Among the sixty-plus percent of those who always or often make New Year’s resolutions each year, it’s estimated that some eighty-percent fail to ever acheive them. Travel is one of those resolutions that often falls to the wayside of life, along with weight loss, new career ambitions, and overall, the desire to find more happiness in one’s life.
If you don’t want this year to be like last, it’s imperitive to not just envision the dream, but to make a plan and employ a variety of tactics to ensure you stick to that plan.
Here are 5 great tips to help you stick to your New Year’s travel resolutions in 2017:
1. Plan for a real vacation on your vacation days.
Back when I was a working stiff, I always got at least two weeks vacation every year. Most states and provinces force employers to pay you for this time, regardless if you take it or if the nature of the business you’re working in can even allow it. Why use these days to lounge around the house and nary ever travel more than a hundred miles from your home?
Instead, plan your first, second, third, vacation around times when you’ll be off working. Either vacation days, or even long weekends — of which there are many in North America, Europe, Asia, etc. Mark the dates on the calendar and head the next snippet of advice to make sure you have the money to make it happen when the day arrives.
2. Immediately start putting money away specifically for traveling.
It doesn’t have to be much if your means are modest and your travel dreams don’t involve hanging out with playboys like Dan Bilzerian and company. Flights, accommodations, restaurants, entertainment, and more can seem like a budgetary nightmare. And they might be if you want to travel a lot this year. However, check out this cool vagabonding post on zero-cost travel. The people who’s stories are featured in those articles must have truly had the experience of a lifetime — one that can only be matched by their next adventure.
On average, for extended travel, you’ll need somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000 – 2000 a month to travel. Considering most of you will only want to travel for a couple of weeks at a time (not everyone is living the laptop-on-a-beach lifestyle), saving a few thousand this year in bits and pieces can offer up to three short vacations if you play your cards right.
Set up a bank account specifically for travel and figure out exactly how much of your total monthly cash you can live without. Get your bank to do automatic deposits from your main account into this one at a predermined time each month. Don’t touch this money until it comes time to book your first flight of the year!
3. Take advantage of overseas budget airlines.
There are several budget airlines around the world, most of them leaving North America and Europe on a daily, even hourly basis. Once you know where to go, you can take advantage of the mega deals they offer, you can pour through the airline’s sites and find the best deals on the location you want to head to. Make sure to have your cookies turned off when searching for airline deals, to ensure you’re always getting the best and most current deal available.
Hint: Norweigan Air will be offering flights from the U.S. to Europe for under $70 in the coming weeks and months).
Europe-based budget airlines, including Norwegian and WOW Air, frequently offer sales on flights to and from the U.S. for just a few hundred dollars round-trip. Norwegian Air is even planning for $69 flights from the U.S. to Europe in 2017.
4. Get on the airline’s list.
You can go directly to the airline’s and get on their mailing lists to be notified of deals departing to your country of choice. Google Flights is, in my opinion, the only tool you need to find out when prices are about to plummet or blow up like crazy. This HuffPost article offers some great tips on how to use the interface to maximum price advantage.
5. Commit to visiting your country of choice by learning their language.
Learning the language of the place where you want to go is a great way to solidify your goal, making the thought of ditching those plans wasteful — in both time and money. Take some classes or download the Duolingo app for your smartphone and start learning today. Doing this will also help the minutes pass by faster until your imminent departure.
Tell us where you’re going this year.
Where are you planning to travel in 2017?
Main Image Credit: Dmitry Ulopov/Flickr