Most travelers have a bucket list of places they want to see. If you’re like me, every time you check one off, you add two more. Your copy of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die is well-loved and dog-eared, with highlights throughout, marking all your previous fabulous travel experiences. There are so many amazing places and cultures that you want to visit, it takes a proactive plan to see and do as much as you can in one lifetime. If this describes you, you need a long range travel life plan. Here’s how you make one.
Why Do You Need a Long Range Travel Life Plan?
With a number of trips on your wish list, planning is paramount. You need to undertake some bucket list adventures, such as trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro while you are physically fit. If you put them off until your twilight years, you may miss the opportunity. Other trips like visiting the Amalfi Coast in high season or Caribbean resorts over the holidays should be planned at least a year in advance. Making a 10-year travel strategy helps you optimize your travel time and budget.
How to Create and Implement a Travel Life Plan
To create a realistic travel life plan and put it into action, it’s essential to establish a working relationship with a trusted travel advisor. Travel is very personal, so you must be comfortable communicating with each other, whether it’s by phone, email, Skype, text or just a chat over coffee. Your travel advisor should understand your travel styles and preferences, as well as the amount of time and money you expect to allow for travel.
If you are beginning a new relationship with a travel advisor, or if you already have a trusted advisor and want to start working on a long range travel life plan, start with a 20- to 30-minute discussion to set out some baseline information.
- Write down a list of your travel goals for the next ten years. You can rank them in order of preference, but remember, seasonality might change the order you actually complete them. This will be the foundation of your travel life plan.
- Identify where you’ve been in the past. What was one of your favorite trips and why did you love it? Was there ever a situation that didn’t work for you or a place you’d never return to? Understanding your likes and dislikes will help your advisor tailor the best trips for you in the future.
- Discuss your travel style. Do you like large luxury resorts or unique boutique hotels? Do you enjoy cruising or prefer land-based destinations? Are you an independent traveler or do you like to travel with an escorted group? Will you travel solo, as a couple or with extended family?
- Decide how often you expect to travel. How many trips per year do you like to take? Do you prefer one epic trip or multiple shorter getaways? Does vacation time limit your travel planning?
- Define your annual travel budget. This is the hardest topic to talk about, but be as honest as possible to create the best travel plan. Your advisor can fulfill your trip goals at many different price points, so don’t automatically think, “I’ll never be able to afford that.”
Benefits of Working with a Professional Travel Advisor
When you have a relationship with a well-traveled and well-connected travel advisor, they have a deep understanding of your own travel likes. He or she can propose interesting activities and destinations that you might have never considered. A professional travel advisor can upgrade your travel experience in ways you never even knew possible.
Your advisor can educate you on the logistics of travel. Maybe you always wanted to visit Dubai but assumed it would be too expensive, or Australia, but thought it was too far to go. Your travel consultant can recommend hotel options or stopovers that resolve those concerns.
Professional travel advisors are also on top of the latest travel trends, new services, and pricing promotions. They can tell you about a seasonal repositioning cruise that is the perfect fit for an Antarctica journey or special pricing on a new luxury hotel opening in Ireland.
By transforming your “I’d like to go there someday” list into a long-range travel life plan and establishing an ongoing relationship with a knowledgeable travel advisor, you have an actionable plan to accomplish all of your travel aspirations.
Contact our Covington Vacation Specialists to start today.