Yup, it is that time of year again. The time of year to reflect and say, “What the heck did I do this year? How did it fly by THIS fast? And ultimately… What are my New Year resolutions??” It’s that cliche beginning where we look to volunteer more, eat better, go to the gym, grow, find a new hobby, and for us travel lovers (and those travel say-ers), book our dream trips. Now none of the above are bad goals in one bit, but if you’re human, you know that it can be REALLY difficult to follow through with them all. We can go on about sticking to your goals but #1 We’re not a motivational speaker and #2 we’re not getting paid enough for this. Haha, kidding (not getting paid at all)😆 But wewant to help you and give you some tips about ringing in the new year with planning a trip and the experience on your trip, since this is a travel blog. (Along the way, you may find this can be applicable to anything in life!).
We touched base on this on our previous post of “Stop Talking and Do IT Already,” but I know some concrete steps can really help jump start that motivation.
1. Decide where you want to go! Everyone has their dream trip, so if you’re set on that place, go there! But we know not everyone has the spare change to do so. Explore your options and save the most money by sitting down, writing down your top 3 and then the longest part… going through your favorite travel sites to help decide what would be best. If you are flexible with when you want to go, you can save a bunch of money. Jayme personally likes using skyscanner.com. On skyscanner, you can filter the country and click “Cheapest month” or you can choose “Anywhere” as a destination and see where it is cheapest if you want to let the destination choose you (Jayme likes doing this!). This can take a while— usually 2-4 hours— if you want to explore your options, but trust us when you book it, which you better after spending that much time on the computer, the hardest part will be over! Now go buy a cork board/white board or poster and the excitement will be growing and the specifics are on their way!
2. Now that you know where you’re going, there’s no backing out! What I (Jayme) have found to give me inspiration and keep me accountable in completing any of my goals, is writing them down and visually seeing it. I wasn’t kidding about the cork board/ white board/ poster. Every book I have ever read from someone who has found success, is that writing down your goals and visually seeing it everyday, will push you to complete them. And it’s fun! Make a count down. Find pictures of the places you want to go to & write down the activities you want to do. Seeing the inspiration will remind you to book it before it’s too late. By having the trip be more than an idea, to have a visual reminder of what can be, you won’t forget. Ryan and I have found that some of the best things are not planned, but it helps to know some main points you want to hit. Just like not making your resolutions too general, having a few concrete plans helps to focus in.
3. Do your research. Know what you’re getting yourself into. Do you need to get a different currency of money? Are there cultural mannerisms you should be respecting as you visit another country? What’s the most affordable way to travel around the country? You’re practically entering a new world and even though we encourage exploration, also be smart because it can save you money from possible scams for tourist and trouble. It can also enable you to be aware of new cultures and gain an understanding of some of the things you will see and experience. You don’t want to head on your adventure completely ignorant. Take the time to learn a little about wherever you are going, these differences are the things that make our world so beautiful and interesting.
4. When most of the planning is set, make a list of the things you need to pack. And while you’re at it, cross off some of those things off. You’ll realize you don’t REALLY need that 4th pair of shoes. Let it go. Trust us, we have learned that we have almost always over packed and it is just a waste of space and extra weight you’re lugging around. Put your passport, money, phone, and underwear on the top of the list, and if you forget anything else, you should be able to buy it where you go. Don’t let packing stress you out. The most pleasant and fast airport experience would be with one simple light pack. You won’t regret it. A few travel hack recommendations if you get that packing list WAY low, bring a travel pillow and portable charger. These can save your life.
5. It’s the day of the trip and now all you have to do is be on time to the airport, stress less and be there early— get one of those travel credit cards ahead of time and you’ll have lounge privileges (uhm… yes to free food and drinks!). I’ve got to give a shout out to Ryan for always getting us to our destination on time (which means early for him).
6. Now that you have landed, you are prepared, efficiently packed, YOU are ready. If you have decided to travel alone, you know yourself and you know your research about being safe and the things you want to do. Embrace the new world and at the same time let the world embrace you with all it has to offer. Take pictures! But know that you can’t capture it all, sometimes you just have to just enjoy it with the naked eye. Unplug yourself and use downtime later on to share your pics with others—it can wait. Be open to people, try new things. If you came with an adventure partner, do the same! But there’s a little more to it when you come with another person. Everyone travels differently so know each other and talk about your travel habits early on (i.e. always being on the go, being more relaxed, early riser, etc.). You don’t have to have the same habits but it is useful to know. Be patient with one another and if something unplanned occurs like...getting incredibly lost as we have, I promise you, it’ll all work out. You WILL find yourself in an adventure. Alone or with someone, stay positive when your plans go wrong. Because, in the end, many of the best moments are those that are unexpected and spontaneous. Whether it’s that missed turn that leads you to a peak that no one has touched, getting lost and finding a hidden beach, or stumbling into a small village and finding the locals who make that dish TRULY authentic. For the ones traveling by themselves, you will most certainly discover more about yourself than you could possibly imagine. You will face fears, be forced to deal with discomfort, and most of all you will need to learn to overcome. For those traveling with your best friend, lover, or as a group, you will still have ample opportunity to grow. A challenging trip can bring you and your partner(s) remarkably close. The experience will truly create a bond that only you can understand.
Well those are the 6 tips!
In a nutshell 1. Decide your goal, 2. Fire up inspiration, 3. Prepare properly, 4. Know what you need and let the rest go, 5. Avoid stressful situations by being on time, and 6. Enjoy yourself, get Lost At Will, be open, do new things, stay positive, and embrace all that the world offers you.
Sounds a lot like how we should treat our other goals huh? So do yourself a favor, whether it’s traveling or sticking to another resolution, do those first 2 steps and prevail! It is amazing how attitude can help you overcome the obstacles that you are certain to run in to. Be kind and welcoming to those you meet, don’t be too hard on yourself when you screw up (you will screw up), and take everything with a grain of salt. Things seem to fall in place when you let it. If you have any more tips feel free to comment below!
Happy New Year to you all! 2019 is going to be magical✨