There's no feeling quite as exquisite as finally traveling to your dream destination, no matter how long you've waited. Travel is one of the most popular goals people have and it's worth every penny. It opens doors to new cultures, cuisine and nothing is better for your personal growth. If you've got a special place that you can't get off your mind, here are the steps to take to make that fantasy vacation come true.
Start Saving Money
If you have a bucket list with a lot of travel ideas, you know there's one place that stands out from the rest. If your favorite happens to be very far away, it'll take longer to save up enough money. Sit down and go through your budget and calculate what you can comfortably put away each month. Another option is to refinance your mortgage with a convenient VA home loan and use the equity in your home to help pay for your trip. This saves you thousands on your mortgage and allows you to take your vacation sooner.
Research Your Destination
Once you've finally committed to your destination, it's time to begin your research. While you're in the money-saving period, you've got plenty of time to gather the facts you need. Start by searching online blogs and videos dedicated to exactly where you're going. Look up the must-see points of interest such as beaches, jungles, museums and historical sites. Find out what tours are available and study maps to get an idea of where things are located. As a bonus, learn some words and phrases in the native language.
Get Paperwork in Order
When it comes to organizing paperwork and travel documents, the sooner you can do it, the better. If you don't already have a passport, get an application online or at your local post office. Have your pictures taken and submit everything as early as possible. Find out if your destination requires that you have a visa or mandatory health insurance. Some countries require you to fill out an online health pass, so it's better to know now and avoid a last-minute surprise.
Finalize Your Plan
Now that you've secured funds and you're an expert on your destination, it's time to finalize your airline ticket and hotel. Decide what time of the year you want to travel, but try to remain flexible with your dates to snag the lowest fares possible. Check out several online platforms for airline tickets and lodging until you find prices you're satisfied with. Always read reviews for hotels that interest you before you click the reserve button. Now it's time to get excited about making your dream come true!
Pack Your Bags
A week before you're scheduled to leave is a good time to begin packing your bags. Depending on whether your trip is a luxury vacation or a wild and remote destination, you'll be able to decide how many bags you need and whether your carry-on should double as a backpack. When choosing clothes, opt for less over more by taking lightweight, wrinkle-free outfits that can be intermixed. Take only the necessities in your carry-on such as money, a phone, documents, pens and your laptop.
Savor Every Moment
When that fantasy vacation is finally upon you, it can feel completely surreal. As anxious and nervous as you are, you must savor every moment. Try to stay in the present moment and take in each detail of your new surroundings. Leave your worries at home and give your social media a rest. Instead of constantly publishing pictures and updates, share your photographs with family and friends when you return. Above all, have fun! You deserve this dream vacation you worked so hard for.
If you've got a fantasy trip you've been thinking about for years, it's time to make it a reality. By securing adequate funding and doing plenty of research, a vacation anywhere in the world can be yours!