Picture this. It’s the start of a new year and you’ve made travel goals for yourself but have no idea where to start. Have no fear! We’re here to help. Follow these tips to help you plan your travel for 2019:
Start planning early.
This goes without saying but it needs to be said! It never hurts to start thinking of the places you want to visit this year. I always start my year thinking about where I’d like to go because I think it’ll keep my travel wheels turning. Even if I don’t make it there, it’s still on my list of future vacation destinations.
Look at your calendar and plan your paid-time-off.
I’m a big believer in maximizing long weekends and holidays in order to make the most of your vacation. You can still work full-time and find the time to travel the world. There are 10 holidays recognized by the Federal Government (sometimes 11 if it’s an inauguration year) between January 1st and December 31st. That means there are 10 (sometimes 11) days that you potentially have off and can use to go on vacation. Use them wisely!
Identify festivals and events you want to go.
Have you always wanted to go to Essence Festival but it always seems to sneak up on you? Not this year! Pull out your calendar and google each event or festival you’re interested in attending. Keep them on your radar by setting up travel alerts on helpful travel sites like Kayak or Skyscanner. The alerts will not only remind you of places you want to go and when, but they’ll help you keep an eye on the price changes.
Open a travel savings account.
This was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I opened a checking and savings account with Charles Schwab because they don’t charge any withdrawal fees abroad. I’ve allotted money to automatically be withdrawn from my paycheck to go into this savings account. When the time comes for me to travel, not only have I already saved for my trip’s expenses, but I’m also able to access this money abroad without paying a fee. Genius!
Get a travel rewards credit card.
If you’re not using a travel credit card (and paying it off monthly), you’re not living right. My mother and I traveled to Paris completely free (in Economy Comfort, by the way) because of my American Express points. If you’re wondering how I did it, become a believer and read more about that here.
Follow travel hacking sites on social media.
You must, must, must do this and have your friends do it too! This is the best way to find places to travel cheaply and will allow you to see more of the world.
Stop making excuses.
There’s no time like the present. Travel is a privilege but it’s one you can take advantage of with proper research and planning. Use these tips and get to it!