Are you in a place where you want so badly to travel the world, but you find it impossible to make it happen right now?
I know the feeling! It was like that for me for so many years, and even now, when I've decided to make this one of my main activities in life, there are periods when I just can't do it. The reasons can be many, but time and money seems to be the issue more often than not, and that can be really frustrating.
So what do I do in those periods?
Well, it's really very simple. I do mainly these 3 things:
1) I decide where and when I want to go next, and why
2) I try to find out as much as possible about the destination I've chosen
3) I plan my trip
Let me elaborate:
Action # 1) Deciding where to go
Picture by fotografierende from Pexels.
Like so many others, I have a bucket list of places in the world that I want to see, and very specific reasons why I want to see them, so it's only natural that they are the ones that first come to mind whenever I'm thinking about making another trip. However, the time and money at my disposal might not always match the time and money that are needed to go to any of those places. So because I really do want to travel, I often find myself choosing totally different destinations.
For example, I recieve frequent emails from one of the airlines that I've traveled with on a regular basis, with their latest offers, like reduced prices on certain flights to attractive destinations, and then I might decide to take them up on one of those offers. This will most likely be flights to the bigger cities in Europe. I live in Norway, so Europe is more easily accessed for me than any other continent, especially if the time I have at my disposal is limited.
Often there are also reduced hotel prices offered for the selected destinations, so a full "weekend package" doesn't have to be very expensive. If you travel with a carry-on only, you don't have to pay anything extra for your luggage, either. (Check out the guest post written by my daughter on How to pack light with a perfect travel wardrobe.)
Another thing that can spark my interest in a destination and have importance for my decision, is a notification from one of the Housesitting organisations that I'm a member of, like House Carers (you can sign up as a paying member or get a free memberships, so do yourself a favor and check it out anyways). If there's a house sitting opportunity available in a place that I'd like to visit, and at a time when I'm available, that's a very good reason for choosing that destination, for sure! That's actually how I ended up in Venice for a week in August 2018, which was a great experience.
Naturally, my choice of destination will also be affected by what time of the year it is. A winter in Norway can be a challenge in many ways and often feel like it's going to last forever, so going somewhere warm will definitly be something I consider at that time of year! For example, The Canary Islands are very popular with Norwegians during the winter, because they're easily accessible from where we live, but I myself haven't been there yet. Maybe that will be my next destination? Time will show...
Picture by Fabian Wiktor from Pexels.
Action # 2) Finding out as much as possible about the chosen destination
Perhaps you prefer to NOT plan ahead when you go to new places, because you just want to explore and be surprised...?
I get that. I like that, too! But I've found that it's actually a better chance of getting the most out of a trip if I at least make a few basic preparations. Not to take the excitement out of the trip, but for me, it's important to be both time- and cost effective. That's why I try to find out as much about a destination as possible before I go.
- What is there to see and do?
- Are there any activities that are unique to that place?
- What type of accommodation is available?
- Are there any good restaurants that serve local specialities?
- Are there any special events going on during the time I want to visit?
- Are there any activities I can do for free?
If not: What will it cost me to take part in the activitites available that
are of interest to me?
- Will it be easy to get around the place on foot, on a bike, by car ... or what
options are there?
- What's the weather like there at this time of the year? What will I need
to bring with me, and what can I do without?
And so on. You get the picture.
Doing research like that before you go, can save you a lot of time and money AND frustration. That doesn't mean you have to plan every hour of your trip in detail. Just make sure you have an idea of what to expect and what you can possibly do while you're there. Find out if your available budget is realistic so you can do the things you're most interested in doing while you're there. You don't want to spend a lot of money to go there and then find out that you have to pay extra for this and extra for that, and that all your money just goes down the drain before you've even started on your real adventure and what you really came there for. Right?
That's why I think you should always do SOME planning before you go on a trip. When you're in a period where you want to travel but you can't, doing some research about the place you want to go next, can be both inspiring and exciting. It will also help you get a realistic idea of how much money you'll need to save up for the trip in order to be able to do all the things that you want to do.
If you need tips on how you can save up money to travel more, I suggest you read the article I wrote about that earlier, called How to manage your money in 4 easy steps so you can travel more.
Action # 3) Planning the trip
Picture by Lum3n.com from Pexels.
There are few basic things you'll need to plan before you can make your trip come true. For example:
1) How will you get there, and what will it cost you?
Check out your preferred means of transportation and what it will cost you to get there at the preferred time. Are there any tickets available at all? Can you get reduced rates? Will you be going in your own car, or maybe rent a car? Will you need extra insurance? Especially if you're planning to travel by car, things like insurance and what it covers, is of vital importance. You don't want any surprises in that area, for sure...!
2) Where are you planning to stay?
Do you want to stay in a hotel, or do you prefer an Airbnb or a holiday apartment or -house? Will you need to book accommodation in advance, and will you have to pay for it up front or on arrival? Will you have to make a deposit? If so: How much will that be?
3) How much money will you need to save up to be able to make the trip, and how much pocket money would you prefer to have available?
4) How will you find the money for your trip?
5) What about travel insurance?
6) Are you on any regular medication? If so: Will you need to make special preparations or arrangments for you trip?
Bring your prescriptions and a list of what medicine you need, especially if you travel by air and need to go through any security check points.
These are only a few suggestions. But to make sure your next journey goes as smoothly as possible, I've created a complete packing list that you can get for FREE when you sign up for my newsletter. I suggest you do that NOW, in order to make it easy peasy for you to plan your next trip.
I also suggest that you go to your local library and borrow some guide books for your destination, as well as doing searches on the Internet. There's something special about holding that book in your hand and being able to sit down in a comfortable armchair in your home, maybe with a cup of tea, and study a nice book about your destination and get really inspired. But maybe that's just me. I simply love books!
Voilà! Your next trip might happen sooner than you think!
So this is what I do in periods when I can't travel. The result?
42 % bigger chance that my trip will happen sooner, rather than later!
And that's why you should follow the 3 action steps I've just told you about. Because when you set a goal and write it down, the probability that you'll actually see it happen, is so much more likely than if you just think about it and leave it at that. I've just written a blog post about goal setting on my lifestyle blog, La Vie Adorable, so I suggest you read more about it there.
When it comes to planning your trip, I just want to wind this up by saying that if you should ever decide that you want to visit Norway, and my county Møre og Romsdal in particular, you should check out my articles Visit Norway, part one: Molde and the Atlantic Road and Visit Norway, part two: The Rauma Valley and The Troll Path. You can read both articles in the June 2018 digital issue of The Passionate Globetrotter Magazine. These will be useful if you're planning a trip to that area. There's also plenty of more information to be found about it on my Resources page. So check that out, too, if Norway is something you're interested in!
I hope this blog post has been of value to you! I would love your feedback, so please feel free to leave a comment below. I would also be happy if you'd share this with someone else who might be interested in reading it.
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I'm Else Kosberg, author, life designer and passionate globetrotter. I want to share with you my travel tips & experiences and hope-fully inspire you to travel more and maybe also start exploring the roads less travelled.