You’ve probably seen the envy-inducing photos by now: Taylor Swift and her boyfriend, Calvin Harris, celebrated their one-year anniversary by jetting off to a private island – and they let everyone know about it on Instagram. There was the palm-lined snap of Tay-Tay posing in crystal clear water, and another of her DJ beau standing on a white sand beach with a jet ski in the background. A continued montage showed handwritten initials in the sand and a sweet kiss on the shore. As we all collectively double-tapped and sighed, thinking that such perfection is solely reserved for these A-list lovebirds, we all forgot one little detail: Vacations can be had by all. And more importantly, travel should be on everyone’s to-do list. You may not be performing in stadiums or gracing magazine covers, but with these tips, you can get away – and share the experience – like Calvin and Taylor.
1. For Starters, Make Travel a Priority
OK, so a private jet may be out of reach. But finding yourself in a foreign place – even if it’s a nearby city you’ve never visited – is not. If you haven’t taken time off in a long while, or you’ve never placed a stamp in your passport, then perhaps you need to reframe your idea of travel. It can be a study abroad semester or a volunteer program, the use of paid vacation days or a weekend away. “Blame” may be a Harris hit, but it’s also what you shouldn’t do to others if you never set out to explore for yourself.
2. Know What You’re Working With
Whether you’re planning on taking off for a weekend, a couple of weeks or a whole year, you need to have a certain budget in mind. Plan ahead by reading up on locales and places to stay, and then crunch those numbers to target the amount of cash you’re able to swing. You may not have a 1989-padded bank account, but shake that off. Any trip is better than none.
3. Pack Your Patience if You’re Going With a Significant Other
While Taylor and Calvin showed the blissful moments of traveling with your S.O., it’s not always pretty – there are airport lines to stand in and gas tanks to fill, hotels to find and activities to schedule – and it all can be a lot to handle with grace. Make sure you keep arguing at bay by tackling those obstacles together. And, you know, bring snacks just in case emotions run high.
4. Curate a Wardrobe That Has Instagram in Mind
Yes, travel is personal. It makes you self-sufficient and curious, and it boosts your confidence and flexibility. But, as Swifty knows all too well, a getaway is also the perfect opportunity to show off your #ootd. Plan your looks according to your destination, and sit back as your followers respond.
5. Take the Red-Eye, But Leave the Red Spots
A vacation can be great for your mood, but it isn’t as kind to your skin. Keep blemishes and other maladies from killing your buzz – ahem, sunburns – by abiding by this regimen. Your itinerary should be marked with checks by the time you return home. But your face should be a clean, bright, blank space.