In 2015, Nielsen, a consumer study company, listed the top ten New Year’s Resolutions based on a survey of over 500 individuals. Losing weight was the top of the list (sorry we can’t help you with that one). But travel was in the top ten (on that subject, we have some expert knowledge). So how do you resolve to travel? And how do you accomplish it? Traveling can be as simple as a weekend getaway out of town to a bed and breakfast or it can be as exotic as world cruise. There are a myriad of choices. Just Google “travel” and you’ll find that you get only 3 trillion hits (no kidding 3,000,000,000,000). So that narrows it down a bit…
With so many options out there, what are you to do about keeping your resolution? Here’s a list of 5 simple ways to make good on your goal of getting out there into the great big world and experiencing something new.
1. Plan Ahead
You don’t have to pay for it all now. Buying a trip all at once can be expensive. Would you pay for your car at once, or would you want to make payments? If you’re like me, you’ll probably want to make small, manageable payments. That way you can still pay for necessities like rent and food. When you work out a time frame a months or even a year or more in advance, you can often get the best price and best option for your trip. For example, let’s say you want to go to Alaska on a cruise. This is not a cheap trip. And if you really want to make it a memorable trip, you won’t want to skimp on the experiences. Most cruise companies release their Alaska itineraries 18 months in advance. Contact us and work out a plan to make payments on that trip in advance and you’ll set yourself up for that amazing experience you are craving.
2. Work with a travel agent (like me)
We are your advocate in your quest to keep this resolution. We can help you find the best experience that fits you. If you’re a late night partier who wants to experience the night life, we can help you find options that suit your desires (and budget). If that’s not your cup of tea, we can sort through the 3 trillion options available to you and find what you’re looking for. Travel agents spend hours and hours learning about all of the different destinations and operators and know which one will fit you based on what you describe as your “dream vacation.” I know what you’re thinking, “Are travel agents even out there anymore? Can’t I find that on the internet myself?” The answer to both of your questions is yes. Travel agents are useful in that they have the insider knowledge so you don’t have to sort through the litany of options out there and try to distinguish which one fits you. So while you might find what you’re looking for eventually, why waste your time? Travel agents also tend to be able offer you a better value for your hard-earned money. They work with the operators frequently and are always scouring there sources for the best promotions that will add the most value.
3. Invest in the accessories for your trip
I recently bought a new camera and found that I couldn’t wait to get out there and take amazing photos in any number of destinations. I found that buying the camera was a reminder to me that when I bought it I wanted to photograph scenes in exotic locales. While I’m not saying that you should rush out and buy an expensive camera per se, I am getting at taking on some activity or purchasing something that will remind you of your resolution to travel. That could be taking an Italian language class if you want to take a trip to Italy or perhaps joining a travel group of others who would like to travel more. Having some event or accessory around that reminds you of your desire to travel will only make the travel bug grow larger and you’ll be calling us in no time and asking for advice on the best way to see Papua New Guinea (I visited couple years ago… fantastic trip). Whether you’re learning a new language, meeting with like-minded individuals, or staring at the picture or accessory of your dream destination, you’ll remember that you wanted to travel and you’ll be on track.
4. Be open to new ideas
I mentioned above how I visited Papua New Guinea. I had no desire to go there before someone told me about what there was to see there. You may not know what you’d like to do yet, and that’s OK. If you’re willing to try new things, you’re already in the right mindset for traveling. After all, that’s likely why you want to travel, to try new things different from what’s around you. Maintain an open and honest dialogue with your travel agent and they can arrange something that will meet your vision. Don’t fear any organized tour if that is suggested to you by your travel agent. It might be just what you’ve always wanted and never knew it. And if that doesn’t seem to fit your vision, then provide feedback to your travel agent and they will find some other options for you.
5. Keep your momentum going
You’re finally going on your trip. Excellent! Now you can consider booking that next item on your bucket list while you’re on that trip. Often times you’ll get the best promotions while you are on your trip. For cruise passengers, they call it “book on board.” Basically, it is a way to incentivize you to reserve your next trip. You might not know where or when you want to go. That’s fine. Usually they will have a promotion that will allow you to put down a deposit on a future trip and you’ll get some additional perk applied to your trip for your loyalty. Your travel agent might have a promotion as well that would allow you to double dip in the perks. You might receive even more if you book a specific trip while on board. Your travel agent will (if they have a book on board program, we have one) also throw in some more on-board credit for booking on-board which means you would get to take advantage of both offers.
It’s that easy. Follow these five steps and you’ll be well on your way to keeping that resolution to travel more. You might even cross two resolutions off your list if you pick a trip that involves a lot of walking. No guarantees though because the food is generally, pretty good.
Interested in planning your next adventure? Contact us to get the expert service, knowledge and experience to help you have the best vacation experience ever.