If so many of us want to travel more, why is it when the time comes to actually pack our bags and hit the road we find so many excuses not to go? The expense, jobs, pets, kids, the time it takes to plan…there are many reasons why we end up spending more time dreaming about travel than actually doing it. You don’t have to keep putting off those travel plans because of the day to day. There are people from all walks of life that make travel happen, budget travelers, families with small children, busy executives…you just need to make a decision about travel and plan ahead.
First, decide how important travel is to you. Are you willing to give up other events or even material possessions in order to make your travel dreams a reality? As we get older, we begin to realize that it is life’s experiences rather than tangible objects that bring true fulfillment. Travel gives us experiences that we will remember for a lifetime. Travel forces us to step outside our comfort zone and interact with different cultures. Travel offers us a first-hand education of the fascinating world we live in. Travel makes us more interesting people by giving us stories to share. With all that travel has to give back, why wouldn’t we want to make it a priority?
Travel takes lots of planning in order to do it right. Planning a vacation may seem daunting, but the more planning you do the more successful your travels will be, financially and personally. Planning far in advance gets you excited about your trip and gives you the time needed to research and customize your excursions and activities. Start by looking at a calendar for the entire upcoming year. Highlight national holidays, school vacation days, etc. to see how many long weekends you have. Perhaps they can be combined with accumulated vacation time for longer trips. Planning in advance will help you to maximize your vacation time. Request the time off from work as soon as you have your calendar planned.
Now that you have your dates, where do you want to go? Make a list of every possible place you have dreamed of and compare against your vacation slots on the calendar. Which destinations are better for long vacations (like international) and which are best for weekend getaways? Be sure to consider which if any destinations are seasonal and plan them for that time.
Begin researching and budget planning for each trip beginning with the soonest travel dates. This is where “the rubber meets the road” so to speak. When researching each destination and the activities you want to do, your budget will make be a huge decision maker. You may find out that you can’t do all the things you want to do or go to all the places you have on your calendar. Don’t let this stop you from traveling at all. If going to a few less places or doing less tours makes travel more feasible, then scale down. The idea of travel is to immerse yourself in your destination. Simply getting lost in a new city to free explore costs little to nothing and can be as rewarding as an expensive, planned excursion. Spend a few more days experiencing one destination rather than flying to an entirely new destination if this is what your budget allows for.
Once you have decided when, where and how much, start making reservations and putting down deposits. The trip is not solid until you make the financial commitment. For week-long trips, buy airfare and secure accommodations 6 months in advance of your scheduled departure date. For long weekend trips, do the same at least 3 months ahead of time. Spreading out travel expenses over a longer period of time lessens the financial burden and can even earn you early bird discounts.
Once you have decide to make travel a priority in your life and begin smart planning, you will start to see your travel dreams turn into reality!
If your passionate travel calendar includes a trip to the Yucatan, send us an email and let us help you plan a vacation to remember for a lifetime!