hit the road solo! Have an adventure on your own! Or, if that idea sounds even more terrifying to you than never leaving your hometown, look into group travel. Plenty of travel companies exist out there that cater to all sorts of age groups and interests. Find one that fits your style and sign up. You’ll be surrounded by other travelers who actually WANT to be there.

Then you can go home and tell the non-travelers in your life all about what they missed out on. Who knows? Maybe you’ll convert a few of them and have travel partners in the future.

“It’s dangerous.”

Terrorism. Corruption. Plane crashes. Crazy taxi drivers. Pickpockets.

Yes, there’s a lot to be afraid of in the world, and travelers sometimes do come across dangerous situations away from home.

But do you know what one of the most dangerous activities of all is? Simply driving to work every day.

Saying travel is dangerous is a cop-out. It’s like saying “life is dangerous.” But are you going to stop living just to ensure that you stay safe? … I didn’t think so.

As long as you travel smartly and don’t purposefully put yourself in potentially dangerous situations, then travel doesn’t have to be any more dangerous than playing football or taking a jog in the park. Do your homework, find out what to avoid, and then don’t stress about it.

“There will be time for travel later.”

People often have very specific ideas about the chronology their lives are supposed to take. As an American, you are supposed to go to school, get a job, get married, buy a house, and then have 2.5 kids. You’re supposed to work for 30 years, and then, if you haven’t keeled over from heart disease or cancer, then maybe you can travel during retirement.

Right? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to go?

Well, it’s load of crap. Putting off travel until “later” in life only makes it more of a dream. Every year you put it off pulls you further and further away from it, making it less likely that it’ll ever happen. I mean, do you really think you’re going to go hike the Inca Trail or go rock climbing in Thailand when you’re in your 60s? Will you want to put up with a 12-hour flight to New Zealand or young backpackers at all the guest houses once you hit retirement? Probably not.

So don’t use this excuse. If you want to travel now, then travel now. Simple at that.

***

In the end, my point is this: Don’t make excuses.

If you really want to travel, then find a way to make it happen. There are thousands of people out there right now casting aside the “expected” course of life in order to enjoy a life of travel. They’re not making excuses about time or money or danger. They’re just doing it.

While a lifestyle of perpetual travel isn’t for everyone, everyone should be able to fit travel in somewhere.

So stop with the excuses. Just travel already. I promise you won’t regret it.

Amanda is a 20-something college grad with a journalism degree under her belt, which she plans to use to rid the world of bad grammar and “there, their, they’re” confusion. Amanda can usually be found dreaming of her next travel adventure, whether around the globe or around the corner. Follow her as she gets swept away in travel on her blog, A Dangerous Business or on Twitter @DangerousBiz.

13 Comments

  • Harrison

    February 23, 2011

    Really funny that this post came out, just when I’m preparing to head off to France. I’ve pretty much proved most of those points wrong … though it will be my first time traveling “solo”. I got nervous about it, but I’m looking forward to the experience of spontaneity that I probably wouldn’t get if I made plans with another person throughout the whole time. Those points I def. hear about all the time!

  • Michael Hodson

    February 23, 2011

    Amen, sister. You hit the nail on the head on this one. I get really sick of friends telling me they really want to travel, but….

  • Monica

    February 23, 2011

    Same here! Everyone tells me how jealous they are of anyone who can travel, but none of them actually do it! If you really want to travel there are only 3 things you should ever do:
    1. work hard
    2. save some money
    3. book a one-way flight before you change your mind!

  • Tijmen

    February 24, 2011

    There is always an excuse that people come up with. Heard the “its dangerous” and the “I have no one to travel with” so often…. I always travel solo, but you always meet more people on the road so you are never really alone. But some people have a hard time believing that and rather spend there time in the office.

  • Travis

    February 25, 2011

    We must have both had this on the brain because I just wrote on the same subject a couple days ago. http://flashpackerhq.com/what’s-keeping-you-from-travel/

    I’d have to agree that Money and Time are the two biggest reasons people say they can’t travel. It takes a commitment (bigger for some than others) but anyone can make it happen if that’s really what they want to do.

    I think for many people it’s the IDEA of travel more than the actual traveling that gets them excited. The idea of the exotic or adventure they might have. I just wish more people did it because the planet could certainly use a few more open-minded people and boy does travel open your mind.

    Great post!

    -Travis

  • Sabina

    February 26, 2011

    Seriously, the it’s too dangerous and I’ll travel later excuses are horrible. Literally, the area just outside my neighborhood in the U.S. is way, way more dangerous than most everywhere I travel. And waiting till later to travel – something could happen in your life that will wipe travel off your radar forever. You could, for one thing, die. Or become paralyzed or suffer some other massive life-altering event that will make it almost impossible forever. Everyone should make an effort to travel overseas whether they want to or not. Those who don’t want to will probably discover, after dipping their toes in the water, that they do want to after all.

  • Thepixtakers

    March 3, 2011

    I hate flying – but still travel the world…
    I hate terror – but still travel the world…
    I hate missing business opps – but i still have to travel

    I am travelling mostly on my own – sometimes i meet my best friend on route and we see the world. If you need people to travel – check online “i need a travel mate” kindA place and u should be fine…

    Next outing? Midnite train to paris – in april – just coz i feel like taking the train for once 🙂

    Best regards

    Rina – Thepixtakers.com

  • Abby

    March 4, 2011

    Hummm – it’s sometimes easier said that done to travel the world when you hate flying. My bf won’t go on an airplane, but we still went to Hungary from the UK by rail. Tbh, it was pretty grim and extremely expensive, especially in comparison to flying. I have to say that I wouldn’t do it again…

  • Melanie @TravelToast.com

    March 9, 2011

    Throw in some kids and you’ll get 15 more reasons why people think they can’t travel. 😉

    We have four and we still travel…and love it.

  • Nic

    September 9, 2014

    Brilliant post, in fact I think I might send a link to all those people who won’t listen when I tell them all these things you are talking about here! No excuses!!

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