don’t forget to travel

Posted by susan on July 15th, 2009. Filed under: travel tips.

As much as I have been bitten by the travel bug, I can be the kind of person that all too easily lets things like work, weddings and other commitments get in the way of planning my next trip. The other day Mike had to remind me that we missed the deadline that I set for planning our next vacation.

When limited to a certain amount of vacation time that doesn’t roll over each year, the worst thing you can do is let your days pile up until the last minute, which is a position I unfortunately find myself in too often.

Let’s face it, when you look back at your life, you’re going to remember your times of leisure and adventure with friends and family more than your time in a cubicle – so making the best out of the free time we have available to us is vital.

To stay focused on what really matters, I have inadvertently come up with little strategies to keep me motivated and on the right track….

Infiltrate information overload. Many of us get tons of emails and Facebook messages, not to mention all the other social media community updates. With all this information flowing into your inbox anyway, you might as well sign up for email alerts that will take you out of serious mode and keep travel top of mind. Throughout the week my inbox is filled with notes from SmarterTravel.com, TravelZoo, Dealbase, TripAdvisor, Kayak, DailyCandy Travel and Yapta, to name a few…

Dine in authentic restaurants. Whether you are going out to eat with friends or it’s date night, seek out the more authentic, international cuisine in your area. For example, eating a sampling of authentic tapas will get the wheels turning and could be the motivation you need to book a flight to Spain. For international cuisine I like Ole in Cambridge, pretty much anywhere in the North End, Boston’s little Italy, and the Black Rose.

Surround your living space with travel. For starters, hanging up a map of the world in your apartment or house is a constant reminder of where you’ve been and where you haven’t. My map hangs on the wall right behind the screen of my little Macbook. Flipping through the pages of a magazine or newspaper, with all the in depth stories and beautiful photos, is like flipping through old photos except instead of creating a feeling of longing for the past, it creates a yearning to go. My coffee table holds copies of Travel + Leisure, which more often than not highlights journeys a bit above my budget, but there’s nothing wrong with aiming high. It also holds my favorite part of the Boston Globe – the travel section.

Read travel blogs. There is nothing more motivating than reading about others’ adventures in virtually real time. They are also the best place for ideas and the most reliable sources. The Travel Expert [A], My Melange and Camels and Chocolate have been particularly motivating for me lately.

I am hoping to get back on track with planning my next trip, with a new deadline of the end of this week, pre-wedding number 2.

Do you have any tips or tricks that help keep you focused on planning your travels?

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