Vacay Countdown

Lifestyle

Vacay Countdown

Sunday, February 09, 2020

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I have the most fabulous picture of my grandmother boarding yet another ship. She had a love for travel and was always thirsty for adventure. I believe this is where I got my wanderlust from. Travel, for me, feels like history coming to life. I love to understand how other people think, live, and create those events that shaped a nation. Hence, I seek to travel somewhere new each year, and this takes planning and strategy. The Internet has promoted some of those same feelings in other people, leading to people travelling more and more. So I am sharing the steps to take when planning your next trip.

1. Select location.

2. Contemplate whether you can see two countries for relatively the same time and cost. For example, if you are going to Cartagena, you might as well fly through Panama, too.

3. Find out the best time of year to visit. Unless you are going for some local festival avoid high tourist seasons. Immerse yourself in the culture instead of spending all day waiting in lines.

4. Know what is going on at work and submit your vacation time early.

5. Check out the weather at the desired time of year for travel. If it's cold and you don't have winter clothes, reconsider your timing or accept that there will be additional expenses.

6. Buy ticket five months or more in advance. This not only ensures that you can get a cheaper ticket; it also spreads out your cost over a period of time so that it's not so overwhelming.

7. Identify the things you want to see and do.

8. Select hotel based on proximity to things you want to do. This will cut down on transportation cost, because you can just walk to some of them. Pay for the hotel two to four months in advance; again, this will allow for you to get better rates and selection.

9. Pay for must-see/do attractions in advance. You will not have to travel with as much currency and you have the assurance of availability. Imagine how horrible it would be to travel so far to not be able to do what you wanted to do in the first place.

10. Leave time in itinerary to wander. People-watch, enjoy local cuisine, engage and immerse yourself in the culture.

11. Bellhops are your besties. They are full of info about what to do and what to skip. That's who you ask where the locals eat. I ended up having the most amazing pad thai in Bangkok using this method. He also let us know which floating market to skip. No, I didn't eat any “exotic meats”.

So all of this will cost you; this is where a portion of your investment portfolio can be used to fund your worldly sojourns. I have different investment objectives, both short- and long-term goals to support the life I want to live now and the life I plan on living; they are not mutually exclusive.

“I'm in love with cities I've never been to and people I've never met.” — John Green


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