You Are Browsing ‘Trips & Cruises’ Category

Refuting Excuses

by Hank Wilson - on Oct 17th 2017 - No Comments

Written by Frankie Hogan

Author of Livin’: From the Amsterdam Red Light to the African Bush


What’s stopping you? You sit at your desk at work or on the couch at home and close your eyes. You see yourself on a desert island or in a Jeep cruising the African savanna. A change. A dream. An adventure. But you haven’t done it, because . . .? Crickets. Just thinking of that place plants a joker’s smile on your face. Yet you hesitate. You let flashes of home and responsibility chip away at that grin until you’re back to looking like the Mona Lisa, wondering what’s for dinner. The fictitious excuses fly around your mind and give the road an unrealistic feeling.

The world has changed. Connectivity has shrunk the planet and brought the unreachable within arm’s length. The list of legitimate reasons not to go is getting as short as a Russian gymnast. In Livin’, I discuss recognizing and overcoming the flawed reasoning that hindered my own travel. I wrote the book to light a fire in others to do the same, but concentrated more on the world that’s out there. To help people get by their own inflated justifications, but didn’t focus on the excuses themselves. So what’s the old saying? “The first step is admitting you have a problem.” Let’s beat shit down the legs of some of these excuses.


What is this, 1917? The world doesn’t move at Zeppelin speed anymore. You can walk out your door and get almost anywhere in the top six continents within one or two days. I spent sixteen and a half hours on a direct flight from New York City to Johannesburg, South Africa. North America to South Africa in less time than it takes to watch all of the Lord of the Rings movies. Think about how long that trip would have taken a hundred years ago. “It’s too far” lost most of its steam as an excuse when budget international air travel hit the scene.  This reason for not traveling is antiquated.


This is the keystone of doubting Thomas’s house. Let’s go into this with the understanding that everyone’s situation is different. I’m not going to tell you everyone could afford every trip. I am going to give you some tips to weaken the money argument enough to make most trips attainable for paycheck-to-paycheck and middle-class folks.

The first tip for budgeting a trip is basic math: You can earn more income. Solve me more complex equations, professor. In the world today, if you have a car you can start working your own schedule with Uber or Lyft tomorrow for extra scratch. You can get paid for surveys or reviewing products online without even getting dressed. Fifty bucks here and one hundred there goes a long way toward a dream trip. When I first got to LA, I did some writing, acting, and audience one-day gigs on top of my nine-to-five, solely to save for trips.

The other half of the solution is to cut expenses. If you’re a night owl like myself, trimming three nights out per week down to one for a couple months saves hundreds. And you don’t miss much. The bar and your people will still be there when you return from India with a wild story and a smile. If you eat out or order delivery a number of times a month, cut that number in half. A steak dinner or pizza doesn’t stay with you as long as a week in Amsterdam will. Have a gym membership you barely use? Run in the park. Use that yoga mat at home. If you’re a sports junkie, going to one home game instead of three can fly you to Europe or Asia. That’s a trade I’ll make every time.

The other tip that beats at the money excuse like a coked-out superhero is using travel websites and budget travel. Travel package pricing has fallen through the floor, especially if you’re flexible with time and location. If you do your research and be patient, you’ll find deals that knock your socks off the side of your ass. I flew to Spain from New York for about $250 roundtrip. That’s less than a roundtrip ticket to LAX. My trip to China from LAX in Livin’ cost under $900 for over a week. Air, tours, and everything else was included. These deals are jaw-droppers, and they’re constantly out there. One of my favorite websites for domestic and international travel deals is That’s a good place to get started. It all adds up. Put a few of these things together and you can see a wonder of the world or experience a culture you never have before.


Who has the time? Working forty or fifty hours per week with two weeks of vacation is the norm. And some of that two weeks goes to a cousin’s wedding or a kid’s camping trip. Again, the time is there. You repeat to yourself that you don’t have the time as you plan your yearly family vacation to Palm Springs, Las Vegas, or the Jersey shore. You still choose the normal, forgettable vacation that zaps all of your vacation days over the international adventure because it’s more convenient and comfortable. When someone states, “you spend all your vacation days at Seaside Heights,” you defensively respond, “yeah, but the money.” You know this argument is shit. As we discussed, you can find trips to Europe or Asia for the same amount that you spend on your normal drive to insert-mundane-beach-town-here.  If you can wrap two vacation days around Labor Day weekend, you have more than enough time to fly to Peru and see Machu Picchu. An extra day at Thanksgiving can give you ample time to see the northern lights in Iceland. It’s there.

Traveling with kids is also growing more popular. I was in Cancun at a hotel on the strip on a deal I found. This is Cancun, a party staple. The hotel included a nightclub on site and two bars, but during the day, kids were running around like a Willy Wonka day shift. There were pool activities and bouncy houses blown up on the beach. And it’s not just Cancun. Three pre-teens joined my group tour in South Africa. Two teens were in Vietnam with us. Think of the stories these kids can tell when they get back to class. The point is, many groups and locations have found their family-friendly side.


Most people over thirty can give one or two examples of things they can no longer do that they did ten years ago. As you get older, that list bloats. But it’s not about what you can’t do. It’s about what you still can do. You know yourself. If you look seriously at your health, don’t start with declines or negatives. Smile at what you still can do. If your only excuse begins and ends with a number, you are shooting blanks. The average age of the people in the group tours I have been on is in the fifties or higher. I traveled to India with a woman who was seventy-four, and India was the seventy-fourth country she had been to. That makes me think, “What’s my excuse?”

One of the last big hang-ups of travel is company. I love the solo traveler experience, which I get into in the book, but if you’re someone who needs a group of family or friends to reach the location you’ve dreamed about for decades, I’ll leave you with this little line from Livin’: “I learned from experience that if you wait for friends to be ready to travel, you’ll never get there.”


Art and Nature Come Together to Create Stunning Night Time Forest Hike in Norway

by Milan - on Nov 6th 2016 - No Comments

Visitors to Norway will immediately be blown away by the stunning natural beauty of the country. With spectacular mountain ranges, gorgeous, fairy-tale like fjords, majestic glaciers and peaceful, tranquil forests and woodland, Norway is a destination that gets a lot of foot-fall from those who enjoy spending time around beautiful nature....

New to Kayaking? Here are some Tips to get you Started

by Hank Wilson - on Dec 14th 2015 - No Comments

It’s really no wonder kayaking is so popular nowadays. This intricate dance of maneuvers, strokes and balance between boat, paddle and person are quite extraordinary. It’s also a sport that can easily be done by anyone with a little core and arm strength and, most importantly, a love of water. Kayaking There are a lot of people trying out kayaking...

How to Prepare a Survival Kit for Backpacking

by Hank Wilson - on Dec 14th 2015 - No Comments

The backpacking season for many is probably over until the spring, but that probably won’t stop others from going out for weekend hikes regardless, or, at least, to start planning for next year’s incursions. Many of those who strike out next year may well be doing it for the first time, and for those fresh-faced explorers we’ve...

Short Break Ideas To Keep The Kids Happy This Summer

by Hank Wilson - on Jul 29th 2013 - No Comments

If there are any children in your family, then they are bound to be getting a little restless now that summer is here. No doubt you have begun to think about ways to keep them happy during the hot season. One of the best ways to go about this is by taking your family on a short break. A summer break will mean different things to different...

Up for a Climbing Trip? Take a Tip from Alain Robert

by Hank Wilson - on Jul 23rd 2013 - No Comments

Mountain climbing, although considered an extreme sport, became even more extreme when some very courageous people thought about pushing their limits and climb not only rocky peaks, but buildings and edifices in order to test their human endurance and feel the excitement of escalading a skyscraper usually without the help of any climbing...

4 Courageous Activities on Vacation

by Hank Wilson - on Jul 19th 2013 - No Comments

There is no logical explanation behind it, but whenever people are in a vacation, they seem to be a lot more courageous than they normally are. From trying exotic food to doing activities they are scared of back home, vacation seems to go hand in hand with building up courage. Hot air balloonmortimer? / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA So, here...

Best Places to Spend the Summer in Israel

by Hank Wilson - on Feb 14th 2013 - 1 Comment

Consider yourself warned – summer in Israel is hot, humid, and relentless. From June through September the weather is almost relentless in its ferocity. And although the temperature and humidity does vary slightly from north to south and east to west, with Jerusalem and its environs not experiencing the same humidity or sultry nights...

Ionian Flotilla with Seafarer

by Hank Wilson - on Dec 10th 2012 - No Comments
Seafarer Sailing

A flotilla sailing holiday in the Ionian has something for everyone and the area deserves its reputation as the number one flotilla sailing destination in the world. I sailed with Seafarer last summer on their south Ionian flotilla. The flotilla departed from Lefkas marina, where we were one of eight yachts. This we found enhanced our...

New Zealand Tours: An Island Country to Explore

by Hank Wilson - on Nov 23rd 2012 - No Comments

Known for its wildlife like the kiwi, a native bird, New Zealand is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean. The Maori are the native people of the land, and they play an extremely vital role in history as well as contemporary life. A land of diversity, the contrast is seen in the terrain and the plant and animal life. New Zealand...

Top 5 Fiji – 5 Reasons Fiji Makes a Once in a Lifetime Holiday

by Hank Wilson - on Nov 19th 2012 - No Comments

Fiji is famed all around the world for being an island paradise filled with sun, sea and sand. Comprised of more than 300 islands, the archipelago of Fiji attracts more than 500,000 visitors to its sunny shores each year, with more people choosing to enjoy holidays to Fiji with each passing year. This article will provide 5 reasons why...

Relax in style on the Thomson Spirit