We all know them. The excuse-makers. These are the “I’d love to be able to travel, BUT…” people. Or just ‘Buts’ for short. Whether it’s friends, family, your partner, or that cousin you secretly hate for beating you in backyard cricket every year at the family Christmas lunch… there are Buts everywhere.
The only way to stop this kind of tomfoolery is to break down each one of the common excuses used by the Buts and to slash through the BS.
Let’s have a look at some of these unfortunate utterances and why they are all rubbish:
1) “I’m terrible at saving.”
Say hello to our friend here Mr #1 Excuse For Absolutely Everything. If you are bad at saving it’s because you haven’t actually tried to be good at saving. Here’s what you need to do to rectify this. Get a separate savings account. Call it ‘Ridiculously Awesome Travel Fund’ or similar. Set up a periodic payment each time you get paid. Create a budget and stick to it. And stop buying unnecessary shit. Drink less coffee (I know, it’s hard), bring your lunches to work – also there are tonnes of little ways you can save money while travelling. You’ll be surprised how quickly you actually CAN do it.
2) “I have a mortgage, credit card and a car loan to pay off.”
Debt is a cruel mistress indeed. The average mortgage is 30 years – do you really want to wait that long to travel? Consolidate your debts, set up a budget (again that recurring B-word) and work out a way to both meet your repayments and put money aside for travelling. How good would it be if you could get someone to rent your place on Airbnb for 6 months to cover your mortgage whilst gallivanting around Europe? Make it happen!
3) “Who will water my frangipanis?”
Grandma. The answer is always grandma. Or your neighbours. Or your self-irrigating watering system. Did you know plants can water themselves these days? Voodoo I tell ya. If you don’t know what frangipanis are then congratulations you can’t use this excuse. There’s also the possibility that someone could be housesitting at your place while you’re away to take care of the garden or any pets you don’t want to leave behind unattended.
4) “I won’t be able to eat any of the food.”
My popa has a hard and fast rule – he only eats ‘Australian food’. Now when I tell him that the most Aussie pub meal you can ever get is a chicken parmigiana (I’m not even getting into the parmy/parma debate here) he says that it sounds Italian and he probably won’t like it. My popa is also 87 years old and has never travelled overseas. Chances are if you’ve ever eaten sushi, curry, pasta or even a schnitzel you’ve eaten ‘foreign food’ and you’ll be just fine. You don’t have to go into Bear Grylls mode and eat elephant dung.
5) “I can’t speak the language and they probably don’t speak English.”
If you are reading this then there is a high chance you already understand English. Congratulations, you are one of the lucky ones as English is the international language of tourism. It’s estimated that approximately 1.5 billion people can communicate in English (according to England’s St Georges International Language School) so chances are you’ll bump into a few of them while you’re away. If all else fails you can always just point and nod.
6) “I’m going to travel in 2027 instead.”
The ultimate procrastinator. Chances are the people that make this excuse also have to look after their pet Tamagotchi or read 500 articles on Buzzfeed before they can go travelling. You know, important stuff. Places like Vietnam are only going to get busier and increased tourism may, unfortunately, have a negative impact as time goes on. The world changes so rapidly that the place you might want to visit might not even exist in a decade! Take the Great Barrier Reef or any of the world’s breathtaking but rapidly disappearing glaciers for example. Thanks climate change you asshole.
7) “History is boring. Old buildings don’t matter. Culture sucks.”
I have a confession. Before my first big trip to Europe I had very little interest in history. I thought it was just stuff that had already happened and didn’t matter anymore. How wrong was I! I challenge you to stand in front of a building like the Colosseum for the first time and not be awe-struck. Then you can go home and watch Gladiator with your mates just to tell them you’ve been there.
8) “I have the worst sense of direction. I’ll get lost for sure.”
TGFGM. Thank God for Google Maps. We like to invent acronyms here. Seriously though, how easy is it to find absolutely anything and everything nowadays using technology? Plus paper maps DO still exist. And they are awesome. You will surprise yourself by how good your sense of direction is when you physically pay attention to what is around you and start to train your inner compass.
9) “I won’t make any friends. Strangers are scary.”
This excuse is just plain ridiculous. All of your current friends were strangers too at some point remember? You will be pleased to know that travellers are always very eager to meet new people and to share their experiences and their knowledge. I have been fortunate enough to meet some incredible people on my travels. What is truly scary to me is to imagine if I had stayed home and not met any of them to begin with. The best way to ease yourself into making travel friends is by staying at hostels, check out some of the best hostels we’ve ever stayed at.
10) “I won’t be able to watch Game of Thrones while I’m away.”
Okay, this IS a real excuse, I’ll admit that. (We are obsessed.) The best way to get around this is to go dark on social media for the entire duration of your holiday to stop yourself from seeing any unwanted spoilers. You could also try to get one-up on all of your GoT-loving friends by visiting some of the amazing filming locations in Northern Ireland, Spain and Croatia too. Or our absolute favourite, Iceland, check out our complete Iceland travel guide to find out why we love it so much.
11) “I don’t want to travel alone.”
This one could be an excuse you keep telling yourself while you wait for all of your friends to get their shit together to come with you. Group tours and hostels exist for this very reason also. Yes, travelling solo can be super daunting, particularly if you have never done it before. It can also be the best experience of your entire life. The sense of freedom, discovery and adventure is hard to get any other way.
12) “I can’t imagine travelling with my partner.”
Alarm bells! If you can’t imagine travelling with your current partner then you might need to reevaluate your life. It sounds drastic but if you are constantly begging your partner to travel and they don’t want to go then why are you with them? Travelling with your partner is one of the best ways to test out the strength of your relationship too, so why waste time on someone that doesn’t share your passions?
13) “I/we have kids.”
Kids can be tough to travel with and I imagine it certainly is an art-form that takes Mr Miyagi-like patience to master. My best memories as a child are from travelling with my parents around Australia, and I don’t know if I would have had the same urge to travel as I do now without those experiences. There are so many kid-friendly holidays you can take so why not? If you decide to wait until they leave home you might be waiting a while. Plus it’s an excuse to go visit Disneyland, and who doesn’t want to go there!
14) “Isn’t travel really expensive?”
Wrong. Travel can be expensive but it really doesn’t have to be. Did you know you can book a night at numerous 5-star hotels in Warsaw for less than $100? That’s Aussie, US and Canadian dollars included. I’m talking the Hilton, Regent and the Radisson Blu here. And then there is Asia, one of the most affordable regions on the planet. Plus you can even drop your accommodation expense down to zero by Couchsurfing or housesitting for your whole holiday. Travel smart and it costs less than you think, read how to find the best accommodation for more.
15) “Foreign countries are dangerous.”
It would be naïve to say that every single country and city on earth is 100% safe to travel to. However, don’t let fear get in the way of a good time. Do your research and be smart when and where you travel. If you spend too much energy allowing the mainstream media to influence your travel decisions you may end up too afraid to even leave your bedroom. The majority of the time it’s all sensationalist rubbish anyway. People can report whatever they like, but when you actually experience a place you’ll realise it’s often not as scary as it can be portrayed.
16) “It’s super hard to book everything.”
We live in a time where travel information is so readily available and there really is a plethora of options out there. Between accommodation sites, travel agents, flight search engines and travel blogs like ours there is a lot to take in but if you break it down one step at a time it becomes much more manageable to organise a holiday. Check out our budget travel guide on cheap flights for a great place to start.
17) “What if I get robbed?”
Unfortunately, shit people do exist. Shit people who steal things. They probably exist in your hometown too though, and you really can’t let these degenerates stop you from travelling. There are plenty of scams out there to be aware of, but as they say: “If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is”. Keep your wits about you and travel smart.
18) “I’ve travelled enough. I’ve been to Bali the last 2 years in a row.”
There is more to travelling than just one destination. Sure it’s fine to have a favourite place but why stop there? If you really love that one place you always visit, imagine how many others there are just like it that you haven’t been to yet. Travel is not just about ticking off countries or cities but if you do it right you should always be hungry for more. Bali is one of our favourite places to travel by the way, so I don’t blame you. It’s recently become a thriving hub for digital nomads, freelancers and anyone who is currently working online.
19) “What if I get ‘Taken’?”
If you’ve seen the movie Taken you will no doubt have been desperately searching the web for Liam Neeson’s phone number before going on your next trip. Don’t stress. It’s just a movie. The only thing you should be worried about is the studio making another crappy sequel. And don’t watch Taken 2 or 3 either – they’re average at best.
20) “I’ve seen plenty of photos on Instagram, I feel like I’ve been there already.”
Shut up, please. Slap this person across the face or something. Photos are never better than the real thing. Worst. Excuse. Ever.
21) “I’m afraid of flying.”
Stop watching Air Crash Investigation and start thinking of all the cool places that a plane can take you. If that doesn’t work you can go in a flight simulator or even try hypnotism as a means of beating your ‘aviophobia’ (also known as aerophobia). If you still aren’t keen on flying then there’s always road trips and cruise ships anyway.
22) “My boss won’t let me have the time off work”.
Quit your job. Do what you want. Why should your place of employment dictate when and how long you travel for? Take unpaid leave or even try working remotely if you have to. If your boss appreciates your contribution then try to negotiate a few extra weeks off each year. If he doesn’t then start working for someone who does. Or better still, work for yourself! YES, you can earn a living while travelling; in fact, that’s what this whole blog is dedicated to!
Share this around to all of the ‘Buts’ out there! Is there someone you’ve wanted to travel with that has given you one of these excuses or something similar? At the very least take them on a guilt trip! It’s the closest thing they’ll ever get to travel whilst letting excuses get in the way of adventure.