If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say “I want to travel, maybe this year.” – I’d have enough money to go around the world! At this time each year, when people are reflecting on their lives and making new year resolutions, the desire to travel tends to pop up. As we know, keeping these new years resolutions becomes difficult as life goes on…and quickly they fade away. Since Josh and I are passionate believers in the power of travel and how it can enhance your life, we want YOU to achieve that resolution. So we have come up with some tips to help you keep your new years resolution to travel.
Don’t just say it, actually make it happen!
1. Write Down Your Travel Bucket List
Write down everything, even if it seems far fetched. Just having a list will make you more excited about the idea of it actually happening. Think over the list for a while, search out some articles to read for more ideas, and tweak your list. Be sure to keep your list in a journal or make a Travel Bucket List board and follow some inspiring travelers on Pinterest.
Also, don’t just keep a note in your phone or on your computer…actually WRITE it out on paper!
2. Figure Out How Much Time You Can Take
Everyone’s personal situation is a bit different. But whether you are in school or work full time, you typically have some kind of combination of personal and/or sick days, or vacation time that you could use for your travels.
Take a moment to figure out about how many days you could take for a trip. It doesn’t have to be a lengthly trip around the world, but try to make it more than a long weekend! How about a week?
Also, keep in mind that if you can combine some of your days off with a holiday and with weekends, that you may be able to get in more travel days for less time away from work. Most people think you need to have a lot of time off work to travel, but that’s not necessarily true.
3. Find Dates When You Can Commit to Travel
Look at your calendar for the year and rule out any time that you know you can not go on a trip. Perhaps you have work related events or family commitments. Then take a look at the remaining time and identify three to five different periods of time that would work for a vacation.
Regardless if the date is approaching fast, or 8 months away, mark the dates as possible options.
4. Estimate Your Budget
Now is a good time to check your finances. If you have a bit of savings that you can pull from, then that’s great! Set a dollar amount for how much you are willing to spend on a trip, at this point, it might be just an estimated range. It’s good to know your limits in advance before you start searching.
If you don’t have money already saved, then now is a great time to put a savings plan together! First, take a look at your monthly expenses versus your income. How much is left after your expenses & how much can you set aside for travel?
If there isn’t anything left, then you know that you need to prioritize your expenses & spending. I have found that having a separate bank account specifically for travel savings helps because your trip savings is not co-mingled with your daily living expenses or other emergency savings.
Related Post on Tips to Save Money for More Vacation
5. Review Your Bucket List & Prioritize Destinations
If you are like us, then your travel bucket list tends to get longer and longer! To help keep you from getting too overwhelmed when searching for a trip, prioritize your destinations. Depending on your budget & time off work, you may want to mark off the destination that is furthest away, or will be the most expensive.
Narrowing down your destinations will really help when it comes to searching online for your trip!
6. Start Searching! Dates, Destinations, and Budget
The great thing about the internet is that you can easily search any combination of dates, destinations, and budget. But, this can also make the process overwhelming (which is why you should narrow down your bucket list items).
Scour the internet to see what you can find. Are there any deals out there? Keep in mind seasonality; certain times of the year may be more expensive than others for particular destinations. Also, do some preliminary searching for basic transportation, accommodation, and activities that you want to do at these destinations. These need to be factored into your overall budget.
Be sure to keep track of what you find. As some of our readers know, I happen to love spreadsheets. So I usually create a spreadsheet to help keep track of my search results (destination, dates, prices, etc.). But feel free to use whatever works best for you!
7. Book it!
Once you find an option that fits within your budget, your calendar of available time off work, and your bucket list destinations…BOOK IT!
Don’t hesitate or think too long about it, that only causes stress and anxiety.
Yes, it may seem crazy…and you may feel a bit of buyers remorse just after you make the purchase, but those concerns will quickly fade away and you will be overcome with excitement! Honestly, have you ever heard someone say “I wish I hadn’t booked that trip to Italy?”
In fact, one of my favorite sayings is “travel is the one thing you buy that makes you richer.”
8. Start Counting Down
Once the trip is booked, you will be surprised how relieved you feel to finally be taking the first step to doing something that you always wanted to do. Taking the first step can be the most difficult part, but if you don’t make a point to do it, then you never will.
Life will get in the way (as it tends to do) and you will find yourself making the same new years resolution next year. If it is truly something that you want to do…then do it! You will be so happy that you did.
Please Share With Us!
We would love to hear what your travel plans are for the year. Please keep us posted in the comments below!