Kate’s 8: Steps for Planning a Travel Adventure

Here is a list of tips I learned while planning my trip. Nothing groundbreaking but definitely important things to keep in mind. While these fortune cookies of advice are focused on travel aboard, they could apply to anyone ready to travel somewhere new. 

Thinking or wishing about your own trip somewhere abroad? Consider the following (in order):

Kate’s 8: Steps for Planning a Travel Adventure

  1. Make a list. Where do you want to go? How many countries/cities do you want to explore? Start big but know when to pare down. Think about distance, budget and timeline before committing to any set plan.
  2. Ask friends for advice. Chances are at least one of your friends or friend of friends have been to the destination you’re dying to visit. Fellow travelers love giving tips and recommendations so don’t be afraid to ask. Cast a wide net to seek out help…or ask them to come along!
  3. Research necessary logistics. This is super important. Research the places you are going and make sure you have all the necessary visas, vaccinations and a valid passport. Contracting a deadly disease or deportation shouldn’t be at the top of your bucket list. 
  4. Purchase the ticket and tell everyone you know. There is something incredibly final about clicking “pay” and receiving that Ticket Confirmation in your Inbox. When I first started planning, I had countless people asking me when I was leaving, where I was going, and when I was coming back. I needed to have some answers, both for them and for myself. You WILL be held accountable by your friends and family. Buy the ticket and don’t look back. 
  5. Start shopping early. Researching the right backpack and  hiking sandals takes time. Don’t get stuck with equipment or shoe apparel you’re not happy with or get forced into expedited shipping so your Osprey 55 L Farpoint will show up three days before you leave. For your procrastinators, Amazon Prime is a godsend. 
  6. Save, save, save. This might be the trickiest part. You will need to make some changes in order to accumulate the money, time and willpower to go. I recommend keeping a piggy bank or personal travel fund that you pay into every week. Made your lunch instead of going out? Add $5.00 to the money jar. Chose a smaller apartment to save on rent? Add $50 each month. Investing incrementally is a great way to save money while focusing on the larger goal instead of the daily sacrifices. 
  7. Give yourself a buffer window. Whether you’re taking time off of work, traveling after school or quitting your job, it’s important to have some time to prepare and reflect before jet setting on your incredible adventure. Set aside some buffer time (if you can afford it) before leaving for your trip. I gave myself almost a month between the time I left my job and left the country. Double checking the packing list and getting a couple nights of zzz’s will make you more alert and ready to go!
  8. Don’t wait. There will be no “right time” for you to go on a trip. Life is a series of somethings or someones you won’t want to leave behind. Truth is that those people, those careers, and those responsibilities will all be there when you get back. Don’t underestimate the incredible opportunity to see the world and fulfill your wanderlust. Chances are, you won’t regret anything but the trip not taken. 

Be brave. Trust yourself. See something new. 

Sacred Rim, WY
Sacred Rim, WY

9 thoughts on “Kate’s 8: Steps for Planning a Travel Adventure

    1. Hi Stephanie!

      A lot of it is personal preference. I didn’t like Keene’s because they covered most of my foot but they’re a great hiking shoe. Teva’s are more open and have some cute options. I wanted something that I could walk in for hours that wouldn’t look super ugly.

      I bought ZX/1® Yampa Wide Sandals made by Chaco’s and LOVE THEM!

      Let me know what you decide. 🙂

    1. Yes Yes and Yes. That makes me so happy. I think having a list or a future trip planned is the best motivation for saving. Where do you want to go?

      Santorini is beautiful if you were considering some Greek islands.

  1. I REALLY want to go to Italy. My grandparents grew up near Palermo and I’ve never been. But I saw some cheap flights to Iceland and Copenhagen from Wow Air. So that might be more realistic for now. My dream trip is to fly to Andalucia and then take a train or bus up the eastern coast of Spain, through southern France, and down through Italy until I get to my grandparents’ hometown.

    1. So exciting! There is something about going to the country or the place where your family is from. I talked to a girl from California who followed her roots to Croatia and couldn’t explain how “at home” she felt. I’m all for that train trip–its such a perfect way to see the landscape. Copenhagen is BEAUTIFUL but incredibly expensive so keep that in mind if even the flights are cheap. Still banking those vacation days?

      1. Well, my job lets me take off pretty much as much as I want – but it’s all unpaid. Might have to start playing the lottery.

      2. Time or money…you never have enough of both. But I think you can save money as long as the idea of seeing Italy (or insert any place) is more important than anything in your day-to-day schedule. I also found planning smaller trips help make the larger trip seem more real. Want to go to New Orleans next year?

      3. True. Good advice. Actually, New Orleans is near the top of my list for US travel. I lived there for 5 months, but I really want to go back to visit. And I was never there for Mardi Gras!

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