Is one of your resolutions for 2018 to travel more?
Mine too. In fact, it is every year – and it’s the one resolution I’m actually pretty amazing at sticking to! ?
(Just don’t ask me about running that 10k… that’s a whole other story!)
I don’t know what you’re like with new year goals, but something I’ve found that helps Brad and I actually tick things off each year is a mini planning sesh. Over coffee, of course!
So, if you’re going to make this your best year ever (and crush those travel goals for real) then, it’s time to get planning!
I’m going to walk you through the exact same process we go through each year to make sure our travel dreams become reality – sooner, rather than later.
And to help you out, I’ve created a super cute (and FREE) 2018 Travel Planner to help you follow along and get your amazing ideas out of your head and into the calendar!
Planning a year’s worth of travel upfront can seem a bit fanciful (yeah, I know.. we live in the ‘real world’), but pulling it all together will help you be smart about how you use your leave, when you travel – and, of course, start booking things in early to reap the rewards!
5 Steps to Crush Your Travel Goals in 2018
I find it’s easier to go deep and dream big when you’re outside your usual environment – so print out the planner and head down to your local, because we’re about to plan your best year ever!
1. Brainstorm what you want to tick off this year.
What would make this year amazing? No, not just good – AMAZING.
Is it spending three weeks in Italy, finally making it to see the Northern Lights, or just spending more fun weekends out of the house with your other half (yes, I mean away from Netflix)?
Sit down over a cup of coffee and let the ideas flow, and write down the ones that most excite you.
In your 2018 Travel Planner I’ve included space for both big and little adventures. It’s easy to focus on those giant, dreamy goals – but don’t forget to include some smaller things like weekends away or staycations. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re having a crappy week at work and really need something to look forward to.
How many you pick is completely up to you – yes, think of your budget, but dream big. I like to have one or two bigger things and a few smaller things.
Here’s what mine looks like… excuse the handwriting!
If you’re struggling to get clear on what your travel goals should be or what you should be aiming for, it might be worth heading over to read my post on how to design a focused travel bucket list for couples. It can definitely get a little tricky when there’s two people involved!
2. Identify best times to travel.
We all know annual leave doesn’t grow on trees, so now’s the time to get smart and list out ALL the opportunities you have to travel this year.
Paying attention to public holidays is a great way to stretch your annual leave just a little further. When travelling over a long weekend, 4 days leave can turn into a 9 day break – and there’s plenty of great things you can do in 9 days!
In your planner, write out all the public holidays in your country, as well as any special days (like your birthday!) and events (like weddings or work trips) you’ve already got in the diary.
I’m a visual person, so once I’ve got all this info together I like to start marking the dates in the year calendar and seeing what sticks out.
3. Map out your adventures.
Alright, now the fun begins!
Grab your highlighters and start matching your adventures up with suitable dates.
Start with the big idea that excited you the most – is there an opportunity to combine a few public holidays, or maybe a special occasion?
(Celebrating your birthday on vacation is always a good idea! Birthday week anyone!?)
Then, keep moving down the list until you’ve found a perfect date for all your adventures.
4. Reality check (not to be confused with dream crusher).
We want to remove any and all objections, because once you stick this on your fridge you ARE going to start ticking off these travel goals.
So before we move forward, just take a second to check you’ve not missed anything.
Are you planning a beach holiday in winter?
Will you be able to stretch yourself to save up enough money in time?
Be real, but promise me one thing – don’t sell yourself short! Don’t take this as an opportunity to quash your dreams. That’s not going to help anyone, especially not you!
Submit your leave requests, organise a dog sitter, start saving, stick your 2018 Travel Calendar on your fridge and get planning those adventures. Because you, my friend, are about to have an unforgettable year!
So… what next?
Planing party, anyone?
We did our 2018 plan a few weeks ago, and now I’m on to planning our big adventure for this year: a self drive trip around Zimbabwe and Zambia (the #1 thing on our bucket list!).
To help you guys do the same, I’m going to share some of my best planning tips over the next couple of months – everything from how to plan an itinerary and make all your bookings, to how to manage your budget.
If you don’t want to miss a thing, make sure you download your copy of the 2018 Travel Planner and I’ll keep you in the loop!