So you’re at home thinking of all the things you want to accomplish in 2020. Maybe it’s been on your mind the last couple of weeks but now it’s crunch time. Lose 10 pounds, eat more vegetables, drink more water, read 10 books—all great goals. But if you ask me, something is missing. Something fun. Something exciting. Not something that escapes your brain or finds itself crumpled up in the junk drawer by January 15. I’m talking about TRAVEL GOALS.
Don’t have Travel Goals?
Maybe you never travel. You don’t have time, your bank account never seems to have enough cash, you have a demanding job, this that and the other. You’ll get to it someday. Maybe you do travel, but really don’t see a need for “travel goals.” You decide where to go, book it and you’re done. Which brings me to why travel goals are important…
7 Reasons Why Travel Goals are Important:
1. They ADD to Your Life
Most goals are tough—giving up sweets, drinking less wine, losing weight. To be honest, a lot of goals are not that much fun. How about a goal that ADDS to your life (in the form of fun, experiences, connections and much more) instead of all your goals TAKING THINGS AWAY?
2. Hold You Accountable
Lose the oh, we’re thinking about going to Colorado this year. We’ll see if it works out. With a goal in place, you can break it into attainable chunks to make it happen. Save $25 a week, book a flight by June 1, research hotels in June and book by July 1. A plan of attack ensures you will follow through.
3. Help You Plan Ahead
Last-minute trips can be fun, but the lack of planning can come back to bite you. Travel goals allow you to save money over time instead of going into debt. They can even allow for more than one trip a year. Who says you can’t have a spring and fall goal? Or maybe even once a month?
4. Create Deeper Connections with Family/Friends
Extend your relationships past holidays and the occasional dinner. Traveling with your family and friends is a perfect way to bring you closer together and allow you to experience unforgettable times together. You will forever hold a connection with that person in a different place.
5. Introduce You to New Cultures, People and Experiences
Understanding that the world goes beyond your view and people don’t live exactly as you do is important. Your perspective changes, your thoughts change and you give yourself better knowledge as to what’s going on around you. Try new foods (possibly the top perk of travel!), learn what places and activities bring others joy, walk the same streets as locals do, the list goes on. There is SO MUCH to experience out there and it’s good for the soul.
6. Help You Achieve Other Goals
Maybe you have a hard time relaxing. Or you can never seem to accomplish your reading goal. Or you haven’t mastered the best way for you to save money. Traveling is the perfect stepping stone to additional goals in life.
7. Keep You Inspired
Once you plan, save, experience and accomplish a travel goal, you’re going to want to do it again. And again, and again. And the best part is: there are ALWAYS more places to visit.
Now you know why travel goals are important. But, there is a catch. For all of this to happen, you have to be intentional. Telling yourself I want to travel more is going to lead you to one place—nowhere. Goals need substance. They need details and a plan. Here is how to get there in 2020.
7-Step Action Plan for Travel Goal Setting
1. Figure Out What’s Holding You Back
Is it time? Money? Not having a travel buddy? Figure out the biggest thing standing in your way and start planning how you’re going to bust through it. If your issue is time, start with a quick 3-day getaway. If it’s money, read my Save to Travel series. Don’t have a companion? Take a solo trip. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
2. Decide on a Destination + Timing
Start making a list. Where have you always wanted to go? Write it down. From there, pick one realistic place and decide on a timeframe for your trip—keeping in mind that dates can, and probably will, shift, but only slightly.
Can you save a chunk of money in this timeframe? Is it a good time of year for your destination? Do you have the vacation time at work? Though this step can get tricky, it’s crucial. Hard deadlines are more effective and an “endpoint” to your goal will help you much more than saving/planning for a random date in the future.
3. Write Your Goal Down
If there is one thing I believe in, it’s the power of writing down your goals. By writing down your travel goals, you are allowing your intentions to seep into your subconscious, where they will live and flourish. Find a notebook or any place you can see your travel goal(s) every single day.
4. Who is Packing Their Bags with You?
If you are asking someone to come with you, the best approach is to give them as many details as possible, including an estimate on how much it will cost right up front (see next step). It’s harder to commit when you don’t have the details but if you give them a solid action-plan, it’s less intimidating to go all-in. And make sure to check out Tips for Traveling with Friends.
5. Draw Up a Quick Vacation Budget
This can be loose but figure out a well-rounded number to strive for. Search flights (Hopper is accurate) and lodging to get a general idea. From there, add $100 per day for spending.
6. Break Down Your Goal Into Smaller Chunks
Figure out how many weeks away your trip is and divide that by your budget to get a weekly savings goal. Determine dates you would like to purchase your flight by, have a hotel picked out by and any other details as far as what you will need (maybe a rental car) or want to do (a game, museum, etc.). Chipping away at each step of your trip will make it seem much more attainable.
7. Start Saving and Planning
The dirty work is (mostly) done and now the fun can begin. Research your destination, keep a note in your phone of what you find and would like to do, stick to your weekly savings plan and in no time, you’ll be ready to go on your trip and reach your goal! The biggest part from here on out is remaining accountable.
What Travel Goals will you be writing down in the New Year?
Below are (you guessed it) 7 examples to get you started:
- Travel to 3 new cities this year
- Go on a road trip to X with my best friend this summer
- Visit X city this fall
- Save $50 per week for my trip to X
- Take a family vacation to X
- Go to X for my anniversary
- Ditch cable and use the money to go to X in December 2020