Travel can be a time and resource intensive activity. There are many things that can go wrong, and often do, but careful planning, prioritizing and goal setting can reduce the number and severity of most problems that may creep into your travel experiences. Learning how to set and prioritize your travel goals will take you a long way towards creating travel plans that will fit into your life and are more likely to bring you wonderful memories.
Treat Travel and Vacations Like Any Other Goal Driven Area of Your Life
Travel and vacations can be a major financial expenditure in anyone’s life, and should be treated as such. Therefore, goals should be set before you plan your travel. Details such as how many coutries you want to visit, the number of cities do you want to visit, which tourist attractions you would like to experience, how do you plan to travel, and in what style do you plan to travel, should be asked before making your travel plans. Typically, the longer your vacation and the more places you choose to travel to, the more important it is to set your travel goals.
How Do You Create Your Travel Plans and Goals?
If you plan on making your travel goals successful, they must be specific and measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and have a fixed time span.
A specific and measurable travel goal would include the destination, method of travel, what you plan to do, and who you plan to go with. The more specific you can get with the travel planning details, the better you can successfully plan a budget for your trip. An example of making specific plans would be:
“I will travel within my budget, with my girlfriend to New Zealand for a bike touring vacation lasting two weeks within the next six months.”
To make your goal action oriented, it should contain the verb of your choice of action. In the previous example the “I will travel within my budget” implies action, states intent, and indicates the type of preparation and planning required to carry out the task.
Your travel goal should also be realistic. When stating the goal, the two most important questions include, “Do I have the time and the money?” For many people, finding the money to travel, is easier than finding the time to travel. In our time-starved society today, it is a rare occasion that most people can afford to take the time off to take an extended vacation longer than 2 weeks. Other obstacles that can pose a challange include physical stamina, knowledge of the language and customs, and social/political unrest. If you have a bad heart, and don’t know any of the native languages in Afghanistan, it may not realistic to plan a winter trek through the eastern mountains of Afghanistan.
The last part of your travel goals is that they should also be time constrained. Most people may say, “I want to go to Japan some day.” However, it isn’t enough of a motivating factor to complete your goals. You should say “I will go to Japan by October of next year.”
Now You Should Prioritize Your Travel Goals
Once you have created clear goals for your vacation, it’s time to prioritize them. This process is purely personal and based upon your own life situation. You can prioritize your goals based on time, by taking shorter trips now, and longer trips when your job situation changes, or taking more expensive trips now and less expensive trips later. You may prioritize your goals based upon your current and future health, where you take your trekking trips when you are physically in shape, and take your energy isn’t as high.
Of course your life may take a turn in a completely different direction than expected, and in that case, you may need to adjust your goals. Even for huge life changing events, going through this process will give you a better chance at succeeding in your travel plans. Once you have taken the time to make them and write them down and make them clear, you can focus your time and energy into making them happen.
Careful planning and goal setting creates better focus so you know how to make your travel plans happen. Once you have set your goals and made your plans, you can begin to look for resources that will help you with your travel budget. Look online for prices, destination information, and other types of information that will help you reach your vacation goals.
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