When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, many people never fail to include traveling on their lists. But, what happens after that? Does it remains as a simple resolution until next year without achieving it? Or, does it really becomes a cliche like losing weight? Is always part of your list but another year goes by and you were not able to make it true.
I am very conscious that there is people that needs a lot of planning when it comes to travel. The same way there are some that are just fine by not planning that much. If you are a great planner, this post can be really helpful.
I decided that this year I wanted to become some sort of “personal trainer” when it comes to traveling. I will list some of the steps that you should follow through this year in order to live the experience of a lifetime before the year ends.
The personal trainers always tell the people who is trying to lose weight that the most important step is to set a realistic goal. If you have a budget on which you will be saving $30 a week (starting from 0) you cannot really set a goal like visiting Australia or New Zealand in three months, the same way you cannot set a goal of losing 40 pounds in two months. To achieve this goal at this rhythm you will need a 100-weeks savings plan to get the money you need: basically two years. This is the reason why you should set your goals according to what you are willing to save.
However, I did not meant that you should not set a goal like visiting Australia, but that you should be aware of how long it will take you to finally travel there according to your savings. Of course that there are tricks to achieve destinations like these, but well, here I will tell you some steps to follow in order to go anywhere you want to go, like a diet or an exercise plan:
1. Set a realistic goal:
I previously explained this using the Australia example. You must consider this formula: The place you want to go vs. The time in which you are planning to travel (6 months from now, 9 months, etc) and what are you willing to save and how to do it. This is the reason why starting your saving plan in January gives you a lot of flexibility to play with the dates ahead. You may say right now “I want to go to Europe in July” or “I want to go to Thailand in December” and you have enough time to set a saving pattern in which you are saving properly to achieve that.
2. Trace the path to achieve your goal:
This step could be a little bit overwhelming. All of us definitely have debts and obligations. Having that clear the question is: how can I do to maximize my savings? Is there where you find tools like Airlines and Hotels Credit Cards with which you can accumulate miles and points that you could be able to redeem for your trip.
Once you are already familiar with your tools you can trace your path to your goal in a clearer way. It works the same when you are trying to lose weight. This is the moment you set your exercise routine and your diet, which are the path that you will follow to reach your goal of losing those 20 extra pounds. When it comes to travel, this step will help you understand better how much you should really save since you will be able to make a better research of your destination.
3. Work for it!
This is the moment when you finally hit the gym to burn those calories out. Do you know what you will find in your destination? What catches your attention? Would it worth it buying it with plenty time ahead? You have been saving for a few weeks, or maybe months. Maybe you are one of those that prefer going to a travel agency. I advice you that this is the moment when you should go so they will be able to guide your vacations the way you want. If you are a little more tech savvy or prefer better to look at travel magazines, blogs or guide that could be useful to discover everything, you should start your research on the destination to be prepared.
My experience is that to travel to Europe, as well to travel to Asia, buying tickets in advance is always positive. In the case of Europe, a gap of 4 to 2 months before traveling is a fair time to find good prices. When we talk about Asia or Russia, I would recommend 6 months in advanced to find cheap tickets. If on these point you have already a third part of the savings needed, the same way as if you have already lost 10 pounds, you should probably pay for your tickets and maybe make a hotel reservation. When you have finally done that, you’re already halfway there.
4. Keep focused on your goal:
Don’t believe that, since you already have your tickets and reservations booked, you should desist from saving. Remember, in your destination you will have a series of expenses (or won’t you bring that lovely Eiffel Tower keychain to your friends?) and that is the reason why it would be useful to keep your saving rhythm, always having as the goal your travel. Same thing happens when you have lost already a considerable amount of weight and you already believe you have found your comfort zone. You should not desist until you have reached your goal and you will need to mantain.
At the end when you really analyze it achieving your new year’s resolution, even though they seem to be apart from one another, require a series of event that are pretty similar. Get out and embark on achieving your traveling goal this year. Stop thinking that traveling (same way with losing weight for some other people) is something impossible to reach. Remember, I am willing to become your “personal trainer” to motivate you to keep on going with your traveling goals and I am just a tweet away.
I have some big adventures to save for this year and the idea of setting realistic expectations is SUCH a good one!
I agree with setting realistic goals….
Awesome post! I love that it’s trying to make travelling accessible to everybody, no matter how far that you want to go! I struggle so hard to focus on my goals, I get distracted so easily – I might have to print these out and stick them in my planner!
Brenda Gisselle Mejia
Now that I think about it, I guess that writing this was actually to remind myself what to do everytime I just start planning in my head visiting a new destination!
Thanks for replying!
The biggest thing about achieving your goal is setting them and working towards them, great post!
Great metaphor comparing the classic weight loss resolution to use travel junkies (:
I love this! What a great piece! I am always trying to get people to save…this is so realistic to do!
Alexa Williams Meisler
Love the title of personal travel trainer! So clever.
Claire and Rosemary
Love the analogy. True…most people need a ‘trainer’ to help them achieve their goals….even for travel. Very simple and realistic tips. Well done
Love this post! This is so great for people who want to travel, but know how to save for their trip!
great comparison. Saving is hard but if you want something bad enough I think people figure out a way.
Great analogy and you’re right, with the end game clearly defined, it’s easier to work backwards and figure out what the increments are to reach the goal.
Definitely time to make the plan for the next trip and work out how much I need to be saving! Right now I’m just hoping for a big tax return:)
Great reminder to set a goal and work towards it, not wait for it to come to you.
Thanks for this post!
I’m 27 and nowhere near done travelling, I just love it so much. But I also have to start thinking about my future and grown up stuff like mortgages. It’s hard to know what to do, but I really enjoyed reading your tips!
Admittedly, I never really set a traveling fund for my travel. Usually, when I got a bonus from my previous work, that’s when I travel, or if it’s just a weekend trip, I’d use some money from my most recent salary. I think though that your tips will really work well for those travel that needs a big amount of money, like say, I go to Japan or I plan to go to Europe. So I’d take note of your tips, because I really want to visit Japan but it’s an expensive country.
Saving money is one of the hardest I could do. Lol, but thanks to these tips. I’ve read other articles about saving for travel, but this doesn’t just get to me. I have to set goals, really.
Good tips on how to achieve travel as a goal. It really helps to break it down into steps like you have suggested so that you can figure out what barriers are holding you back.
You would never travel enough. Every year I would set my sights to travel one extensive trip.
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Thanks for sharing these lovely tips on how to achieve travel as a goal. Loved this post.