5 Top Tips For Christians Travelling In 2022

This is a guest post from my friend, Peter Grier, author of Travel: in tandem with God’s Heart. I found Peter’s book very helpful, and asked him to share a few thoughts on how we can travel as Christians now that the world is opening up again:

The pandemic has been (largely) left behind and finally we’re free! Travel figures are back surging again as travel-hungry individuals, families and groups of friends seek to make up for lost time. Wanted to go somewhere for that big birthday? 2022 is your year to catch-up! Missed a honeymoon? 2022! Simply want to see family and friends again after years? Now’s your chance!

Partly due to the surge, and partly to make up for lost sales, travel in 2022 may not be the cheapest it’s ever been (car hire and competition around accommodation especially), but there’s plenty of bargains out there still, depending on what kind of travel you’re interested in and whether you’re flexible.

But what does it look like for a Jesus-follower to travel this year? Here’s 5 ideas which hopefully may be of use to us all:

1. Give thanks for travel!

Living in a country which had geographical lockdowns for over a year, means that any time I now travel, my heart gets more excited than it usually would! Knowing my heavenly Father was the one who made travel and in fact, implied travelling in one of his first ever commands “be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth” (Gen 1:28), is just a juicy taster for me to see Him on every city-break street corner, on every mountain trail I run, in my mundane commute to work each day, or in my niece’s first experience of the world outside her own doorstep. Whether you’re an avid solo backpacker, a once-a-year holiday-er, or someone bound to their home region through disability, travel can be a blessing if used well in light of who our travel-making God truly is. As we travel this year, let’s give thanks and enjoy it!

2. Remember your humanity

Remembering God is the creator is easy, right? We see Him all around us as we travel. But if you’re anything like me, I don’t like admitting the other side of that – I am simply part of His creation – a finite, frail human being, built to rest in my creator, and depend on deep community (Church!). That’s going to help us immensely as we learn to hold lightly to our bucket lists this year (James 4:13-17) and take great joy in investing our time and energy in local community with other Jesus-followers.

3. Connect with God’s global family

You don’t have to be on a mission team in order to reach out to local believers and see whether you can be an encouragement to them, and more likely than not, whether they can be a real blessing to you! You could simply turn up to a service in a small fellowship (regardless of language!), or look up Operation World or Joshua Project before you travel, so that you can pray for where you are. Why not read a Christian book or biography from that region as you travel? Or why not shape your travel plans round visiting your church’s mission partner so you can pray for them better in future, having experienced their setting? It can just be one afternoon and doesn’t have to take away from your rest, relaxation or main purpose for travel. Similarly you could invite along someone who might not have got as much chance to travel in the past – you can set expectations in advance for how much you want to do together.

4. Travel generously

Some countries still are closed because of Covid. Other attractions may be limited or services may be running with long queues. How will you react? Are these resources which you think you should have a right to? Do you pack your schedule so tightly that you get bitter if something doesn’t work out? Would you consider leaving 5% of your travel budget to bless local Christians (in sustainable ways) or to treat others? Are you willing to learn to see things from other culture’s point-of-view? Are you quicker to speak of the beauty of a culture, or what you think they are lacking? It can be radically difficult to travel generously in heart, mind and in wealth.

5. Enjoy developing a theology of travel!

You don’t need to be deep into academic books to love theology. Every believer is a theologian – we all think about God and base our lives on what we believe. Some of us just don’t get the most out of it! Why not watch this video below and see how developing a theology of travel, might enhance your travel experiences? As you do so, you’ll find our great Creator of Travel goes from simply being a pocket-sized-Jesus, which you take out when you have spare time on your travels, to having Jesus as involved, shaping, and intimately engaged in every part of your travels – from the planning to the days on the road and the hours reminiscing on the ‘gram!

For more ideas about how to engage with travel as a follower of Jesus, check out Peter’s book, Travel: in tandem with God’s Heart, or connect with him online at https://aljabr7.wordpress.com/. Peter recommends these resources as well:
The Christian Travel Network and theRIVER Communities
. Happy travelling!

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