Dream vacations look different for everyone. For some, it’s a hike through Machu Picchu, for others it’s a beach escape in the Maldives, and for a few it may even be a series of shenanigans in the concrete jungle gym better known as Vegas. Regardless of the place, it is a trip that inspires the heart and awakens the soul, with alluring possibilities of adventure, excitement, and experience.
Seeking to enjoy an old hobby in a new place has photographers yearning to travel the earth, to capture exotic animals and breathtaking landscapes. And in the search for the ultimate relaxation experience, workers are taping up pictures of palm trees and beaches in their offices and cars, losing themselves in thoughts of white sands and clear waters.
But the trouble with a dream vacation is that it all too often starts as a dream and never ends in a vacation. The resulting question – how do you connect the fantasy to reality?
Every Venture Needs Some Capital
There’s no tiptoeing around the financial burden of a big trip. Money can be a huge deterrent to doing just about anything – but Aesop’s saying “little by little, does the trick” is entirely appropriate for overcoming this roadblock. It can be as simple as emptying your pockets into a jar every night, or as dedicated as having the funds pulled from your paycheck every month and sent to a separate savings account.
Get creative, host a garage sale and direct the profits to a travel fund. Just don’t give up – Rome wasn’t built overnight, and saving for a trip to Rome will take some time. If patience is too elusive a virtue, it can help to have a timeline. Have your ZA do some research into your ideal trip and create a budget spread out over the number of months you are willing to wait.
The Road Not (Yet) Taken
Once the budget is planned, it is time to plan the trip itself. In dreamland, floating effortlessly from place to place is a perfectly acceptable method of transportation, but the reality is slightly more complicated. Car rentals, bus tickets, and air travel all require research, attention to detail, and careful planning. Fortunately, ZAs excel in travel research and eat around-the-world-trip-planning-details for breakfast. Tell us where you want to go, and we’ll tell you when to show up at the airport.
Whether exploring the mysteries of the Amazon Rainforest or sprawling on a beach in Cancun, the details of a trip can make the difference between an experience and a nightmare. Dedicate some time to researching literature on the area and getting reviews from previous travelers – or delegate that work and read a travel book to nurture an adventuring mindset.
Try The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, or one of these other 20 Best Travel Books of All Time, recommended by the UK’s Telegraph. From making sure your international flight connections are reasonably spaced, to finding the closest travel clinic to ensure health and safety while abroad, your ZA will take care of all the things you thought of, and all of the things you didn’t.
Getting Back Home in One Piece
Two final words to any traveler: be prepared. Stay alert in new surroundings, and keep all identification and other important items like money and medications as close to the body as possible. (Globetrotting Tip: it never hurts to pack a kit of over-the-counter motion, stomach, cold, and pain medication to keep nearby). Be aware of unpredictable environments, and if traveling solo, make a plan to connect with someone back home every once in a while. Mental preparation is equally important; be open to the new experiences, life-changing moments, and eye-opening realizations that will make the trip worth the hard work you have put into it.
For more travel safety ideas and information, head over to “Top Tips for Safe Travel” from the Lonely Planet or visit this comprehensive and informative Traveler’s Checklist webpage from the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs.