No matter how big or small your travel goals may be, how soon you want to achieve them or how distant in the future they may seem, the sooner you start your journey towards reaching these goals, the sooner they will become a reality.
In Episode 12 of our Travel Podcast, we will discuss 5 important steps which we believe can help to make your travel dreams a reality.
To help you remember these 5 steps, Lisa came up with the (very cheesy) acronym DR CPR (the doctor that breathes life into your travel dreams!):
Define your travel goal (this is your where, why, when and what);
Research (the realities of your goal, budget required, practicalities, timing etc);
Commit to an achievable deadline/date and have this visible to remind you of its importance to you;
Prioritise (your spending, time and energy) - perhaps start a travel fund;
Re-evaluate regularly to keep yourself on track or adjust your goals accordingly;
So, how should you go about setting these 5 steps towards achieving your travel goals into motion?
1 - DEFINE YOUR TRAVEL GOAL
Defining YOUR travel goal is a very important start to your journey and one that is often overlooked or not given sufficient attention. No matter what you are setting out to achieve in life, the first step is to define that goal. Without a proper and well thought out definition of your travel goal, it will be much more difficult to focus your efforts in the correct direction. Establishing a clearly defined travel goal allows you to concentrate your efforts in order to allow you to reach that travel goal effectively.
We don't all have the same travel goals. Some of us may want to travel to particular places, some may want to travel once a year and others may be working towards a life of full-time travel. This is the time to reflect and ask yourself the following questions:
Where do you want to travel? Is this a particular destination, country or region? Do you want to travel close to home or further abroad?
Why do you want to travel? Are you in search of something or trying to get away from something?
When do you want to travel? Do you have a particular deadline or date in mind? Do you want to travel for short periods or full-time?
What do you want to achieve/learn from travel? Are you looking for a specific experience, adventure or cultural change?
Defining your travel goal in detail by asking these questions, will make achieving your travel dreams so much more worthwhile and rewarding.
2 - RESEARCH
Research is a very important part of both defining and achieving your travel goals. It is important to first research the realities of your travel goals in order to (for example) establish whether your travel expectations and your travel budget align. Initial research can also shed light on many aspects such as practicalities of your travel goals and may also influence the timing of your travels.
You can refer to our Travel Budget Reports to see what we have spent in various places while travelling. Or you can visit our Country Specific Guides cost section for up-to-date daily cost estimates dependant on your particular travel style.
Your research may include finding destinations most suited to you, or finding the appropriate season to experience certain tourist attractions such as the blossoms in Japan or the midnight sun in Iceland. It may include finding out what VISA requirements are for your nationality or what health risks need to be considered for your chosen travel destination. The list of research topics can potentially be endless, so perhaps consider starting with the following:
Travel time and cost to reach your destination (consider time zones and modes of transport);
Travel budget with regards to accommodation, food and drink, local transportation and sightseeing or activities;
Travel and health insurance including possible health risks and travel advisories;
VISA or entry requirements with regards to both cost and allowable stay duration;
Language and culture;
Influence of connectivity and social media;
The flexibility of your travel dates or the event that you are wanting to attend.
We have always put a lot of effort into travel research. This has resulted in us creating a very powerful travel search tool, which we call Where-To-Travel-Next. It allows you to search and filter for the most suitable travel destination for YOU - based on a wide selection of filter criteria which you can customise according to your very own preference. Be sure to check it out and give us some feedback!
3 - COMMIT
Once you have done sufficient research and defined a travel goal that you are happy with, you need to set yourself an achievable deadline/date within which to achieve your travel goals. As with many other types of commitment, it can really help to have this visible to remind you of its importance to you and to help motivate you to stay focused on your travel goal and the deadline which you have set for yourself. This may mean marking your departure date (or other deadline) on a calendar or perhaps even actually purchasing that travel ticket. This form of commitment, to your self and sometimes even to others, is a critical step to transforming your dreams into reality.
Having a visible commitment allows you to have something tangible to work towards. Remember, there is no calendar with the date of "oneday"...