Resolve to Plan Your Bucket List Trips in 2021
Happy New Year! While we were all eager to leave 2020 behind, the new year probably has you thinking about your new resolutions for 2021. Allow me to offer a travel resolution for you to consider: planning your bucket list trips.
After all, the pandemic conditions of 2020 will remain with us for at least part of 2021, enhancing our already keen sense of the uncertainty of life and compounding our eagerness to travel. If 2020 taught us anything, it was to seize the moment. I find myself asking more and more, “if not now, when?” If there are things you want to do and places you want to see, you should get a plan it! Don’t put off your dream trips, and make every trip you take count.
In fact, there is a study that shows we get as much happiness from planning and anticipating a vacation as we do taking it.
What to Consider for Your Travel Resolution?
Quarantine has made us all impatient to travel widely again. But in reflecting on my own travel dreams, I’m increasingly invested in making my future travel more meaningful. I’ve transitioned from thinking about where I want to go to why I want to go. So I ask you: Why do you travel? How does travel enrich your life? What was the first trip that really changed you? Reflecting on such questions can help you imagine bucket list trips that are a delightful combination of carpe diem spirit and meaningful, lifegiving purpose. The good news is that quarantine has given us two gifts for making our travel dreams come true: time to plan and time to save. Let’s use this time to reflect on our travel dreams, discuss them with our travel companions, and emerge with a better sense of our travel bucket list. We might use the travel money we saved in 2020 for making up for lost time with bigger and bolder travel in the years to come, taking longer journeys, traveling further away and to hard-to-reach places, and trekking to once-in-a-lifetime events.
Why Plan Your Bucket List Trips Now?
This is the perfect year to begin designing your travel bucket list. After all, bucket list trips frequently require advance planning because they can be dependent on limited permits (such as hiking Machu Picchu in Peru or Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania), have reduced availability (such as around-the-world cruises and African safari expeditions), or revolve around a seasonal or timed event (such as the running of the bulls in Pamplona or the Olympics). I can help you prioritize and time multiple bucket list trips, too, with complex considerations at play. Some areas threatened by climate change won’t exist as they do now, while trips requiring a higher level of fitness may be better to embark on sooner rather than later. Research shows that all of this advance travel planning yields fantastic psychological benefits, especially so in a pandemic. Indeed, studies show that planning a trip can make you equally as happy as actually taking it because you anticipate the good times ahead. Future-oriented thinking and imagining is a means of proactive coping, reducing stress and giving us something positive to look forward to in quarantine.
Creating Your Travel Portfolio with Wanderlist
If your 2021 resolution is to begin planning your bucket list trips, the first step is to create your travel portfolio, where you set travel goals and, in consultation with a travel expert like me, make multiyear travel plans across the next five to ten years. Your travel portfolio turns your bucket list trips into an action plan, ensuring you don’t miss out on achieving your travel dreams, with the added benefit of maximizing your budget’s potential by strategizing around seasonal rates, currency fluctuations, major scheduled events, and personal and familial milestones.
Luckily, I belong to Gifted Travel Network which is a Virtuoso member agency. Virtuoso has generated a fantastic tool called Wanderlist, a web platform that maps and tracks your bucket list travel aspirations. (Here’s a YouTube video that explains how it works.) In short, Wanderlist helps you to begin developing your travel portfolio by: 1) providing inspiration so that you can explore and discover your travel goals 2) encouraging you to curate your own travel bucket list by adding experiences and destinations to it 3) facilitating collaboration with your travel companions by syncing your interests and streamlining your options, producing a roadmap for your future group travels, whether with your partner, family, or friends. I’d encourage you to create your Wanderlist today by clicking on this link so that we can get started planning your bucket list trips for the years to come. Think of me as equivalent to your financial advisor but for travel: it’s my job to help you assess your travel goals and develop a plan to help you achieve them. As I always tell my clients: “Life is short, and the world is huge! Make a list.” Wishing you all the joy travel planning can bring in this new year.