Will you do the #Take12Trips Challenge?

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a while then you’ll have seen me mention the #Take12Trips Challenge at the start of each year. As it’s a 12 month challenge, January feels like the perfect time of year to begin!

#Take12Trips is a challenge to take a ‘trip’ once a month for an entire year.

A trip can be anything from a week-long holiday to one night away or even a day out somewhere new.

The #Take12Trips Challenge was started by the lovely Clare, the blogger behind Need Another Holiday. Clare is a busy lady with a full time job, a baby boy and a great blog. She began the challenge as a way to motivate herself to keep travelling and make the most out of each weekend and day off from work.

I think it’s such a great challenge to encourage us all to travel and explore more and always have something to look forward to.

For me, there is nothing more exciting than travelling. And a lot of that excitement is in the planning, booking and researching stage and you get to do that 12 times!

 

Is the Take 12 Trips Challenge for me?

Are you wondering whether or not to take the challenge? OK, here are some questions to help you make up your mind.

  • Do you ever wish you could travel more but these travel dreams never become a reality?
  • Do you ever have annual leave left at the end of the year and you end up using wasting it by not really do anything?
  • Do you ever read about a particular place or see it on TV and think, ‘I’d love to go there?’ but never actually do?
  • Or do you ever get fed up of doing the same thing each weekend?
  • Do you go into work on a Monday morning and feel like you didn’t have a break at all?
  • Do you want a bit more excitement in your life?
  • Is your job stressful or boring and you feel like you need a break to either relax, get back your work mojo or reassess what you’d really like to do?

Well this year is the year to do something about it and take up the challenge!

 

 

How to start the #Take12Trips Challenge

#TAKE12TRIPS challenge

#1. Begin by making a list of all the places you’d like to go

Go wild and list every place you’ve dreamt of visiting. But, realistically, you’re going to have to balance far-flung destinations with places near to home to accommodate for budget and days off work.

If you’re struggling to think of 12 places then take to Facebook and ask your friends and family for recommendations. Those who live close by might even be able to recommend some hidden gems not far from home.

This is a good time to sit down with your travel buddies, have a cuppa and start plotting!

 

 

#2. Set you budget for transport and accommodation

These are usually your two biggest expenses and the things you’ll need to pay for in advance. I usually set a budget for spending money closer to the time and just think about these two biggies to begin with.

You might set a budget for all 12 trips in total or allocate a certain amount for each month.

It’s really important to set a budget when you’re doing the 12 trips challenge. You don’t want to blow all your money in the first few months and find you can’t afford any more holidays.

 

 

#3. Look for deals and special offers

Yes, you’ve got your travel wish list but special offers might influence your decisions. Return flights to Paris for £30? You can’t say no to that! BOGOF on nights at a swanky spa hotel just 20 miles down the road? Don’t mind if I do.

January is a great time of year to search for flight deals, cheap accommodation and special offers. This is when lots of people are booking their holidays so there’s a lot of competition.

I generally go directly to the websites of companies such as Eurostar, EasyJet or specific hotel chains to see what offers they have. Sometimes you’ll find super cheap flights to destinations you’d never considered visiting so be open-minded and be prepared to do some serious research. TravelZoo and Groupon are also really good for getting cheap package offers – they’re just annoying for flooding your inbox with emails.

Travel hack tip: Be careful when it comes to special offers because a lot of the time it’s not a special offer at all. A flashy banner advertising a hotel room for £50 per night makes you think you’re getting a great deal but it probably wasn’t much more expensive prior to the sale. I’ve seen a few ‘dinner, bed and breakfast’ packages at hotels that say it’s a bargain price but you actually wouldn’t have spent that amount if you’d have paid for things separately.

 

 

#4. Narrow your wish list down to 12 places and allocate them a month

If you’re in the UK, you’ll probably find the places closest to home are best saved for the summer months when you’ll get the best weather.

If your budget is tight then travel in the off-season as flights, accommodation and activities will all be cheaper.

Grab a calendar and start plotting!

 

 

#5. Check your transport options and select your dates

Transport can often be a major factor in selecting dates, times and destinations. Thankfully, most websites let you see all the price options available a few days before or after the ones you’ve selected. If you’re taking a long weekend, it’s often cheaper to travel Saturday-Monday rather than Friday-Sunday.

Use a flight comparison website such as Skyscanner, Kayak, Momondo or Expedia to check your flight options. Google Flights is a good option and this will also suggest other dates that are cheaper. You’ll need to do this to check that there are suitable flight options and each destination will be within budget.

You usually don’t need to book your flights more than three months in advance to get the best fares but I always think it’s a good idea to book as early as you possibly can. Once your flights are booked there’s no turning back. If you leave it until the last minute to book then something will always come up and you won’t be able to go.

If you’re going to be driving, use the AA Mileage Calculator. It tells you how long it will take to reach your destination and also how much it will cost you in fuel. Handy! If you’re in the UK, it’s almost always cheaper to drive rather than get the train but you also need to think about timing and parking costs – particularly if you’re going to a major city like London.

 

 

#6. Search for hotels

I find the hotel search to be the hardest part of booking a holiday, there are just so many options!

A few things to ask yourself before booking your accommodation are:

  • Will I be spending much time my hotel? If yes, I’ll need somewhere nice. If no, a clean and comfortable room will do.
  • Is location important?
  • Do I need to be close to the airport or transport links?
  • Do I want a traditional hotel, an apart-hotel, a B&B, Airbnb, a hostel or even something different like camping, glamping or coachsurfing?
  • Will my accommodation be the reason for my holiday? This mostly applies to glamping, spas and countryside escapes.
  • Do I need parking?
  • How much do I want to spend?

This usually helps to narrow it down and make the search a little bit easier.

 

 

#7. Book the days off work

If you’re travelling over bank holidays then make sure you get in there early with your holiday requests!

 

 

#8. Start booking things!

Yey, the really exciting part begins!

 

 

#9. Start researching things to do

You’ve probably done a brief search for things to do when you decided to visit this place but now’s the time to start looking for restaurants and bars and sights beyond the main tourist attractions.

When it comes to research, my first port of call is always travel blogs. Blogs usually go into the details that magazines sweep over so it’s easier to book and replicate trips. I usually begin with overviews like ‘Top things to see and do in xxx’ before moving on to personal travel journals.

Another way to find things to do is to look at companies who offer tours, day trips or guides. I really like Get Your Guide for day trips or day tours. I often book a tour or two, especially on short breaks when I don’t have much time, but you can also just use the site for ideas on things to do.

 

#10. Create your own personal itinerary

List all the things you’d like to see and do and set yourself an itinerary. This doesn’t need to be a strict itinerary as though you’re following a tour but some things will need to be booked in advance or may not be open on certain days. I think it’s important to have a rough itinerary on shorter breaks to avoid wasting time. I’ve had far too many trips where a ‘quick stroll around town’ has turned into an entire day getting lost and not seeing anything at all.

 


 

Read more:

20 tips to find cheap flights

Top tips for solo travel

How to choose your travel destinations

How to save money to travel – an honest, realistic guide

10 unique holidays to try in 2019

How to save money on weekend breaks

 

This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated.

 

39 Comments
  1. Lucy 5 years ago
    Reply

    Love the 12 Trips Challenge! Watch out though it does get addictive – I’ve just finished my second year of it and on to my third for 2016. I usually work it so I have a few trips finalised early on then a few months where it’s a bit more last-minute so I have a few surprises along the way too!

  2. I have the same resolution!! So absolutely yes. I just posted about this on my blog. I’m definitely going to have to link to this post. 🙂 You’ve got more actionable steps that I absolutely LOVE!

  3. […] and you should too. She’s also got some awesome actionable steps to making this happen, so click on over there now if you want to join […]

  4. Jade 5 years ago
    Reply

    I love this challenge! Such a great idea and so easy to implement.

  5. Jessica Buck 5 years ago
    Reply

    What a great idea! I’d love to take on this challenge, one trip a month sounds amazing and breaks up the year so well! Lots of things to look forward to each month.. best get planning!

    • TheTravelHack 5 years ago
      Reply

      It’s having something to always look forward to that I like the best! Good luck!

  6. Great tips – I’ve decided to do the challenge again for the third year, as our biggest new travel challenge will come when my daughter starts school in September. One trip down but I need to get planning for the rest.

    • TheTravelHack 5 years ago
      Reply

      Oh yes, squeeze as much as you can in before she starts school!

  7. Chloe Pierre 5 years ago
    Reply

    I’m signing up to join you! I have to find something for January however I have got February sorted! so exciting! Chloe x

    http://www.chloepierre.com

  8. […] was intrigued by the #Take12Trips challenge, where you’re encouraged to #Take12Trips in 2016 (one per month).  What about you – […]

  9. […] 3. #Take12Trips – Think You Can Do It?  […]

  10. Kate 5 years ago
    Reply

    Oh I love this! I’m definitely going to try and take this on for 2016 🙂

  11. Sabs 5 years ago
    Reply

    This sounds like an interesting challenge! I think I will take part!

  12. Mary 5 years ago
    Reply

    This is my mantra for 2016. It’s hopefully going to be the antidote to 2015 which was a very difficult year #take12trips bring it on. So far have 7 booked only 5 more needed!!!

  13. […] international travel, I hope to explore more of Spain in the coming months. So, when I came across #Take12Trips Challenge and it seemed like the perfect […]

  14. […] committing to taking 12 trips this year (hopefully 1 per month!). I heard about the challenge from The Travel Hack, but it the original mastermind is Clare from Need Another […]

  15. Jenny R 5 years ago
    Reply

    I love this challenge. I’ve sent this on to my friends so I’ll hopefully have someone to travel with each month! Thanks for the inspo.

  16. […] whether you’re doing the 12 Trips Challenge or you’re thinking about a weekend weekend, here are 10 reasons why I think your next trip should […]

  17. Sascha Gill 4 years ago
    Reply

    This is such a good idea & seems like a fabulously inspiring way to keep travelling the world! xxx

  18. Micamyx|Senyorita 4 years ago
    Reply

    This is a nice idea! I am in the UK now and I would like to explore more areas as possible.

  19. […] first trip away is booked for a few weeks time! I’m aiming for a trip a month as part of the #Take12Trips challenge so I’ve still got some planning to […]

  20. Heather van der Ven 4 years ago
    Reply

    What a great idea! Already have one trip in the bag for the New Year! Hopefully I can keep this going 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. I’m on this again for 2017. So far 6 booked and looking for inspiration with a pre-schooler in tow. I discovered some brilliant places at WTM but many weren’t for a quick weekend hop or very practical with a 4yo! Just back from New Zealand which was an excellent choice with a child and so was Singapore. Roll on 2017’s #take12trips

  22. Why I'm Taking The 12 Trip Challenge - The Unlikely Bookworm 4 years ago
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    […] slice of heaven that I so love. And so, when I recently read about the 12 Trip Challenge, over on The Travel Hack, I decided to sign […]

  23. Vyki Sparkes 4 years ago
    Reply

    YES! I’m up for the #take12trips challenge! I’ve just had a year off blogging after starting the job of my dreams – also full time! But now I’ve found my feet they are getting a little itchy, so this sounds a great idea. We already have booked three holidays (Belgium, Sweden, Morocco) and five weekends away, but that still leaves five… looking forward to following everyone’s adventures.

  24. […] to set myself challenges instead. So, after reading about it on blogs such as On The Luce and The Travel Hack I decided to take on the 12 Trip Challenge. As the name suggests, the challenge involves taking a […]

  25. […] forward to and they mean we don’t need to wait months between holidays. Many of you are doing the #Take12Trips challenge and the best way to make this possible is with a few cheeky […]

  26. […] almost every weekend (yes, I told him he should be a travel blogger because he’s nailing the #Take12Trips challenge!) and he rarely spends a weekend at home. Everything is in their caravan ready and waiting so they […]

  27. […] you heard about the #Take12Trips Challenge? If you haven’t you can read all about #Take12Trips here but, basically, it’s a challenge to take 12 trips in a year – one for each […]

  28. […] in January I stumbled across a blog post on TheTravelHack challenging people to take 12 trips throughout the year – #Take12Trips. At this point I […]

  29. […] #Take12Trips is a challenge to take a ‘trip’ once a month for an entire year. […]

  30. […] in January I stumbled across a blog post on TheTravelHack challenging people to take 12 trips throughout the year – #Take12Trips. At this point I […]

  31. Julie 2 years ago
    Reply

    Absolutely love this challenge! I’ll have to see if I can make it work but because I have a big trip to Europe planned from late May to early July I’m not sure how much time and money I have left for traveling the rest of the year lol

  32. I love this challenge – but I’ve never managed to do it yet! I’ve been working abroad on and off since 2015 and hunkering down to save save save and then travel for a couple of months, and before that I owned a brick-and-mortar business that made it really hard to take any days off. Maybe it’ll be doable this year!

  33. […] I took in the last year (I haven’t realized till now that I actually succeed in taking the #Take12Trips challenge this year. […]

  34. jackryanwills 2 years ago
    Reply

    What an incredible thought! I’d love to go up against this test, one outing a month sounds astonishing and separates the year so well and It’s having something to dependably anticipate that I like the good.

  35. Ali Gray 2 years ago
    Reply

    I’m up for this Realized I’m leaving next week on 3rd trip when I read this Have April’s planned along with June & July’s. My mom who is 85 decided 4 years ago she was going on a trip every month. She manages to complete at least 11 each year. I want to grow up & Brie her ?

  36. […] ‘travel more’ but try making that resolution more specific and easier to achieve by doing the Take 12 Trips Challenge. It’s simply a challenge to take 12 trips in a year. They don’t have to be 12 big trips, they […]

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