In Part 1 we discussed How To Set Travel Goals And Stick To It. Today, well get a step further; If the delay in fulfilling your travel ambitions is something that can be worked through, then read on to find out how to make your travel goals concrete. Once you have a really well thought out plan, it’s much easier to make this a priority, so you will have more of a reason to save, to plan and to do what you can to make it happen.
My personal motto is “Dream the dream before living the dream”, and that usually works to keep me focused.
The SMART framework…
S – Specific – where do you want to go? How long for? Who with? By what age/when would you like
M – Meaningful – what do you want to see there? What do you want to learn? Why go there?
A – Achievable – make it easier to achieve big plans by breaking them down into smaller, achievable
R – Realistic – can you raise the money to go? Can you make it cheaper in any (safe) way?
T – Time bound – set yourself a time limit on each of your smaller plans to keep you on track
… a great way to set goals in any aspect of your life.
- Prioritise and Specify
Is your list a vague collection of experiences that you want to try at some point? Then planning ahead is crucial. Work out your travel priorities. Which experience do you want to achieve first? Is anybody else involved? Define exactly what your travel goal is and commit to it so you can build out a plan to make it a reality.
Vague: “This year I will climb more.”
Specific: “This year I will climb at least three times all with ascents of over 3000 metres.“
- Is your Goal Measurable?
To achieve your travel goal, you need to know when you have reached it. It could be measured in time, distance or another sort of milestone. For example, hike 20 miles in one day. Once you have reached your 20th mile, you have completed your goal.
- Achievable & Realistic
When planning, be sure your goal is achievable and realistic. A challenging goal is a great way to push your comfort zones, but make sure you have enough knowledge, resources and time. For example, planning a mountain trek to Bhutan in two months is not an achievable nor realistic goal if you are inexperienced, unfit or out of season.
Now you know the scope of your travel goal, all that’s left to do is work out by when you will achieve it. Here again, make sure you have enough time to complete your goal. Time passes by and with it too often so do our dreams. So by establishing a deadline, you have an immediate timeline which you can plan your goal around.
- Research & Planning
Now you have a travel goal defined it is time to research and learn as much as you can. Books, articles and YouTube vlogs are great to get a realistic impression of your destination. Travel forums can also be particularly useful, speaking to others who have embarked on a similar adventure and finding out any challenges they faced. Ultimately, research fuels your motivation, helping you stay on track with your plan.
Remind yourself what you are working towards.
Submit your days off at work sooner rather than later. Work out a budget to save up the money you need for the trip. These costs could include flights, accommodation and equipment. Don’t forget to factor in travel insurance and visa fees if applicable. For more information on choosing the right travel insurance, click here (“What to look for when choosing your travel insurance”).