It’s here and you better grab the bull by the horns before it gets away!
I’m talking about 2018. Can you believe that we are already halfway through February? Hot cross buns are coming out of bakery ovens, Easter eggs are on the shelf and term one is well under way. So how do we stop 2018 from getting away from us? I have come up with 6 simple ways you can map out your year and not let it run away before you’ve had the chance to whip out your passport or suitcase.
Speaking of passports… here is tip number one –
Ensure All Passports Are Valid
Don’t get caught out. Make sure each family member has at least 6 months validity for the whole year and get renewing now if they don’t! It would be sad if a great flight or deal came up and you realized that one or more family members passports had expired or about to.
Write Your 2018 Bucket List
We all have a mental list of places that we would love to visit but now is the time to write your 2018 bucket list. Depending on your current stage of life, finances, family, etc, will determine your travel for 2018. Of course you should dream big but sometimes we also need to have an achievable list to make sure the travel does happen rather than it always be out of reach. Maybe this is the year for a big trip? The trip of a lifetime around Europe for 3 months! Or maybe it is the year for exploring the amazing country you live in and ticking off some of those incredible places right on our doorstep.
Get Out The Calendar
Whether it be digital or paper, get yourself a blank twelve month calendar and start blocking out your dates. First things first, if you have children at school then add in the school terms. Now, if you are anything like me, adding in the school holidays just gives me the idea of when not to travel! Make a list of all of the big events that you know of and add those in. Have a look at birthdays and see if a birthday trip would work out?
Now, grab a bright coloured highlighter and block out all of the ‘available’ travel dates. Now that you know your potential travel periods you can then work out what travel can fit where. Be sure to check the weather at your destination during the time you have available and don’t forget that shoulder seasons are often the cheaper times to travel.
Subscribe To Airline Alerts And Deals
Once you’ve got your passports in order, that bucket list written and your potential travel dates listed you can now start to subscribe to airline travel alerts to your preferred destinations. You might just score yourselves some cheap tickets if you are ready to act as soon as those deals pop up.
Planes Aren’t The Only Way To Travel
So maybe flying isn’t your thing or just a little out of the budget for this year? Don’t let that stop you. Road trips, train travel or coach rides are just as fun an adventure! Last year my bestie, myself and our daughters took a weekend road trip to Mudgee (3 hrs from home). We had the best time and it is for sure a highlight of our 2017. If you want to check out our trip you can have a read here – Mudgee Region, NSW, Australia. So don’t get disheartened if you don’t think you’ll find yourself in the sky this year. The ground has some pretty awesome options too.
Gather The Dollars
Now by this time of the year I imagine you’ll have some kind of idea of your budget. If this is your year for a big trip then maybe you’ve been saving for a while. If this is the year where you are just praying that you’ll be able to gather enough for a little trip then that is totally fine also. I just thought I’d share a couple of tips that we use to help out our travel budget.
The first one is that because travel is a priority in our family we limit the amount of extra curricular activities the kids do. So rather than each child doing 4 sports and 10 dance classes, we limit each one to a sport and one other class. This may or may not work for you but it sure works for us.
The other is planning, booking ahead of time and with flexibility. Last minute often equals more expensive.
Hopefully these tips will help you plan when you will travel and help you book in advance, saving yourself some cash. For more travel budget ideas have a read of this – Family Travel On A Budget.
So what are your plans for 2018? If you are feeling a little lost, need some tips on a destination or simply can’t make a decision then please feel free to join over 1000 other parents who love to chat about travel in my Family Travel Community on Facebook. Click here to join!