My response: “YOU CAN!” I understand that a person’s circumstances may provide a number of excuses and reasons that one cannot pack up and leave tomorrow, but you can make anything happen if you make it a priority. It’s possible to see places you’ve only read about or seen online. It’s possible to travel half way across the world just to taste the authentic version of your favorite food. It’s all possible and I’ve listed a few steps that will help you get started so you can get going.
1. Get your mind right.
You have mastered the art of telling yourself why you cannot travel. Now you have to reprogram and believe that travel is something that you can and will do. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what experience your friend had when they went to a totally different place 4 years ago. This is your experience. This is your life. Enjoy it. Live it!
2. Get inspired.
Look at places you want to go; ALL OF THEM. Watch the Travel Channel. Talk to someone. Go to Barnes and Noble and read a few books and travel magazines (good luck on finding a chair!). All of these will get you inspired to move forward with your travel plans. Write down every place that makes you think “I want to go there.” Who says you will only take one trip?!
3. Get together.
A huge hurdle many people encounter is that they don’t have anyone to travel with them…or so they believe. Let others know your aspirations. You might be surprised to find someone who was thinking about going to the same place or just traveling in general. Also, putting the energy out that you are planning a trip makes you more excited about your journey. If you are so inclined, travel alone. Take a meeting with yourself and set your own itinerary. It’s nice to share, but it’s also nice to do what you want to do.
4. Get your money right
PAY YOUR BILLS BEFORE YOU LEAVE. By covering your monthly expenses, you will know exactly what your finances look like before leaving town. Another side of getting organized is to budget accordingly for your travel expenses. Transportation and accommodations are usually the most expensive part of any vacation. Find a great place that you (and your travel companion) can afford. Search for flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when fares tend to be cheaper. If you are using any of your savings, figure out how you are going to pay yourself back and then do it. Before you depart, you need to know exactly how much you have to spend while away and also what funds are accessible should you need them.
5. Get planning.
You don’t have to have an itinerary detailing every minute, but you might want to do your research about whatever destination you have decided on. If you need a passport, get one. If you need a visa, get one of those too. If you aren’t sure, go to travel.state.gov and find out. The holy grail of travel information is Tripadvisor. Tripadvisor is the most reliable source of destination information with dated user feedback and pictures. Read reviews about the hotels, bed & breakfasts, activities and restaurants of pretty much any destination you can dream of.
You might be nervous about the unknown, but recognize it as nervous excitement and not a fear. You are about to embark on an adventure that you have been looking forward to going on for a long time. Your dream is about to come true. Now that’s something to get excited about.
7. Get packing
What are you going to need while away from home? The key word here is need. You will need an extra outfit. You will not need a ball gown or tuxedo. You will need toiletries. You will not need a new grooming kit with items you don’t even use at home. Think about what you will be doing and what attire you are comfortable wearing for long periods of time. Aim in that direction. Sidebar- try not to look like a tourist.