Travel Goals

How To Set And Prioritze Your Travel Goals

Travel can be a time and resource intensive activity. There are many things that can go wrong, and often do, but careful planning, prioritizing and goal setting can reduce the number and severity of most problems that may creep into your travel experiences. Learning how to set and prioritize your travel goals will take you a long way towards creating travel plans that will fit into your life and are more likely to bring you wonderful memories.

Treat Travel and Vacations Like Any Other Goal Driven Area of Your Life

Travel and vacations can be a major financial expenditure in anyone’s life, and should be treated as such. Therefore, goals should be set before you plan your travel. Details such as how many coutries you want to visit, the number of cities do you want to visit, which tourist attractions you would like to experience, how do you plan to travel, and in what style do you plan to travel, should be asked before making your travel plans. Typically, the longer your vacation and the more places you choose to travel to, the more important it is to set your travel goals.

How Do You Create Your Travel Plans and Goals?

If you plan on making your travel goals successful, they must be specific and measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and have a fixed time span. A specific and measurable travel goal would include the destination, method of travel, what you plan to do, and who you plan to go with. The more specific you can get with the travel planning details, the better you can successfully plan a budget for your trip. An example of making specific plans would be: “I will travel within my budget, with my girlfriend to New Zealand for a bike touring vacation lasting two weeks within the next six months.”

To make your goal action oriented, it should contain the verb of your choice of action. In the previous example the “I will travel within my budget” implies action, states intent, and indicates the type of preparation and planning required to carry out the task.

Your travel goal should also be realistic. When stating the goal, the two most important questions include, “Do I have the time and the money?” For many people, finding the money to travel, is easier than finding the time to travel. In our time-starved society today, it is a rare occasion that most people can afford to take the time off to take an extended vacation longer than 2 weeks. Other obstacles that can pose a challenge include physical stamina, knowledge of the language and customs, and social/political unrest. If you have a bad heart, and don’t know any of the native languages in Afghanistan, it may not realistic to plan a winter trek through the eastern mountains of Afghanistan.

The last part of your travel goals is that they should also be time constrained. Most people may say, “I want to go to Japan some day.” However, it isn’t enough of a motivating factor to complete your goals. You should say “I will go to Japan by October of next year.”

Now You Should Prioritize Your Travel Goals

Once you have created clear goals for your vacation, it’s time to prioritize them. This process is purely personal and based upon your own life situation. You can prioritize your goals based on time, by taking shorter trips now, and longer trips when your job situation changes, or taking more expensive trips now and less expensive trips later. You may prioritize your goals based upon your current and future health, where you take your trekking trips when you are physically in shape, and take your energy isn’t as high.

Of course your life may take a turn in a completely different direction than expected, and in that case, you may need to adjust your goals. Even for huge life changing events, going through this process will give you a better chance at succeeding in your travel plans. Once you have taken the time to make them and write them down and make them clear, you can focus your time and energy into making them happen.

Careful planning and goal setting creates better focus so you know how to make your travel plans happen. Once you have set your goals and made your plans, you can begin to look for resources that will help you with your travel budget. Look online for prices, destination information, and other types of information that will help you reach your vacation goals.

Traveling With Teens

Top 10 Things About Traveling With Teens

Just because your child has become a teenager – or is acting like one – doesn’t mean you have to be intimidated by their demands or sacrifice your meaningful family vacation. Just remember these wise rules, and all will be well.

1) Choosing a destination that offers activities to challenge and excite – like a zip line, white water rafting, or kayaking – will keep your big kids active, engaged and satisfied. If they’ve done an activity before, try in a new environment for new excitement. Look for a variety of activities that give everyone a chance to try many things; don’t give them the chance to feel bored with the same old thing.

2) This is your family vacation, but diversions are very useful. Traveling in a small group of like minded and similar aged families gives you the chance to meet new people and make new friends. For many families, having company to share the fun with helps prevent the family bond from fraying under the stress of too much togetherness.

3) But don’t forget many teens suffer under the pressure to be Cool all the time in their peer group. For some kids, traveling as the oldest in a group will be the ticket to success. This gives them the opportunity to let down their guard, and remember how much fun it can be to just be a kid again.

4) If you let someone else be in control, the pressure is off! Your guide can call the shots, motivate the troops, get your teen to respond in ways you never could. Other kids in the group will inspire them to join in. Settle back and relax, this is your family adventure to enjoy too!

5) Don’t you want to get out of your all inclusive resort routine? Sure that was fun once, but in a resort you could be anywhere. Our kids are growing up, and rapidly forming their opinions and habits…What do you want to teach them? Your family vacation can be a fun and easy way to show them important things about the world. Step off the beaten path and discover the qualities special and unique to the destination – and local people – you are visiting. This makes everything more interesting – and more meaningful.

6) If you create a safe environment where where your kids can try new things – remember, these are the experimenting years – they will. But please, not at home in front of their friends! Karaoke? Salsa dancing? Noodle making? Weaving? Photography? Trekking? In the right context, and a more anonymous one, these unusual activities can be enthralling. And maybe your teen will discover a new talent!

7) If you let your kids be the askers, their natural inquisitiveness and leadership will blossom as they discover new cultures and lifestyles. When you travel with a local, expert guide you don’t have to know the answers – indeed, you will be learning too.

8) Often it seems we work too hard to make everyone be the same – but we’re not, and that’s OK! Some are stronger, bigger, wiser. When you plan for things the younger kids can’t do, like bigger water on the rafting trip, or climbing Kilimanjaro, it shows your kids that growing up has its privileges, and they have earned the right to try new things.

9) Teens get hungry all the time. Be sure there is a constant flow of food and water to keep them fueled. Full children are rarely cranky children, even with teenagers.

10) Sound overwhelming? Call the experts with your questions and concerns. A personable, knowledgeable advisor – not a phone bank – can make reaching your family travel goals a snap.

Tags: family adventure, family travel, kilimanjaro trek for teens, meaningful travel, teen travel, teen vacation, travel tips for teens

Moo Bishop, Travel Advisor Extraordinaire, has been traveling with her children for over 18 years and has covered most of the worlds hidden corners.

Cheap Travel Tips

Cheap Travel Tips – 6 Simple Ideas

1. Arm yourself with lots of information regarding your destination of choice. Write to obtain information from a variety of sources like the tourism boards, local chamber of commerce and tourist information centres. They all offer and share information gladly with would-be travellers. Best of all, it costs you only the time and maybe the phone call or postage required on a self-addressed stamped envelope, to access this treasure-trove of information. Sometimes the information is even online, at your fingertips, readily accessible and without any associated costs. Knowledge is power! It will save you money.

Avoid being taken advantage of, exploited or extorted by excessive prices and/or misrepresentation by arming yourself with the facts! Ensuring that you are familiar with as much background and localized, relevant, up-to-date travel, general information, will better prepare you for the details of your trip, assist in planning your event schedule more effectively, and being a smart and informed tourist never hurt anyone!

2. Travel resources and destination guides are a great help and good place to start gathering topical, destination and relevant information. Consult many of them and check often for new and helpful resources in print and online that contains destination-like travel information.

Save money if you are an AAA member and take advantage of their free travel guides. Avoid costly mistakes and unanticipated costs, for hotels for example, by knowing what is happening in the area at the time you are planning to take your trip. Are there any conventions, major sports events or concerts, trade-shows and other happenings in and around where you plan to be? Might any of these factors influence cost and availability? Ensure informational detail provided is reliable and current. Be smart, check, and verify the information provided to ensure that it is up to date and accurate.

3. Be informed and show local interest. Read and do research about your destination, location and surrounding areas. Hidden treasures are found this way! Enjoy travel previews and other multimedia sources that can be a good way to “rehearse” and prepare for your trip. Talk to others who have been there and ask them about places to stay and things to see.

4. Remember to budget some additional funds for taking care of those dear ones who cannot do so for themselves. We are referring to our animal friends and pets. Special arrangements for pets should be made prior to any trip and well in advance. This applies, whether pets are being cared for at home by a neighbour or friend, placed in a kennel (taking a mini-vacation of their own!), or accompanying you on your trip.

Save money by checking your options at your destination. Some rental holiday homes, apartments, hotels and resorts are pet-friendly and encourage owners to bring them along. Avoid unnecessary costs of boarding. Make it a rule of thumb however, to verify any details pertaining to animals, prior to departure. Be smart and get all vet visits, guidelines, travel documents and other paperwork that applies, done way in advance. If you do not have any pets, looking after your domicile and belongings should be left to a trusted and responsible party you trust and value.

5. Being practical goes a long way to save you money and unnecessary, self-inflicted ‘pain’ away from home! Be sure to pack some common sense too. Save money by not giving in to impulse shopping repeatedly, especially on ‘must-have’ shoes! Avoid wearing or trying out the newly bought pair of semi-uncomfortable shoes on your travels. Your feet and pocketbook will thank you.

6. In preparation for making your travel dream come true, assembling a personal travel file is also not a bad idea. Include the exotic and far-away lands you are considering, as well as your local visitors attractions and destinations in and around where you live, for those shorter trips. This will assist you in realizing your travel goals and dreams you worked so hard on putting together and getting ready to execute!

Traveling is both exciting and exhilarating. It appeals to the majority of us for various reasons. It all seems to stem from somewhere deep within our human make-up. We are social and curious beings. Our earlier nomadic traditions and heritage, urge us to explore and conquer our world, both known and unknown. It has always been a quest and inspiration to go somewhere we have not been before and see places unseen until now.

Tips for Traveling on a budget will offer a few ideas to keep the money where it should be – in your pocket and/or well spent to make your vacation dream come true, while still maximizing your vacationing and travel experience!

Travel Agents

Why Travel Agents & Tour Operators Need To Focus On Authentic Local Experiences To Stay Competitive

The major elements comprising the generic destination competitiveness model helps to identify the key success factors of destination marketing. Among the many approximate set of indicators used to determine destination competitiveness, local experiences is one of the key points. Elaborate empirical as well as conceptual research points out the relative strengths and weaknesses of different tourism destinations, which can then be used to study the impact of local experiences on the travelers and vice versa.

The discerning travelers of today’s world love exploring unique experiences each destination has to offer and go much beyond staying in the top suite of hotels. Choosing the best dining options and spas has otherwise become passe. No online portal can take you to the hidden nuggets of the destination except the native folks. So, to match up with the millennials’ definition of travel, you need to indulge with the locals which is way beyond any packaged holiday or cookie-cutter options.

Blurring the borders of traditional definition of travel
It’s important for Travel Agents to realize that selling travel is actually selling happiness. Imbuing travel goals based on interaction with local people makes travel more meaningful than ever. Authenticity, simplicity, and culture are the new watchwords driving the growth of the travel tourism sector internationally. The evolution of the whole new travel genre is based entirely on indulging in local experiences. It is not about the best luxury experience but the intrinsic local touch will definitely add magic to the holiday memory. Remember that the most valued luxury is experience.

Present-day culture travelers have moved beyond the familiar environs and revel in the experience in itself. Clearly enough, tourists that like to break the mold are more interactive with local residents. This paradigm shift has not however, completely caught up with everyone yet. The focus of investments still remains on the traditional tourism-related components.

To create a layered travel experience, the hospitality industry is gradually promoting themselves as the portals for the local community. Although that might not be a necessity but local experience will definitely give a competitive advantage.

Blending national culture and heritage into luxury travel tours need careful planning and is bound to enhance tourist’s experience. Getting certified from the government tourism policies which include inter-cultural education policy helps to makes the travel agents’ outset more impressive.

Counter homogenization of the travel experience is the new clause of the tourism authorities. Embracing local cultural tourism will have an impressive lasting impact on travelers with like-minded outlook. Traditional vertical distribution chains among the travel providers has given way to complex value chains and thus in this increasingly competitive marketplace, providers need to seize every opportunity for competitive advantage. Collaborative advantage through local and government partnership is thus a new norm. Local culture and society has become an essential part of tourism value chain. The integrated inter-relationships between travel and other socio-economic sectors are now conceived as a ‘value network’.

Promoting Local Cuisine
Sustainable tourism, which is tantamount to responsible tourism, has been a major concern in the travel industry for the past couple of years. Experiencing the local culture largely contours around the traditional gourmet industry. Trying traditional food completes the cultural experience of the place. Talking of the economic aspect, if you are eating at McDonald’s, instead of benefiting the local community, a major chunk of it leaves the local socio-economic circle. The international traveler’s gang consist majorly the Western tourists and without much doubt, the need for Western food is always higher than the local recipes.

While traveling for a single night’s stay, people might think it not important enough to connect to the local traditions. However, pennies in the pocket of the local cuisine industry help to uplift the local tourism industry on a larger picture. Walking into a McDonald’s or a KFC might fill your tummy but will neither add to the local tourism sector nor enhance your experience. For instance, Vietnamese pho is now a big pull for travelers in Vietnam and when in Costa Rica, do not miss gallo pinto. Building connections with the local folks is not always the only token you get in return but you actually help to build a perception about your nationality as a whole. A country’s heritage is strongly rooted within the memories of the local people and as the old folks say, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!

Experiential travel – creating a deeper connect
The demand for ‘experiential travel’ is arguably the most significant as well as sy

Travel Around

Travel Around the World for Free

Did you ever think flying around the world for free was possible? Pulling up to the airport, going through security, listening for your boarding call, and sitting in the plane next to someone who paid full price while knowing that you’re flying for free.

The butterflies are fluttering around in your stomach as you sip a glass of wine awaiting your dreamed about destination.

It’s not as hard as you think. It’s not a new gimmick or a product you need to buy into. It’s not illegal and it does not require you to work very hard. In fact, it’s something everyone has already heard about and even participated in. It’s called frequent flyer miles.

That’s right. It’s those amazing loyalty programs like Air Canada’s Aeroplan rewards, American Express Rewards, Air Miles, and all the other great programs available from American Airlines, U.S. Airways, British Airways, Air Asia, Alaska Air, and other great airlines.

Right about now, your probably thinking of closing this article. You might be thinking about your current Aeroplan or Air Mile status and wondering how you would ever earn enough for a trip. Maybe it’s been years since you enrolled and you still haven’t earned enough for a single free flight. Or maybe you have never heard about travel points and this is all new!

All I can say is that over the last 10 months, I have earned over 100,000 Aeroplan points, 27,000 Alaska Airline points, 2000 Air Miles, and many other rewards without flying.

How? By taking a little bit of time to learn about numerous tactics and then putting in the small amount of effort required to find out various promotional deals available across the Internet.

Sometimes it’s just registering my email. Sometimes it’s just signing up for a reward card. Sometimes its liking a Facebook page. I also research the best FREE credit cards available that offer amazing points. I don’t spend extra money and I only spend about 1 hour a month signing up for different deals.

I didn’t believe it would work at first. I had Aeroplan and Air Miles for years and barely had enough points for a gift card. Then, after employing the strategies I learned, I find myself with enough points for 5 round-trip flights within North America for just 8-10 hours of work over 10 months. Awesome deal right?

That’s really all there is to it.

Learn about the various strategies for earning miles.
Spend 1 hour each month applying for all the deals.
Have a travel goal in mind to keep you excited.
Sign up for all sorts of travel reward cards like Aeroplan and Air Miles.
Acquire the points and fly around the world for free (Flight is free but taxes are not)

I really hope I have inspired you to start earning travel points to pay for your next vacation. Once you get your head around these sorts of deals, it doesn’t stop there. Next is finding free or deeply discounted accommodation, meals, and other important tips on saving money and having the time of your life.

Happy Travels!