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Tips to Make Your Travel Resolutions a Reality

Written by DanielaZavala. Posted in Blog, PracticalAdvice, Tips, Videos

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on January 15, 2014 with No Comments

Before a year begins, we start making all these new resolutions. From losing weight and learning a new language to getting a better job or finally taking that well deserved dream trip. But most of those resolutions never become a reality. The truth is that for something to become a reality you need three basic things: a doable plan, determination and stop making excuses.

Here are some tips to make your travel resolutions an actual adventure.

Tip #1: START SAVING MONEY

Open a saving account and call it your “Budget for travel.” Every month, take money from your paycheck and deposit it in this sacred account you CANNOT touch. Also, re-evaluate how you invest your money… if you want to buy a $US200 dress or a luxury car whose monthly fee leaves you very tight financially, or you are the kind of person who spends hundreds of dollars a month partying and drinking, well, start considering putting that money in that travel saving account. Remember, dresses go out of fashion, cars damage, drinks end up in the toilet… but the experiences you have and the memories that you create while traveling stay with you FOREVER!

Tip #2: BE REALISTIC AND SMART ABOUT THE DESTINATION

You don’t have to go to the ends of the world to have an extraordinary experience. Maybe your budget, or the time off you have from work, doesn’t allow you to take a long trip or travel overseas, but there is so much you can explore in your home state and your own country. Look for local discounts. Research for those extraordinary places and do something you have never tried before. Between my long trips, I always try to make the most of the national holidays and long weekends to escape out of town and do a short trip to travel overseas to a country two hours flight from Miami (mostly the Caribbean and Central America). It is cheap and totally doable.

Tip #3: MAKE PLANNING A PRIORITY

Nothing becomes a reality if you don’t have an action plan. This must be realistic and doable. I usually plan my trips six months ahead because it allows me to find the best deals, compare different quotes and get my airfare cheaper. Knowing ahead the estimate of how much your trip will cost will help you set up the minimum budget you need for that specific trip. Based on that information, you can re-adjust your monthly expenses to get to that amount you must save to make your dream trip come true.

Tip #4: HAVE A BUCKET LIST

I haven’t traveled to over 70 countries by chance. Since 1997, I have a list of places I really wanted to travel. Slowly but surely every year I have been going to every country I have dreamt of. I still have a list. Sometimes we go through phases in life that put our travel plans on hold (pregnancy, illness, unemployment, change of jobs, among others) and that happens to ALL of us (including passionate travelers like me) but that doesn’t mean you have to give up or forget your travel dreams. Use that time to plan ahead and research so when conditions are favorable, you don’t forget your priorities: make your dreams come true!

Tip #5: BE FLEXIBLE

If you don’t have much money but you have the time or a skill that can be useful abroad, then you should consider volunteering in Africa, Asia or South America (some organizations will cover your meals and accommodations, you just need a flight). If English is your first language, you may be able to get a paid job teaching English that allows you to live overseas for a few months while exploring that country. I have a friend who lived for free in Italy while working in a farm! He is an engineer with a Masters degree and knew nothing about farming, but that was one of the best experiences of his life, which to top things allowed him to learn deeply about a new culture and a new language. If you have the money but not the time, pick a place you really want to visit (you have to be very specific and focus on one thing) and get a travel agency to tailor a private trip that make the most of the time you have in that single place.

“Dreams have no deadlines,” said LL Cool J during an interview. Ok, I am aware he is not the Dalai Lama, but his wise words stay with me…

Don’t leave for later what you can do today… we all go through changes in life and you don’t know if “later” is actually a possibility. So, don’t make more excuses… start working on making your travel dreams come true NOW!

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