Have you grown tired of your usual vacation spots? Maybe you have a long-held vacation dream that always seemed too expensive, too far away or just too ambitious to achieve. Whether or not you know what you want, the tips below can help you plan the vacation of a lifetime.
Even if you’ve got a trip in mind, there are any ways to choose a destination and you should start by brainstorming. Look on social media and other websites for ideas. You may stumble on something you never knew existed. Make a big list without passing judgment. If what you want is a maximum three-week trip and you only have two weeks of annual vacation, put it on the list anyway. You can worry about obstacles later.
Start Saving Money
Unless you have a big pile of cash just waiting around to be spent, you will probably need to save up for your trip, like most people. Start saving now, even before you’ve decided where to go. This is a better option than putting it all on a credit card, as tempting as that may be. You don’t want to end up paying many times over what things would have cost thanks to a high interest rate.
To save up, try tracking your spending and identifying where you’re wasting money. Look at your expenses that seem fixed as well. Maybe you could adjust the thermostat and get a lower utilities bill. If you are paying off student loans, a student loan refinance could substantially lower your monthly expenses. You could then put whatever you save toward your dream trip.
Make Your Decision
Even if one place or idea is standing out as the clear front runner, be sure to ask yourself a few questions before choosing it. Are you trying to cram visiting too many cities into too few days, for example? Will you really enjoy a silent retreat and doing hours of yoga every day? Are you better suited to be an independent vacationer, or would you rather take a tour? Do you want to be active or lie on a beach all day? Don’t let anxiety about obstacles get in your way, such as worrying about whether you speak the language in a foreign country but do make sure you’re honest with yourself about what you’re planning and whether you’ll truly enjoy it.
Deal With Obstacles
This is where it’s time to figure out how to make it all happen, even if it seems impossible. Knowing what a travel must have to pack is a common obstacle but there are bigger issues to sort out before you pack your bags. If vacation time is a problem, can you negotiate a leave of absence without pay? If your family has no interest in your dream vacation, would you consider going on your own or with a friend and letting the spouse and kids fend for themselves for a couple of weeks?
If you have physical limitations, find out what kind of accommodations might be available for you. Keep in mind as well that you can always do a scaled-down version of the dream vacation if the big one is impossible. Maybe you can’t take months to hike the Appalachian Trail, for example, but you could spend a week each year walking one section of it.