How To Jumpstart Your Travel Planning
I started this year with no idea how my travel plans were going to go. I was suffering from a serious case of the wanderlusts but I had no idea where to begin.
Last year, at just around this time, I found myself in precisely the same predicament: stuck and needing an external force to knock me loose and move me forward. With the whole year open and full of possibilities, indecision had set in. Where should I go? When should I travel? Questions arose one after the other until my mind was a jumble of choices I had to make. However, a fortunate series of events came together to clear my mind, focus my thoughts, and open the floodgates of inspiration. Now, I’m unstuck and excited and giddy to the point of feeling sick with anticipation for my travel plans later this year. I can’t wait to share my plans with you once I have more details to share.
Are you feeling stuck? Here are a few ideas to jumpstart your travel planning:
1. Enlist the aid of friends and family
Sometimes, just talking about what you want and the kinds of experiences you’re looking for when you travel can help you get excited and out of your travel rut. Hopefully, you’ve got a friend or two who shares your passion for travel and even if you’re not yet planning travel for yourself, helping other people talk through their own travel plans can inspire you.
2. Create a realistic budget
What kinds of financial resources might you need for upcoming adventures? Taking a realistic look at how much money you have saved for travel and how much you’d need to save can sometimes have the interesting side effect of helping you to realize exactly what’s important to you. And once you’ve identified what’s important, it’s that much easier to begin moving toward it.
3. Consult the calendar
As a general rule, I don’t venture too long or too far between the months of January and May because it’s such a busy time at work. The last thing I want is to worry about things at work that aren’t getting done while I’m away. Knowing when a good time to travel can be in terms of your work/school/family schedule help you narrow down exactly where to go.
4. Plan a dream trip
Forget time away from work and budgets and such. Where would you go if you had all the time in the world and the means to get there? Plan that trip because let’s face it: half of the fun of travel is the planning part. Let it inspire you and get your creative juices flowing. It may just get your travel mojo working again to plan another more realistic trip or, just maybe, it may give you ideas to make your dream trip a reality.
5. Be more social
Social media is a great way to inspire your travels. If you’re on Twitter, try following the #travel or #ttot hashtags, use sites like Technorati to locate some travel blogs, or my new favorite, use the new-ish social media platform Pinterest to find lots of lush visuals to set your imagination in motion.
6. Throw a dart
If you’re feeling really adventurous, the ol’ throw-a-dart-at-a-world-map-and-travel-to-wherever-the-dart-lands is a method that works for some people. I’m way too chicken to try it, though.
How do you begin your travel planning process? Know where your next adventures will take you? Would love to hear your planning tips and travel plans!