Travel Tips

Tips for Better Travel in 2017: Set Goals

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With all the great deals to Europe coming up, more and more of my friends are deciding to start traveling and asking lots of questions about how they should get started. So I’ve decided to start posting some of the more common questions (and my answers) in case they’re useful to you as well.

And the most often question is “how can I do what you do?”

The first step is to set goals. It doesn’t just have to be about travel, it can be about experiences. Maybe you’ve always wanted to see the Rose Day Parade (my great uncle did, but never made it) or be a part of the running of the bulls in Spain.

Seeing the giant statues on Easter Island!

Seeing the giant statues on Easter Island!

Go ahead and start jotting down all the destinations you want to visit or the things you want to do. Then start prioritizing — which are the most important?

This list doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous and take advantage of a great deal, but it will help you focus your research as well as the miles and points that you might want to earn.

Because miles and points are the primary way I finance most of my adventures, and for most people, it should be part of your strategy too. Knowing where you most want to go will help determine which hotels and which airlines you should be building balances with.

Too often friends sign up for a great credit card bonus without a plan for spending the miles. Then when they go to book their dream trip, it turns out their mileage program has terrible redemption options or their hotel chain doesn’t have properties there.

Sunset over a private villa booked with points!

Sunset over a private villa booked with points!

Why else is setting a goal a good idea? In addition to needing a passport, you might also need immunizations or visas which can sometimes take weeks, even months to get approved.

The next part is fun! Once you’ve set your goals, do some research to figure out how to get there.

  • What are the best times of year to go?
  • Do you need a visa or other requirements in order to enter the country?
  • What hotel chains are there, or would you rather stay somewhere with a more local feel?
  • What airlines fly there and how much the plane tickets usually cost?
  • How much money do you think you’ll need in order to have a really enjoyable trip?

Figuring this out now serves two purposes. First, it should be fun! Sometimes thinking about your dream vacation(s) can be almost as much fun as going.

Secondly, now you’re prepared. You’ll know what a good deal looks like when it comes, and you will have more time to collect the necessary miles, points, and funds for a great time.

You may also be interested in How to Find the Best Flight Deals in 5 Minutes a Day

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

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