Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Make Travel Goals

I often give advice in travel forums to people who are planning to make a trip abroad and usually people have questions about the logistics of things. For example,"What's the best way to get from point A to point B?... How long does is take?... Should I stay two days in location A and then spend 5 days in location B?" etc. As of late, I've been finding it difficult to give the best answers to the would be traveller without knowing what their reasons for traveling are. I am beginning to beleive that, not unlike many other aspects in our lives, one must have travel goals when planning a trip....even if the trip is just for fun.

Its important to ask yourself questions such as, what is the purpose of this trip? Why do I want to visit this place? What are the things to see and do that are the most important to me? If you have trouble doing this, try to imagine that you have already taken the intended journey and have just returned from an extraordinary trip. What things did you do? What kinds of people did you meet? How did you spend your time? If you can begin to visualize the answer those questions then you're at a good starting point to work out some goals.

Next, read more about the city/country that you'd like to visit. What are the sites that are most interesting to you? Often I hear, "I don't want to do anything touristy." While I understand that sentiment, some of the most beautiful places/sites in the world attract millions of tourist but often, its for a reason...they are well worth seeing. Conversely, I hear,"tell me all the top sites to see." While I think some sites are definitely "must-sees" its possible to run around a particular city, trying to hit every single site and in doing that, the visitor misses out on the essence of the city. He or she misses out on meeting the natives or just plain people watching.

Therefore amongst your travel goals try to have a good mix between seeing the sites and doing what the locals do. Perhaps you could even rank on a scale of 1 to 10, whats most to least important to see or do. Once you have that, then you'll be better able to decide logistics, make decisions on which route to take and where to sleep over more wisely.

Lastly, remember, you'll never be able to see and do everything and that should'nt be the point. Look at it this way, if there are things you didnt get a chance to see, its an excellent excuse to return.

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