How to Prioritize Travel + Why I Skipped SeaWheeze

August 15, 2017

Are you making the most of your travel opportunities? Sharing how I prioritize travel to get the most out of my experiences.

prioritize travel

Were you in Vancouver this weekend running the SeaWheeze Half Marathon? According to my Instagram feed, you probably were. Because it seemed like everyone was there. But I wasn’t. Actually, though, I was supposed to be there. About 10 months ago I got online right when the race entry opened and snagged a spot in the much sought-after race. I did SeaWheeze last year and had such a fun experience. I stayed in an Airbnb with a bunch of girls, the race was incredible, Vancouver is an amazing city, and I was looking forward to round 2.

Prioritize Travel

prioritize travel

Exploring the Vancouver area last year with Evann.

But then the logistics sort of fell apart. I wanted MM to come with me because I know he’d love Vancouver, but he had a conflict. Other logistics, like flight times, taking off work and where to stay were seeming more complicated and expensive than it was worth. As much as I loved it last year, I realized it wasn’t meant to be for 2017.  Luckily I was able to sell my race entry and I didn’t lose any money on the weekend.

So even though I was getting some serious FOMO watching Insta stories of friends’ Vancouver adventures this weekend, I reminded myself that it’s okay that I switched my plans and didn’t go. I’m sure I would have had fun, but it’s also okay that I wasn’t there.

Travel has always been a big priority of mine, so it was hard to skip out on a trip to a city I love, but digging deeper than just “travel”, my more focused priorities with travel are exploring new places, or if I’m visiting a place I’ve already been, having a new experience or being with friends I miss.

Unfortunately, Vancouver wasn’t going to check off those items, so instead of just going along with it, I’m putting that money towards trips to new places and visits to see friends (+ their new babies!).

If you love to travel, it’s important to really think about the trips you’re planning and prioritize in order to knock off the most important items on your travel bucket list.

Money and vacation days are not unlimited (but oh, if they were). And that’s why prioritizing your travel is so important.

Here’s how I make the most of my budget and days off to travel.

Prioritize Travel

Create a Travel Bucket List

I have a long list of places I want to go. That list continues to shift and evolve. If you have a similar ever-growing list, keep track and write them all down. I have an ongoing list in my phone’s notes app that I continue to update as I hear about new and cool places. One of my friends has a huge slab of wood in her house that lists out her and her husband’s travel bucket list, they cross items out as the go (such a cool idea!).

It’s best to prioritize the list as you add to it so you make sure that the trips you are most interested in actually come to fruition. You can say for years and years you want to go on an African Safari, but don’t let it slip away. If it’s at the top of your travel bucket list, find a way to make it happen.

Focus On Your Main Travel Priorities

Like I said, I am all about seeing new places and being with people I love. So if a trip comes up that sounds pretty good but is a place I’ve been, even if I loved it, it’s sometimes best to reallocate those funds and dates for a trip I’m really looking forward to.

Rank Your Excitement

If you’re in the midst of brainstorming or planning a trip and it’s stressing you out and you’re not even that excited about it. Just. Don’t. Go. Assuming you changing your plans doesn’t majorly affect other people, don’t feel bad about backing out. Especially on longer and pricier trips, you really want to feel passionate and excited about the experience.

Think About How You’ll Spend Your Money

Big picture, would you rather be on vacation for more days and stay at a cheaper hotel, or would you rather stay at a swanky hotel for a short trip? Everyone’s priorities are different, and if you’re working with a budget, figure out the various ways you can stretch that money. For some trips, it can be worth it to go for a shorter time and live it up in luxury, while other trips it’s okay to rough it in a motel if it means more time to explore.

Make A Budget & Stick to it

Speaking of that budget, how much are you willing to spend on each trip? If you’re looking to take multiple trips throughout the year, get a ballpark amount of how much you want to spend all together, then figure out how you split it up to get the most out of each trip.

Take Advantage of Your Location

Sometimes we forget about the amazing places right in our own backyard. Since moving to California, it’s been our priority to experience this part of the country. Back on the east coast, while we traveled a lot, there are a ton of places I still want to visit, and I’ll save those for (if/when) we live on that side of the country again. Before you plan your next big trip a long flight away, reconsider places accessible via a road trip or a cheap flight.

Prioritize Travel

Hopefully, you’re feeling inspired to create or update your travel bucket list. What are the top spots on your must-visit list?


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