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Travel

How To Make 2017 The Year Of Travel

By
Scott Poniewaz
on
May 11, 2017

Forget resolutions. Make 2017 the year of travel. Here is your guide on how to do it.

As I write this, there are only a few days left until the New Year. 

I'm personally not a big fan of New Years Eve because it is usually centered around overcrowded bars, parties, a little bit of drama, and a lot of excess hype. 

If you are old enough, maybe you remember the world was about to come crashing down in 2000 when all the computers reset themselves. And guess, what? We’re still here.

That said, I’m inspired to make 2017 the year of travel for myself and others. 

Whether you are aiming for a trip with U30X to Costa Rica, Bali, or finding your own way somewhere in between, hopefully these tips, tricks, and resources can help you get away.

1) Build Your Bucket List

First, finish reading this article, then pull out a notebook, or open a spreadsheet on your computer and start brainstorming where you want to go. 

Don’t worry about what you think it will cost, or how you get there, or if you are afraid of traveling to a specific region, just brainstorm.

Once you’ve finished brainstorming, go through and rank where you want to go the most and in what priority. With that prioritization, don’t worry about pricing, you’ll quickly find you can make just about anything work with some creative saving and planning.

2) Make Basic Plans For Your Top 5-10 Picks

Now that you have a list of where you would want to travel, start doing some research on various timelines, how to get there, where to stay, and what some of your cost options are. 

Want to go trek to Everest? That’s great, but also keep in mind that you may need to purchase some extra gear that can quickly add up, while maybe your other option to go surfing in Costa Rica will require renting a surf board and the pair of board shorts or swim suit that you already own. 

If you are on a group trip, with a set itinerary, this can make planning for costs very easy, and someone like U30X also is able to negotiate better pricing for quality based on their existing relationships. 

It also makes sure that you are able to travel with other like-minded people, but then all you need to do is figure out the flights to get you there. 

Another bonus: organized trips can mean lifelong friends that become your travel partners going forward.

3) Start Saving Now

Whether you want to travel in two months or twelve, start your travel fund now. This part is always easier said than done. 

Many banks are now making it easier for you to earmark savings through your spending, either by rounding up money on your card purchases at the local coffee shop, or pulling money into savings before it even hits your checking account. 

Another tool that I’ve heard others use is Qapital, which seems like a cool way to save toward your goals, either in travel, or other purchases. 

If you frequently use cash, someone recently shared the $5 savings rule. Every time you break a larger bill and get a $5 bill in change back, stash that $5 away and use it as savings. The cash will quickly add up and you’ll be boarding your flight soon!

4) Think About Alternative Methods

After planning your bucket list, you may have started to realize your 2 month trek in Antarctica may not be feasible with your current job. However, maybe you could take a hiatus and find a job there (no really, Google it, there are options). 

Do you want to sail the Mediterranean, but don’t have super yacht budgets? Find a boat and join the crew. You’d be surprised how many boats are looking for a couple extra hands to help, even without experience.  

If your dream destinations are a bit more domestic, sites like CoolWorks are also a great option. These are just a couple, but searching the web, you’ll find many more sites to dig into for opportunities, especially if you’re trying to work and play. 

Last, but not least, is the credit card point route. Sites like ThePointsGuy and FlyerTalk can help you get your start to maximize credit card sign-up bonuses and your existing purchases to accumulate points that you can then trade in for flights, hotels, and other travel needs. They have a wealth of information about how to get started, and forums to get advice from others to achieve your goals.

5) Make It Happen

Now that you’ve narrowed your travel to a few options, and made some rough itineraries, start planning. Using sites like Kayak, you can set travel alerts for specific dates, or see what their historical fare prices are to determine if it is time to book. 

If you are using a travel provider like Under30Experiences, they often have holiday specials you can take advantage of. 

Pro Tip: Right now it's only $195 to reserve any trip 60 days out with Under30Experiences

If you are looking at hotels and budgeting to a certain price you see now, check their fully-refundable rates to see if you can’t book now, and cancel up to 24-48 hours prior to arrival without penalty. This way you’ve protected the rate you are budgeting for, but can have the flexibility to grab a better deal that might come up. 

If you have some flexibility, you can also use tools like AirfareWatchdog or HotelTonight to find last minute airfares or hotel bookings.

Summary

This is by no means an one-size fits all plan to travel this year since some jobs don’t give you the flexibility to take off and jet set when you want. 

But when you really sit down and break down your bucket list, you may realize that a weekend getaway to ski the Swiss Alps, or to surf in Sayulita, Mexico isn’t that unrealistic. 

Happy travels in 2017 and let me know where your adventures take you in the comments below.

Scott Poniewaz
Scott is a traveler, entrepreneur, marketing executive, and beer league hockey star based in Austin, Texas. You can find more on his website, scottponiewaz.com.

Edited by:  Miles Demars-Rote

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