Five Excuses We Make to Avoid Traveling


by Alex Ritter

Ask any random person about what he wishes he could do more often, or what he aspires to do with his life, and I bet 99 times out of 100 the answer will include traveling somewhere. Traveling is glamorized in our society. It is something that most people dream about and aspire to, but few actually do. We will sit at our desks thinking about our fantasy vacations for years and never actually plan the trip and go. We are always able to find an excuse not to go, and rarely ever able to work up the courage to make our dreams a reality.

Below are the top five excuses we continually repeat to ourselves to make sure we never get out and see the world. Hopefully pointing out that these are just excuses will enable some people to get past them and actually start traveling.

I can’t afford it

This is definitely the first excuse stopping most people from going anywhere, and in uncertain economic times this excuse might even be valid. The problem is that most people tell themselves that they can’t afford to travel before they even look into it. Sure, it might be too expensive to fly first class to Paris and stay in a five star hotel, but there are other destinations and more affordable accommodations. Heck, you don’t even have to fly or stay in a hotel. Why not drive an hour or two away from your house and go camping for a few days? If you hate camping, why not go stay with some friends or family? Traveling is about getting out of your bubble and experiencing new things. You don’t have to go to the other side of the world and spend a fortune, you can travel on a very small budget if you open your mind to the possibilities.

I’ll go later

Procrastination is an evil thing. You can always fool yourself into thinking you’ll go next year, or next summer, or when you have more free time. The problem is there is always a next year. There is always a next summer. You can always tell yourself you will have more free time to travel at some other point. Next year can easily get pushed back so many times that you will have lost your chance before you know it. Stop telling yourself you will go next year, because next year might never become this year.

I can’t take time off work

Surely you are allowed at least a few vacation days per year, aren’t you? Try scheduling a vacation day or two at the end of a holiday weekend. Suddenly you just took two vacation days and turned it into five days off of work. Often times we get the notion in our minds that we need at least two continuous weeks off of work to have enough time to travel. This is not true, and deep down we know it. Take a weekend trip to Las Vegas, or go on a road trip through a few near by states; just get out and go. You can take the time off work. You really can.

It’s just something I dream about, not something that I really expect to do

This is a defeatist attitude, and once this thought enters your mind you really aren’t going to go. This is the type of excuse that is spread into your subconscious by others. If you are surrounded by people who think they can’t travel, or who try to tell you that you can’t travel, eventually you will start to believe that travel is not possible. Don’t let other people stop you from pursuing your dreams. If you want to go to London to watch a soccer match, or if you want to see a sunset in Maui, you really can do it. People do those things every day, and there is no reason why you can’t do them too, regardless of what other people tell you.

It probably wouldn’t live up to my expectations

How will you ever know unless you go? This is a  thought that can crush your dreams and kill your desire to go anywhere or do anything outside of your daily routine. If you get this thought stuck in your head, you will be able to talk yourself out of going anywhere. You can find negative reviews, horror stories, and terrible things written about absolutely every place on Earth if you look hard enough. But you can also find rave reviews, inspiring stories, and uplifting things written, too. The point is, traveling is a very personal thing, and the only way to know if something meets your expectations is to actually find out yourself. Don’t assume the place you dream about is anything other than exactly what you hope it is. Let your dream inspire you into action.

The bottom line is, stop making excuses. Stop wasting your time and energy thinking of reasons why you shouldn’t travel. Open your eyes to different travels that are affordable, that don’t require a lot of time, that you can do now, and that you know you want to experience. You’re already inspired, now get going!

What are your excuses for not traveling? How did you overcome them?



7 Comments

  1. I really despise the “I can’t afford it” comment. My first job as a journo in NYC, I was making $10 an hour (in one of the most expensive cities in the world, mind you), and I still traveled multiple times a year, internationally, when I could take off the time. It was all about seeking good deals, CouchSurfing and learning to travel on the cheap. Bottom line: Travel doesn’t have to be expensive! Thanks for reinforcing my point =)

    • Rease says:

      I agree! I was a college student and I did a 3 week trip through South America after my graduation. It took some time, saving, and planning but I made it happen!

    • Alex says:

      Exactly! Affordability is about the choices we make, not really about how much money we have. Anyone can afford to travel if they choose to spend the money they have on travel rather than something else.

  2. editor says:

    Exactly. It’s all about mindset–your goal has to be travel, not luxury! If your idea of travel only includes 3 star hotels and restaurant meals, then no, it’s not affordable. People who really want to go have to broaden their ideas about what traveling really is.

  3. Tran says:

    Or how about I’m married with kids? Thanks to familyonbikes for slamming the door shut on that excuse.

  4. Ann says:

    As a self-employed physician, My favorite line is “I can’t take time off from work.” In reality, as a self-employed person – you really get to do what you want to do…when you want to do it. I do a lot of planning and saving ahead of time. In return, next year I’ll be traveling to London, Paris, Tuscany, Cortona, Florence, Grenada, Cabos and Disney World.

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