Ever feel like you get to the halfway point of the year and wonder where the time has gone? You are not alone. Rewind back to new year. You were full of anticipation for the year ahead, perhaps wondering what you were going to do with the next twelve months of your life. Perhaps you had plans. Maybe you knew a wedding was coming up or a baby was on the cards. Maybe you just set yourself some new year resolutions to lose weight, save money, travel more. Come back to the present day and ask yourself who you are doing with those? It isn’t about reminding you that perhaps you haven’t stuck to your resolutions, the halfway point in the year is a great time of reflection. A chance to see if we could take up those resolutions once more, make some changes, perhaps actually travel or save that money. Perhaps you may even want to make up some new resolutions for the next six months. Would travel be your focus for the rest of this year?
We all have some form of bucket list, don’t we? We have a list, maybe written or just in our heads of places we want to see and things we want to do. But, a lot of the time we see those destinations as something like a trip of a lifetime. Perhaps something you might do when you have retired from work and you have the time. However, there is nothing like the present and with the motivation of new year, why not make next year the year you take that trip of a lifetime. If you are feeling overwhelmed with what to do and how to go about it, I thought I would share with you with some of the tips to book it and most importantly, enjoy it.
Start planning early in order to get the best prices
Now that you are seriously considering the trip of a lifetime, December is the ideal time to start planning for it. The earlier you start to put the plans in place, the better it is for you. One thing to really consider about early planning is that potentially you can get the best price on things like flights and accommodation. Sometimes you have to pay for things like flights upfront, so bare in mind that you might need to forfeit a huge chunk of money straightaway. However, some booking agents will give you up until ten weeks before which could work out in your favour.
Work together with everyone attending
So knowing what you want to do is one thing, but are you really communicating with everyone involved? Whether it is just and your partner, or your whole family, are you really taking into account exactly what they would like to do as well as taking into account all of the things you would like? When it comes to a trip like this, you need to ensure that you are taking everyones opinions on board and communicate. The holiday itself is costing a bit, I am sure. So you all want to feel like you are getting your money’s worth. It will make for a better time away. Plus what you find is when you do ask other people involved and thy may suggest something you have dismissed, it gives you the chance to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. You never know, you may even end up loving it.
Don’t copy, make sure you do what you want to do
I know it can be hard, but you need to ensure that you make you own rules and reasonings behind this trip. Deciding to actually do it, saving for it to be paid off, takes time and effort, and so the last thing you want is to be doing things you don’t want to do. You only have to place a few words in a Google search to be presents with all sorts of potential itineraries. People who have just toured countries like Australia or the USA. People who have done around the world trips. They will have done things in an order they thought best at the time and most importantly, what they wanted to do. Get inspiration, but don’t feel the need to do things exactly if you perhaps don’t necessarily think you want to do it that way. Make you own way
Search hard for unique accommodation and money savers
Going on this trip may seem flamboyant enough as it is, and what you plan to cover and the places you are going to see can start to overwhelm you as it gets nearer to departure. However, there is another factor of the trip you need to think about. That is your accommodation. The internet is ideal for this, and if you spend enough time you can really hunt out money saving options, for example, websites like PropertyGuru Singapore or specific websites for places further afield like Australia. But you can also find some great little boutique hotels, smaller more individual settings, or even consider things like camping if you are conscious of the cost. However, you can also look at hotels in the center of cities, stick with brands you are aware of, or simply look online for the best rated.
The internet is full of great advice
There are so many ways you can find information out these days. You can search high and low to find great articles and blog posts. Even using social media platforms like Instagram and searching out the hashtags for the chosen destination you are going to will bring up people’s thoughts and opinions. They are great sources of information, and often these sorts of posts can highlight some of the hidden gems. The beach that isn’t touristified, the bar or restaurant that serves fabulous cocktails or food.
Don’t rely purely on a web search alone, talk to people
Having just dedicated a whole section to telling you about how great the internet is for information, make sure it isn’t your only source if information. It is really hard to not rely solely on the internet when it comes to things like this. All we have to do is search something and our answer appears in pages of websites that will be full of information. Blog posts and reviews. Articles with the top fifty whatever listed. While all of this is reasonable research and necessary, don’t rely fully on it. Speak to people, shout out on social media what you plan to do and take in friends and family opinions and recommendations as well. You may find that you get some great insider knowledge on certain areas, which could prove very useful.
Consider a travel agent
Depending on what type of trip you are going for, often it can be hard to piece all the legs of the journey together with the right flight times with accommodation to match. As well as all the trips and things you might want to do. Some of it could be done online, but you may also want to take you research itinerary and plans to a travel agent and have them book it with you. This could also give you the benefit of paying in instalments or nearer to the time, rather than having to pay out for everything all at once. Which brings me onto my next point
Have a budget, and plan to save for it
Something like this is going to cost, we know that. So it is essential for you to budget and save for it as best you can. Of course, once you have finalised what you want to do and how much the whole thing will cost, not disregarding the money you will need when you get there, then you can start to formulate a plan of saving. Maybe putting aside any work bonus you get each month. Setting up a seperate account that will have a direct debit in it perhaps? Just ensure that you do this with plenty of time for you to raise the necessary funds to pay for it.
Consider balancing adventure with relaxation
Finally, ensure the trip has a good balance of adventure with relaxation. Doing too much each day is only going to tire you out after some time, and then you won’t get to appreciate the other things you had planned fully. Create a balance of days where you can relax or just explore. Maybe booking separate things for every other day to keep things mixed up and to allow you to regain your energy. You don’t want to feel like you need another holiday as soon as you return.
So there you have it, my guide on how you can book that trip of a lifetime. So what are you waiting for? Use this half point in the year to go for it for the next six months. Whatever you choose to do with it.
This is a collaborative post.