Now that it’s 2017, you’ve resolved to do the one thing you’ve had your heart set on for years: Make the trip of your dreams finally happen. It’s time to prove to yourself that your dreams are not impossible and you deserve this.
You probably feel overwhelmed and lost, trying to decide what steps you’re supposed to take. You’ll feel limited by time, budget, circumstances and other resources. The key is to break up the planning process into smaller, and slower, pieces to give your dream trip every consideration it needs to be perfect for you:
Where Will Your Dreams Take You?
Get very specific. You say you will go, but choosing a destination will give you a definite goal to aim toward.
You may say you’re going to hike the Appalachian Trail, or travel to Japan. Get specific: What about visiting Mount Koya overnight, a famous Buddhist site in existence since 805 A.D. and important to the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage?
Be detailed about which part of your destination draws you, thrills you and pushes you to get there. This precision helps you save money and make travel choices, no matter how wild your dream is.
How Long Will You Be There?
Say you’re going to Mount Koya. In order to know the best places to stay and determine the costs of travel, you need to know how long you’ll be there.
Pick a specific time, such as five days. Certain locations may need a certain time frame you’re able to stay due to demand. Adjustments are always possible. Specifics help you plan the details and accomplish your travel goal.
Research the Costs for Your Travel Style
Your style of travel influences the costs of the trip, from where you stay to your transportation. Strive for balance, with luxury stays on the first night or last night to rest and recover. Go frugal on days you know you’ll be doing more sightseeing than sleeping in. Style preferences are important to cost research, at least a need to get a sound night’s sleep.
Keep it simple and live out of your backpack, researching the essentials for hikers. You can choose to live in style by staying in a hostel or Airbnb, and still book bigger spaces for less. Organic farmers need help on farms in many countries and offer work-trade options for lodgings, and couch surfing is an affordable option for those who only need a place to lay their heads. A big suggestion would be to save money and time by checking out free travel apps and websites that can help you solidify your adventures.
As for travel, do you prefer to fly, travel by plan, car or bus? Chances are you’ll be using multiple forms of travel to various destinations, and you need to consider the best road trip routes. Setting up alerts on travel scanner sites will get you the best deals without too much frustration doing endless searches. Research the area to see if you’ll need to take a short hike to a destination or need to plan for a cab versus public transportation between locations.
Finally, don’t discount travel agents, particularly if it’s a friend of a friend, because their networking sometimes lands very sweet travel deals.
Read About Others’ Experiences
You know you’ll be staying for five days in Mount Koya, which requires a little hike up the holy mountain. Time for better walking shoes!
Is that all you need to prepare for? Travel blogs are the best blessing to travel newbs with expert tips from real-life travelers. Reading someone’s personal account of a trip will give you an opportunity to consider what else you want to see and what details you missed. For example, if staying overnight on Mount Koya, you follow their strict regiment, with limited bath time. You may get a little chilly at times — So, turn on the heaters in the middle of the night.
Get Your Home Life Ready, and Start Saving
You’re motivated and have the specifics in mind! Great! Start getting your home life organized now before you travel, while saving here and there:
- Automate your bills and go paperless to stay updated and not miss payments.
- Tell your credit card companies you’re traveling, to not incur fraudulent charges.
- Take advantage of travel credit card deals for extra points toward air mileage and hotel stays.
- Switch to no-fee ATM cards, such as a bank in the Global ATM Alliance. This may help you avoid paying extra bank fees while overseas.
- Choose a minimalist lifestyle, and reducing stressors in your life, including getting rid of old junk you don’t want or need anymore. Sell it online or have a yard sale. Put this money toward your travels.
- Spoil yourself at home: Prepare your own meals and homemade bath products. This will also help you save toward your goal.
- Book your flight at least several weeks in advance to avoid not getting a ticket. If the ticket is refundable, you can also check for last-minute deals with your travel awards to book something better.
You’re all set to go! Stay motivated and keep reading about the travel experiences of others, to get inspirational tips for your dream trip plans.
Your travel dreams are far from impossible. Take it one step at a time. Breathe, and get excited, because you’re really doing this thing!
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Connect with Kacey on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.
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