Goal Setting

Planning on Traveling? Set your Goals!

So, you want to travel? That’s great! You already took the first step in the process, and that was deciding whether you wanted to take that leap of faith and travel. It is such a lovely feeling when you’ve decided that you want to travel, and I hope you remember this feeling every time you want to travel or you encounter an obstacle.

I remember when I first wanted to travel to London. I remember how amazing it felt knowing that I had this ambition within me to travel beyond the borders of the USA! It took many years, but I finally learned how to set goals for myself and I gave myself time to achieve those goals. It was a process learning how to set goals and just understanding why I needed to set goals for myself.

Why It’s Important To Set Goals

What are goals exactly? Dictionary.com states that a goal is “the result or achievement toward which effort is directed”. In other words, a goal is something that you have to put effort into and work towards in order to see an achievement or end result.

But why is it important to set goals? Because just like setting goals for anything else, setting your travel goals helps you to:

. Set expectations

. Keep yourself motivated towards your goal

. Outline your plan of action to make your dreams a reality

Like I’ve said, I’ve been down that path where I struggled with setting goals for myself. In reality, I know it’s a lot easier said than done. However, you’ll thank yourself later because you’ll have a better sense of your expectations for traveling, you’ll have a plan in place to meet your expectations, and it’ll give you something to look forward to! Having these three components is the perfect recipe for travel planning.

Where Do You Even Start? 

Now, when you are setting your goals you have to make sure they are TANGIBLE, MEASURABLE, and REALISTIC!!! It is alright to dream big and to reach for the stars, but you also have to be aware of how you can work on completing those dreams. Set goals that are attainable, measurable, and realistic to your unique situation.

You can have as many goals as you want, but if you don’t have a way of measuring and keeping track of your progress then it’ll create difficulties in reaching your goals. This means starting out with small baby steps, being consistent, and learning to see and appreciate small progress over a long period of time!

5 Starting Points For Your Travel Goals

  1.  Make a bucket list of places to visit
  2.  Write out what you plan on doing while traveling
  3.  Set aside some of your income towards your travel plan
  4.  Do your research
  5.  Prioritize your tasks

These are just some starting points for you to consider if you’re new to traveling and don’t know where to start. The specifics of each goal, such as the percentage you’ll put away towards your trip or your obstacles are dependent on your specific situation and needs.

However, if you’re a more experienced traveler, you’ll probably set different types of goals for yourself such as finding a challenging hiking path to take, go somewhere without wifi, or experience an environment that takes you out of your comfort zone.

Personally, these were my top 5 points I had to address for me to set my goal of traveling to London because it really helped me see what my goals were and how I would go about accomplishing them. Years later, I still use this outline when traveling because it helps me to set my priorities in place and creates a basic plan to work with.

Remember, these are 5 basic starting points for travel goals and you’re more than welcome to tweak it and build upon it!

Make A Bucket List Of Places To Visit

We all have some sort of bucket list of things to do and places to see in our lives. There are so many different places to see, events to attend, things to experience, that it’ll make anyone dizzy! It is best to take a pen and paper, create a Microsoft Word document (I prefer this method), or whatever system you come up with to create a physical list of places you want to visit. As you travel to those places, you’ll be able to cross them off your bucket list, and there’s nothing like accomplishing something off your bucket list!

What Do You Plan On Doing While Traveling

Just like with the bucket list for places to visit, create a list of all the things you want to do while traveling. Do you want to meet someone new? Try new cuisines? Explore a haunted location? Attend a festival? The list goes on! Either way, creating that list of activities or excursions you want to go on will help you to become more organized and able to plan out how you’ll be able to do these things.

Set Aside Some Money

This is definitely one of those aspects of traveling that may get people down. Having the funds to go to the places you want to go, and partaking in activities and excursions while traveling, can be a challenge for some people. I know for me it was always a challenge! However, over the years I’ve learned different ways of saving up for my travelsI recommend setting aside a certain percentage of your income, and any additional income you may have, towards traveling. This percentage will vary based on your income and financial needs. Whether you’re setting aside $5 a paycheck, $20, or even $100 and higher, any amount will contribute greatly towards your traveling efforts. The more you can put aside is better, but always use a system where you can keep track of your savings to measure your progress!Some other ways of earning some money for your travels are creating a GoFundMe page and sharing it with people. This is what I did back in college when I was trying to pay for my study abroad expenses and it definitely helped! You can also create a Teespring account, create merchandise or any other products. Getting a 2nd job if you’re physically and mentally able to handle it. Having bake sales is another method. But you get the idea. Whatever your hustle is, stick with it!

Do Your Research

The bulk work with traveling is doing your research. This includes everything from the weather to lodging, costs, activities to cuisines, languages to visa entries, safety concerns to medical topics. You really need to spend a great deal of time researching every aspect of the place you want to go to! What you produce from your research will be your guide in planning for transportation, activities, culture/norms, entry fees, any medical tests that need to be done before traveling, and everything else in between. If you fail to do the proper research, then you’ll run the risk of being very ill prepared for your travels.What I like to do is set aside certain days and times where I dedicate my energy towards research for traveling. This helps me to not only do my research but to really dedicate enough time and effort into researching the things I need for my travels.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Once you’ve created your lists you’ll have to prioritize your tasks. You’ll have to take into consideration what you need to do first, what’s important, and what needs your attention first. Depending on where you’ll be traveling to, and what you’ll be doing, you may want to prioritize things such as getting all the necessary medical tests done or visa entry requirements completed first before paying for a museum ticket. Remember how I said your research will be your guide for planning? This is how you’ll know what to prioritize and do first. If you want to go to a country and from your research you found that there are strict visa requirements, tests that need to be taken before hand, and that the process will take months to complete, then now you know what you absolutely have to do first. Or, maybe the country doesn’t have strict entry requirements, but you did your research and found out that the event you want to go to is only open for a limited time and tickets run out quickly, then you’ll probably want to take care of that in the early stages of planning so you can make sure you’ll get to go to this event.Important tasks that need to be done should be done in a timely manner and not put off until the last minute. Doing so may have future consequences for your travel plans.

I mentioned in a previous post that I spent my whole junior year in college, a whole year, planning out my goals to participate in a study abroad program, and before that it took me 2 years to really search for the program I wanted and to save some money to cover the initial costs of the program!! It took years for me to make it to London, but once I learned how to set goals and to be consistent with them, it really helped me not only with my study abroad travels but my future travels as well!