Interested in spending a week at a luxury ski resort or taking a tour of Europe, but have a ways to go before your bank account aligns with your travel plans? There are still plenty of adventures to be had in the meantime. Here are a few ideas as you save for your trip of a lifetime:
Make an itinerary. Visit Pinterest, scour travel books and search the web for places you want to visit. Jot down things you want to see when you reach your destination. You may be surprised at how much you would have missed if you would not have taken the time to investigate. For a culturally immersive experience, think beyond the typical “touristy” attractions.
Do your research. You can never be over-prepared. Customs vary from country to country, and it is always best to arrive with an understanding of what is expected of you. If you are acquainted with someone who has visited another country, take them out to lunch or for a cup of coffee. Hearing their story may help you navigate the area like a seasoned traveler rather than an ill-informed tourist. Travel Guides and apps are another great resource when it comes to cultural norms, and best of all, you can carry them with you in your travel bag. By the time you finally go, there will be updated apps to review.
Outline your plans. Search flights, costs, insurance, weather and clothing, currency exchange and the best times of the year to visit. An unforgettable vacation is heavily reliant on preparation, especially when you are traveling to a foreign country. In addition to finalizing your flight information, it is important to research the currency exchange rate and technological accommodations needed for the trip. Knowing what to expect in advance will relieve you of stress when packing and arriving.
Make an inspiration board. Anticipation is part of the fun and generates excitement for your upcoming trip. Whether it is six months out or a few years away, collecting ideas keeps you motivated. Start pinning ideas to your Travel Pinterest board, tear out pages from magazines, bookmark your favorite travel websites and have a marathon session of interesting travel series. There is nothing wrong with building up your expectations.
Take an excursion in the privacy of your home. Invite friends over and dazzle them with an international menu. Use country-themed decorations and practice local norms. The festive gathering can give you the opportunity to rehearse common sayings with native speakers and enable you to explore the culture in an authentic way. Finish the evening with a country specific dessert. Your guests will appreciate your hospitality.
Learn the language. Have you noticed that most people from other countries know how to speak English? Studying a second language is mandatory in more than 20 European countries. Having at least some knowledge of another language will make it easier for you to communicate with the locals.