10 tips to help you travel more in the new year & experience more wanderlust world adventures!
I’m pretty much your typical travel addicted millennial.
Any chance I get to travel I take it.
As the new year is upon us, Roger & I have been spending more & more time dreaming & discussing our travel plans for the next year.
The thing about traveling is that you can talk & talk about going somewhere & never actually get anywhere.
Roger & I talked & talked all year about where we were going in September, & we came down to the wire with booking everything.
Our biggest struggle was trying to decide on an exact location for our long weekend adventure.
We finally decided upon Ireland & had the most amazing vacation we have ever experienced together so far.
And while we haven’t booked anything for January yet, we already have February & May trips mostly planned/scheduled & are working on setting up a once in a lifetime experience for April.
We have a long weekend trip planned for March that I’m going to be booking in the next couple of weeks & June is when we typically partake in the Miller Florida Key’s trip.
Now that we’ve got half of next year planned up I thought I would help you by sharing some of my favorite tips to help you travel more year after year.
So if you have big dreams for next year & need some help turning your plans into reality I hope you enjoy these 10 easy travel tips as you plan your vacations right now & in the new year!
1. Make a Dream Travel List
The first thing you’ll want to do is to create a list of all of the places you want to travel in your life.
Call this your dream list.
And don’t be afraid to think big & small!
Roger & I have a growing travel bucket list on my phone of all of the places in the world we want to visit.
2. Set a Yearly Budget
Next, set a yearly budget of how much you plan to allocate to travel for the whole year.
This can be a budget based off of money you already have set aside or what you will set aside after each paycheck.
Try to always have the money ready before traveling so that you can relax & enjoy the trip rather than worrying how long or when you will be able to pay it off.
3. Plan your Travel Dates
Thirdly, look at your calendar & figure out exactly which dates are available for travel & go ahead & block them out (or ask for them off) for vacation.
A lot of Millennials & Gen-X’s are traveling more & more just on the weekends, like from Thursday to Sunday for shorter getaways & Wednesday to Monday for overseas trips.
So don’t be afraid to plan shorter trips if that is what is best for your work schedule.
Roger & I often visit Florida from a Thursday to Sunday, we’ve also vacationed in Cancun & gone to Ohio in as much time.
Our last Europian vacation (when we went to Ireland) was from a Wednesday night to a Monday afternoon.
4. Create a Realistic Travel List
Now that you have a budget for the year & exact dates in which you can travel, it’s time to look back at your dream list & narrow off any that are too far away or that you already know are way out of your budget.
But don’t throw away your dream list, keep it, & keep on dreaming!
5. Preliminary Research
The next step is to start researching the locations listed on your Realistic Travel List.
There are two main things you want to research at this point, the best time to travel to each location on your Realistic Travel List (in order to match them up with your travel dates) & the cost of travel during those times on your available (blocked out) travel dates.
Avoid looking at (or booking) travel/flight prices in the evening as flight prices are lower in the morning.
I’ve read that Sunday morning at 5:00 am is when you can score the best travel deals. I’ve never woken up that early to book a flight, but we usually book on a mid-week morning.
So say you have a few long weekends available in January, July, & September.
January would be a very cold time to visit Iceland but also a great time to see the whales in Maui. At the same time, it’s peak tourist season in Maui, so prices will naturally be higher. So you’ll have to decide if your budget allows for the high tourist season travel for each location on your Realistic Travel List.
July is basically peak season everywhere since everyone is off for summer vacation. In the past, we have usually minimalized our travel during July & early August simply because prices can become outrageous.
Another example is September. While this month usually marks the beginning of cooler temperatures in Europe it’s also when students are back in school & tourist season is waning. I love visiting Europe in the fall! If you don’t have a big budget but want to visit Maui, September & October maybe some of the best months to travel to Hawaii for budget purposes, but you should know the whales will be gone.
6. Mark Your Calendar
Once you know your travel dates, that fit in your budget, & correspond with your Realistic Travel List it’s time to go ahead & fill your calendar or scheduler with each trip you plan to take.
For example, my calendar currently has dates in January marked with skiing in the northeast, February with Disney World, March with Atlanta, and so on. We usually start marking our calendar with travel plans 6 months in advance.
7. Side Hustle Your Way to Extra Travel Money
If you don’t already have all of the money saved up for all of your trips or you know you are going to want to upgrade or buy souvenirs, now is a great time to start earning extra travel money.
I have a whole list with 50+ Creative Ways to Make Extra Money for Travel.
It’s never too soon to start earning & saving for your next trip.
Once you have the money (Again, I always recommend having the money in your account so that you don’t go into debt while traveling) & are ready to book, it’s time to do a second round of research.
This could be researching the best places to stay in your price range &/or near a certain landmark or in a central location.
Or you could be researching the best flight times.
You may even be researching travel excursions or day trips for your vacation.
This is basically the time to research the details of your trip so that you are ready for the next step.
9. Book Your Trip
Now that you have everything in order, flights, accommodations, car, excursions, maybe even meals (some nice restaurants need to be booked in advance in big cities during tourist season), it’s time to start using that credit card & booking your trip!
I know some people hate using credit cards, but through using credit cards we’ve been able to stay at an all-inclusive 5-star resort in Cancun for free! Just make sure to pay off your entire credit card balance before the statement due date in order avoid paying interest.
10. Start Packing
Now I don’t mean that you need to start packing months or weeks in advance, but rather you may want to start slowly getting everything you need for your trip(s).
Say you are planning a beach trip in the winter, you may need to start ordering swimsuits or coverups as they are hard/impossible to find up north in the winter.
Or you may need to update your passport or travel visa a few months before taking off.
You could even need to order some modest cover-ups if you are planning a trip to the Vatican in Rome or the Middle East.
I’ve found that it’s better to slowly get what you need when you see it on sale then to wait until the last minute & have to pay full retail price for something you are worried may not arrive on time.
Plus it’s always fun to start physically preparing for a fun trip you’ve been dreaming about on your bucket list!
I hope these tips help as you plan your trips this year & next!
Obviously, you don’t have to do it exactly like the list above, there is no right or wrong way to plan & book a trip, but I’ve found that these step-by-step travel planning tips can be very helpful in making a dream trip a reality!
If you use these tips to plan a dream vacation be sure to share a picture & tag @DomesticallyBlissful on Instagram so that we can all see your fun adventure!
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What is your favorite thing about planning a trip?
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With love, Giusti