3 Reasons People Who Really Want To Travel Don’t

a red suitcase with a question mark

Over the holidays I met several people who said they envy all my trips – Dad had been enthusing – and wish they could travel. And course I immediately asked why could’t they?

Among folks who truly seem to want to travel (ignoring those who say they love to travel, but prefer the idea to the reality) responses usually fell into one (or all) of three obstacles.  And fortunately, all of those are surmountable!

  • Not sure where to start. They have a dream trip or experience slightly off the beaten path in mind, but have no idea how to even begin making it happen. My great uncle always wanted to see to the Rose Bowl Parade in person. He had the financial resources, they had the time. Even several decades ago it would have been easy to fly out there. My guess is he just never knew how to even wrap his mind around making it happen since it wasn’t something anyone he knew had done.
  • Automatically assume it will be too expensive. They heard how expensive others’ trips to Hawaii, Europe, etc are and assume they’ll never able to afford their dream location without actually pricing it out. Unless they want to spend a week in a suite in the Burj Al Arab there are probably ways with enough research and ingenuity to get their dream trip within an acceptable budget. Acceptable, not free. But most folks are willing to sacrifice a little to make it happen, and miles and points and sites like Priceline and Travelzoo can help fill in the gaps.
  • Don’t have a travel companion. This is the most common constraint I see with my friends. They have a whole list of places they want to go and available vacation time, but can’t find anyone else to go in the same time frame and budget. Freeing yourself up to try traveling alone opens up a world of options!

One of my goals for this year is to help the people I mentioned above make their travel goals a reality. It might not be through the crazy points and miles accumulations I do or to the destinations I prefer, but all that matters is they’re getting closer to their dream trips. So with that in mind, I will be trying to put together helpful guides and tips to address concerns like the thee above, and I’d love your input!

If you’re someone who doesn’t travel, but would really like, let us know what kind of advice you would find useful! It might be just a basic question holding you back and we’d be happy to help. I still remember what a difference it made when I learned how to book tickets that left from one airport and returned to another.


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  1. I’d add “lack of vacation time” as a fairly important thing too. Tough to justify a 36 hr trip to Asia or even Europe. :-/

  2. I agree with Andy. Right now I don’t have the time to do any traveling for pleasure. I’m in the middle of looking for a job and relocating so it’s hard to even plan far out.

    1. But I’m guessing you have traveled in the past? 🙂 The people I’m talking to rarely even travel during the holidays to see family and have never taken a “dream trip.”

  3. When I lived in Texas (24 years) I met many folks who had never left the state. Their travel was all just inside Texas visiting family. For some folks, travel is all about seeing family and, besides, everything anyone would want to see is in Texas. 🙂

    1. Very valid points! My guess is those are folks who don’t feel like they’re not getting to “travel” 🙂

  4. I think we need to define “travel”. Trans-con travel (say…to Europe or Asia) is something most Americans don’t do. I think that has to do with less vacation time, and that its seen as less desirable than other discretionary expenses. The former is a shame, but makes me wonder why younger people don’t endeavor to do it while they have more time. The latter reason is a shame because traveling to places entirely different than the U.S. is a tremendous learning experience.

    I will say that I have known MANY Americans that have plenty of vacation time and discretionary income, and they still won’t travel overseas. One couple I knew had access to free tickets on an airline and had never used them once. So I do believe there is a cultural reticence, and I think based on a fear of the relative lack of control that long-distance travel entails. But that’s just based on my personal experience.

  5. Issue is don’t have anyone to travel with now that funds aren’t an issue. Want to go to Vegas but I think would do be weird by myself especially if I want to go out to a night club.

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