It’s that time of year, the holiday hustle has passed, we’ve all started to slack on our New Year’s resolutions, and it seems like everyone has come down with something.
I’m feeling it too, it usually starts with an itch in the back of my throat, a slight twinge in my chest, an ache…wait, it feels more like a tug, or is it a yearning?
OH NO! I have SPRING FEVER!
Every year it comes on earlier than the last. Once the first seed catalogs show up I am doomed to daydream about Saturday farmer’s markets, bike rides and midnight Iowa thunderstorms. I’ve learned the best way to fend off spring fever is to plan a getaway, whether it’s a weekend road trip or a spring break vacation to a sunny shore, the planning will be just enough distraction to get me through until the snow melts.
Planning any trip can be a little overwhelming, but if you apply this easy outline to get started, (stolen from journalism 101), I promise you’ll be feeling better in no time. Watch out for side effects however; extreme elation, giddiness and childlike anticipation have been known to occur.
Grab a notebook and a pen and let’s get started…
The Five W’s and H of Travel Planning
Is your need to breathe immediate, like this weekend or can it wait a month or two?Some trips can take a year or more to plan but answering these first questions can be just the motivation needed to help your travel dreams take flight.
Is this a solo trip? A gal’s getaway? Or is the entire house filled with contagion and must evacuate?
Who you include on a trip can help answer many of the next questions. Do you need to include them on decisions? Do you want to surprise someone (this is tricky but it can be done!) Do they require any special considerations for travel (ie; children, seniors, pets).
What type of trip do you have in mind? From relaxing all-inclusive spas to extreme adventure, there is truly something for everyone. Some of the latest trends include voluntourism, philanthropic trips and achievement journeys (think Everest).
A cure for Spring Fever might be the reason today, but anytime you are planning an escape it’s good to think about why you are going. Is there an educational or spiritual need? Hoping to reconnect with family or friends? Need a time out from your responsibilities?
Answering the “Why” of your next trip can help make it more meaningful and keep you motivated to see it to the end if you hit a roadblock.
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on the list!”
This is probably my favorite question, but it can also be the most challenging, I suggest keeping a running list of places you want to visit. Then when you set out to plan you can refer to it. Some families have a goal to visit all 50 states before the kids go off to college, others enjoy the familiarity of a return destination annually.
Stumped? Travelandleisure.com makes it easy with this list of the 50 Best Places to Travel in 2018.
Now how do you make it all happen? Since we are just beginning this travel blogging journey together I have yet to share my budgeting tips on traveling without breaking the bank or borrowing from your retirement. There will be a full post on this in the future, but my first piece of advice?
Start a savings account now and contribute to it with every paycheck, automatically. It can be as little as $25 a check, but you have to start somewhere. Budget your travel like you do entertainment or dinners out, and the savings will add up quickly, even better skip a night out now and save those dollars for a future trip dinner. I found it especially helpful to title my savings “vacation funds” or with a specific destination. Then every time you check that balance you will be reminded of how close you are to the California beaches, an Alaskan Cruise or your Everest!
It has been proven that travel relieves stress, can cure depression and even mend a broken heart. I don’t know about you, but I am feeling less congested just thinking about the open road!
Until next time, be well!