They say half the fun of traveling is planning where youâ€™ll go next and what youâ€™ll do there, and I agree. Planning my upcoming summer trip to Lithuania and my first Round-the-World trip later this year has been really exciting.
I love to think about, plan and talk about future travel adventures and have found that having a specific goal in mind (with a timeline, activity goals, etcâ€¦) will ensure that your travel dreams become realized.
Hereâ€™s what you should consider when you start your planning and research:
1.)Â Time constraints â€“ When can you go? For how long?
3.)Â Type of vacation â€“ Adrenaline pumping? Laying on a beach drinking tropical drinks? Locked in the hotel with your smokinâ€™ hot girlfriend(or boyfriend)?Â Or some combination?
4.)Â Your budget â€“ Are you splashing out for a once in a lifetime trip or are you trying to minimize the damage to your pocketbook? Of course, there are ways to save money on almost any kind of trip.
5.)Â Cheaper alternatives â€“ Prague instead of Paris, Thailand instead of Hawaii, Argentina instead of Spain. Can you go at a less expensive time of year? For example, Spring or Fall in Europe is much cheaper than Summer. Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune: The Contrarian Traveler’s Guide to Getting More for Less is a great book filled with tips and strategies for maximizing your travel dollars. I highly recommend it.
6.)Â Gear and clothing â€“ What will you need? Can you buy/rent/borrow what you need at your destination or will you need to purchase it in advance and pack it?
7.)Â Award tickets â€“ How many miles will it take for you to get an award ticket to your destination and do you have enough time to earn them?
These questions are doubly important to ask if you are traveling with someone else. Your ideas and assumptions of what makes a great vacation may be very different from your partnerâ€™s and it’s best to discuss this stuff before you get to paradise or it wonâ€™t seem like paradise for long!
As with any goal, being specific and having a timeline makes things happen.
Saying you want to go to Paris someday is unlikely to get you there because daily life will conspire to get in the way. Planning to take a one week cooking course in Paris next Fall and knowing it will cost x# of dollars for the class plus hotels and food and x# of miles for an award ticket allows you to know exactly what you have to do to make your dream into a real life adventure.
If your biggest hurdle is thinking of what kind of trip to take, then some of these ideas may inspire you.
- When it comes to Travel, Are You More Adventurous or Spontaneous?
- Choosing the Right Frequent Flyer Program: Beginner’s Guide to Travel (Part 3)
- Looking Back on 2010 and Gearing Up for 2011
- Why I Travel
- Frequent Flyer Programs : The Beginnerâ€™s Guide to Travel (Part 1)