Despite a lot of talk about traveling, the majority of Americans have become significantly less mobile in recent decades. Work, money, life… it all seems to conspire and get in the way of out-of-town getaways, both the planned and the spontaneous. But taking your dream trip and doing more with it is often easier than you think.
The first step to making your dream travels come true is to set deadlines and take action to meet them. After all, a dream without action is just a wish, but a dream with a deadline is an achievable goal. By saving as you go to meet financial milestones and thinking a bit more creatively, you too can pursue your dream trips and make them a reality.
Consider the following basic guidelines for travel success:
- Off-seasons don’t exist. Sure, certain regions are best known by season; Florida for the summer sun, Maine for autumn leaves and Colorado ski resorts for winter snowfall. However, all of these places can still offer you memorable experiences. For example, Colorado resorts now boast a myriad of summer and fall activities like downhill biking, hiking and arts festivals, with the advantage of reduced prices.
- Flip the map. Sometimes, to enjoy the most varied and best-priced trip, you need to think counterintuitively. Don’t fly west from Vegas to Malta for example. Instead, go east and add a layover in Istanbul by taking Turkish Airlines. Are you traveling from California to London? Traveling east might seem like the obvious choice, but consider heading west and flying a smaller airline such as Air New Zealand. Less direct flights on smaller airlines can save more money to spend on the rest of your vacation.
- Think about more than just a singular destination. With the above examples, by adding an extra stop, you inherently add a new vacation destination. While there is much to be said about spending more time in one locale, adding an additional stop to your itinerary allows you to do extra, see more of the world and knock additional places off your bucket list.
- Go with an alternative airport. Less utilized airports often offer better fares and service, with less traffic and waiting. For instance, instead of getting clogged up in the bustling Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, fly in and out of Dallas Love Field Airport. If you’re going to Los Angeles, Long Beach Airport and Burbank Bob Hope Airport are both similar distances from downtown LA as LAX, but offer a significantly better flying experience.
- Pack light. Honestly, have you ever met a traveler who brags about ‘packing heavier’ every year? No. The measure of a smart traveler is the lightness of their carry-ons. Packing light saves you money and stress. After all, the true dream trip is measured by the experiences you have, not what you drag there.