December 20, 2014

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!

6 Responses to How To Jumpstart Your Travel Planning

  1. Matthew Cheyne says:

    I must admit that in the past my method of planning could not be considered a method of planning at all. I would simply make a decision to go somewhere (Sydney in every case) and spontaneously book everything without thought as to saving as much money as possible.

    Nowadays though I’m a bit older and much wiser for it. I’ve been planning a grand trip to South America for a while now and I use a manilla folder and source my Spanish speaking friends and the internet for ideas and costs as to where I’d like to go.

    I think that if I have any advice at all that I could give it would to plan as much ahead as you can but do so in a way that allows you to be spontaneous when you get to your destination and not blow your budget. After all we go solo traveling to get away from the routine of everyday life. What is the point to over plan and thus get yourself stuck in another routine that you end up not liking?

    • Marsha says:

      Amen, Matthew. I’m a big fan of having a framework in place and then following your bliss when the moment strikes. So, this grand trip to South America…when do you hope to make it happen and where do you hope to go?

  2. Gray says:

    I think every year I choose a different method of planning. This year I went with #4. Boy, am I going to have to save my money!

  3. Throw a Dart! Having just become a dad in the last month I guess a few staycations will be on the cards for 2012. I like the idea of throwing a dart, however, will have to be a map of England on the wall!

    There is always next year!

    Love the blog, kind regards, Si

    • Marsha says:

      Hey, Si! Congrats on being a new dad! And hey….there’s nothing wrong with a staycation. Having a child makes you see things that are familiar through new eyes, so it will be like going on vacation all over again.