It’s been 10 months since I got on a plane, and it may be another 10 month before I do. Covid has crushed the hearts of the wanderlust and discouraged the plans of hopeful travelers. But I believe right now, YEP RIGHT NOW, is the best time for you to start planning your dream adventure. The big dream! Island hopping in Bali, a group pilgrimage to France, trekking across the Alps, or walking the Camino – this IS the time to start planning it. Do not let Covid closing down the world today, steal your future travel dreams as well. Here are five reasons why you should get dreaming, planning, and preparing.
- Big dreams can take big budgets:
The largest barrier most people have to going on their big dream trip is money. Making an estimated budget for your trip, and working on a savings plan to get there within the next 18-24 months will make your dream trip a reality. 18 months before our family’s six week European adventure we made the following budget shifts to make sure we could do our trip without going into debt.
- Opened two credit cards with high point sign-on bonuses. We exclusively used these cards for six months. These points got us four free NYC – Zurich tickets. Saving approximately $5000.
- We found several budget items we gave up for a season. Our gym membership, Sunday lunches out, and cable TV all went for a season. This saved us about $400 a month! We put that money directly in our trip fund.
12 months x $400 = $4,800 savings!
Just those two steps put nearly $10,000 into our trip budget. You can learn more travel budget trips in
- Passports, Visa and Vaccines take time:
In our world of instant gratification we tend to underestimate the time it takes to put your official paperwork in place to travel abroad. Depending on your destination you may need a passport, a Visa, and special vaccines. Do your leg work now learn how long the process takes and the related expenses – then go ahead and get started. Getting a passport, visa and vaccines may take 9 months or more, so now is a great time to get a start.
- Great deals and great stays book WAY in advance.
Great AirBnB’s, unique hotel stays, and quality group travel all book way in advance. For example, Faire le Plein, my women’s group trip to France prebooks a year in advance. Now is a great time, especially that travel is off the minds of many, to research and book group tours, or dream hotel stays.
Booking 12- 24 months in advance can also open up some great early booking deals. The era of last minute travel deals is really a diminishing thing. Early birds most often get the best deals and have the most selection to choose from.
4. Use upcoming holidays and birthdays to get the essentials
If your family is planning a dream trip, there are probably things you may need for it. Suitcases, backpacks, packing cubes, airplane pillows, rainjackets, and hiking boots … these things all add up FAST. Create a trip focused gift wish list for each member of your family. Invite extended family members and grandparents to help you make your family travel dreams come true by purchasing from this list instead of getting you another ugly holiday sweater or toy your kids don’t need.
Before our 2019 European adventure, my parents gave our girls unique day tours I had selected to see the Colosseum, a river cruise on the Seine, and an art class with an artist in Paris. Talk about impactful gifts! Those gifts also saved us approximately $300 in our trip budget.
5. Take time to learn about your upcoming destinations.
Travel is most enjoyable, and impactful, when you know something about where you are going, and the customs of that culture. Headed to Europe – watch Rick Steve’s Europe. Headed to Costa Rica – learn some Spanish on Duolingo. Your local library is also a treasure trove of information. Check out stacks of books on your intended destination. Your research will help you fine tune your itinerary and prioritize what you really want to see.
During Covid many tour operators are offering virtual tours you can join from anywhere. One of our favorite companies is The Tour Guy. Join one of their virtual tours or cooking classes and bring a bit of your future adventure right to your own home.