As the calendar turns to a new year, many people are filling their heads with possibilities and resolutions for 2018. Looking to exercise more? Eat better? Declutter the house? All worthy pursuits. One thing on the list that can definitely make your year more memorable: travel.

The problem with resolutions is that people are notorious for not keeping them. We skip going to the gym, we sneak snacks, and we never find time to declutter. We never actually sit down and plan out how to accomplish our goals.

If travel makes the top of your wish list this year, here’s how to make it happen.

7 ways to turn your travel dreams into a reality

#1 – Set the date

We all want to travel, but most of us tend to wait until the “time is right” to make travel plans. If you wait, you may let some great opportunities slip past you.

Pull up your 2018 calendar and figure out which dates you’ll set aside for vacation – even if you don’t have all the details figured out yet. This way you will ensure those dates are reserved and can’t be filled by other life events. If you need to request time off, you can schedule it now.

Setting travel dates well in advance confirms your decision to make it happen and keeps you motivated to follow through.

#2 – Book your tickets

Depending on where you’re going, you’ll need to figure out where you’ll stay and how to get there. If you need to book lodging, airline tickets or tickets for activities, the sooner the better. By being ahead of schedule, you will be able to find the perfect fit for your trip and possible discounts. Don’t just limit yourself to hotels. Check out vacation rentals for the comforts of a home while being away.

Travel, app

#3 – Download a travel app

There are a lot of fancy new apps these days that make planning a trip more economical and fun. From booking flights to finding the best restaurants, they can make your trip a lot more colorful. Check out some of the best here!

One app is TripIt, where you can put all of your plans in one spot: bookings, itinerary and so on. Download the free version and start planning!

#4 – Earn and redeem trip miles

If you’ve accumulated some travel miles, use them! Ask around and get resources to find the best deals. You may be able to earn enough for a complimentary flight or another free portion of the trip. After all, saving money makes room for more fun on the trip.

#5 – Find a travel buddy

If you tend to dream about travel but never take action, enlist the help of a friend. It may just be the planning that’s holding you back. It’s perfectly fine to delegate that responsibility to someone who will put their nose to the grindstone and make some decisions on your behalf! Voice your opinions if you want something specific from the trip.

Besides having help in the planning department, traveling is much more fun if you can share it with someone.

#6 – Do something out of the ordinary

If you could go on a true adventure, where would you go? What would you do? Sometimes people go to different places, but see the typical sights. What if you booked a trip based on the activities instead of tourist destinations? In Sunriver, Oregon for instance, you can go kayaking, hiking and white water rafting. That sounds like a memorable trip!

#7 – Seek variety

Longer and more involved trips definitely take more planning. As you make travel plans for 2018, be sure to include a variety of trips. Perhaps a day trip to a local destination you haven’t been to yet. Maybe a quick weekend getaway with friends. Then onto the big trip you’ve had your sights on. They say variety is the spice of life, so spice up your year with a mix of new travel plans.

As you say goodbye to 2018, what will you reflect on with a sense of accomplishment? Will it be all those extra hours you worked, all the food you didn’t eat, or the stuff you bought? Probably not. It’ll be the experiences you had. Making travel plans will ensure that you make this year a great one.

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