Tips

Get inspired to travel

The 8 best ways to prepare yourself for the trip of a lifetime

The preparation behind a big trip can often seem daunting. If you go solo from a travel agent, you're left with a lot of questions. Where to go, when to go, what to do, and who to go with. Plus, there's the issue of how long you need to take off. We know you just want to be on the beach and have all of this taken care of for you.

The first step is getting inspired. Here's how:

1. Talk to your friends

Ask your friends about some of their favorite travel stories. Not only do people love to talk about their experiences, but they'll likely inspire you with one of their tales. You may be surprised. Even if you think you've been dying to go to Barcelona, you may think again when you hear how wonderful a time your friends had in Iceland. Being a follower is not a bad thing, if you trust your friends' opinion.

2. Make a wish list

More than a wish list, make a travel storyboard of everything that inspires you. From colors, to songs, to artists; this will be the place where you can collect ideas to brainstorm your trip. Even though it sounds silly, sketch yourself on your perfect getaway. What do you want on your next vacation? A place to relax? A place to soak up the culture? A place where you can eat some amazing food? Instead of searching by destination, search by topic.

3. Do some fun research

Yes, there is such as thing as "fun research." When it comes to your next vacation, all research is good research. Indulge your curiosities. Find out about the history of the destination that you want to travel to. The more you know, the better you'll be equipped to take a deep dive into your new home. Even look at things outside of your budget. This is fun time! Get in the zone.

4. Eat out

Thinking of taking a trip to Italy? Find the finest Italian restaurants near you and mangia! Practice your Italian on the staff. Imagine that you're far, far away in Renaissance times. Take a trip down to Little Italy for a sneak peak!

5. Go to museums

There's no better way to do some research on a foreign country than to check out the art of that time. Many large museums will have items from many different types of cultures. Take advantage of what's around you.

6. Read books

Want to get inside the life of a geisha? Read her memoir! Even fiction can provide a portal into a new cultural universe.

7. Set a date

If you plan far in advance, you'll have something to look forward to for many months. Last minute travel can be expensive and stressful, so give yourself more than enough time. When are you going to buy the tickets? When are you going to book everything by? Make a plan and set milestones on your calendar.

Get ready to travel, and make the planning as much fun as the trip!

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