Setting Travel Goals

Many people have heard of a bucket list, and some even have travel destinations on their lists. Other people simply make a resolution to “travel more.” But how do you make those dreams and aspirations a reality to cross them off your list and stick to your resolve? Travel goals are the best place to start.

Goals are a target to move towards and resolutions are something you hope will happen. Resolutions also tend to be a bit fuzzier. You might have a resolution to lose weight (ambiguous) or have a goal to lose 10 lbs. by October (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely). The goal is more likely to be achieved because you have a target and timeline. Therefore, to get you to your travel goals, take the following steps:

Make a dream list of travel you would like to take over the next 5-10 years or over your lifespan. Don’t limit yourself on what you think is possible. This is the time to dream and dream big. What would you most want to see and do? Think there are no limits on time, money or energy. Keep the list.

Determine What You Want. What do you want to achieve with your travel in the next 12-18 months and beyond. Let’s face it, some trips will require a bit more financial and time planning. So those trips may need to be planned for further out. Some sample goals might be:
  •  Visit a new continent by the end of 2014.
  • Run with the bulls in Pamplona – July 2015.
  • Start a savings plan May 2014 to go to Antarctica November 2015.
Create a Plan. This step may require you to do a bit of research, and talking to a travel agent may help if you don’t want to spend all your time searching online sorting through tons of information. Figure out when is the best time to travel to your destination and if there are benefits or issues with travelling off peak season. Find out if there are immunizations, visa, or other requirements that may take time and need to be factored into the plan. Determine a rough estimate of how much the trip will cost and include a bit of room for incidentals that might not come to mind. If you don’t have the money immediately available, calculate a budget to figure out how much you’ll need to save to make this a reality.

Keep your goals and your plan where you can look at it often. Some people like to put images of the trip in handy locations as a reminder of the goal. Check in at least monthly to see if there is something you can do in the next month to move this forward. Consider telling your goals to a friend or family member. You are more likely to keep commitments you have shared with others than ones you are keeping to yourself.

With a little goal setting and planning, you can begin to make those old “travel more” resolutions a reality.