Despite all the change that's happened this past year, we can still dream and plan for that next trip! The light just might be at the end of the tunnel during the second half of 2021, so if all goes well, we can get back to our regular travel schedules!
Whether you're planning a solo trip, a couple's trip, or any other trip, give yourself the gift of stress-free travel by planning ahead! Planning can happen lots of ways, but here are just a few of my favorites that you can do right now!
1. Join Travel Groups: There are hundreds of niche travel groups and bloggers out there - there's a group for everyone. So many people have a passion for travel and they love to share their experiences. You'll get inspired to consider different destinations, and possibly pick up tips on unconventional spots to visit. It's also a great way to dream with a larger community of like-minded people and keep those travel juices flowing.
In celebration of Black History Month, a few of my favorite communities centered around the African American travel experience include:
2. Create A Trip Wish List: Once you get inspired, create a list of destinations you're considering. Spend this time doing a little research on different places. There are so many great deals going on right now, you may want to decide your next adventure based on the best deal you can find. You can plan an amazing trip that doesn't drain your wallet. Regardless of how you plan, now's the perfect time to create and narrow down your list of places to go!
3. Clean And Organize: Use this time to check your luggage and packing gear, see if anything needs to be repaired or replaced. Dump out your toiletry bag and make a list of items that need to be replenished. Don't wait until it's time to head out, use any free time you have now to make sure your bag is packed and ready to go. I keep my toiletry bag packed at all times, making it so easy when it's time to go - I just throw it in my suitcase!
The Ms. J Travel Trio Plus is also a great way to get organized now!
4. Open A Vacation Savings Account: We've found that opening a savings account just for travel has been a great decision. First, it helps us stay focused on our future plans, and encourages us to stash extra dollars away. When I see the account grow, I get hyped because I know we're getting closer to our next adventure. Most important, if you start far enough in advance, it helps to alleviate the financial stress that planning for a vacation can some times cause.
5. Purchase Travel Insurance: Although it feels like we're almost on the other side of the pandemic, it's still not a bad idea to plan for the unexpected. It's just so hard to know what to expect a few weeks from now, let alone a few months. It's worth it to pay the extra fee for travel insurance. It'll give you the peace of mind you need, and some insurance companies are offering full refunds for the cost of your trip. It's worth it, unfortunately we've had to take advantage of that insurance, but it was a huge relief knowing we would get all of our funds back!
Finally, plan but stay flexible. Travel is coming back - it's not a matter of if, it's just a matter of when. You may find that you'll have to make some adjustments down the road, but if you have everything else lined up, that's more than half the battle.