It’s been longer than I care to admit since I’ve traveled period, much less, internationally. As avid travelers can relate, you will begin to get stir-crazy and feeling the walls caving in on you after awhile. So, what should you do when you have neither the time nor money to make that hop across the ocean or even across state lines?
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You dream, plan, ruminate about your next adventure that will take you far away from the maddening crowd! After a lot of soul searching and absolutely too much time on our hands, we decided to try a less “citified” locale for our next adventure. Initially, the plan was to visit Ireland until my daughter suggested that we try Latin America this time around. She didn’t have a particular preference but she made a good point that we’ve been there, done that now it’s time to take a break from Europe.
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We are considering Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Argentina and Brazil. Whenever we travel, we try to maximize our stay by visiting nearby locales. We figure if we’re going to travel that far, we may as well make it count! It’s just a small matter of checking out online travel agencies (or a local travel agent that you trust) for deals to multiple cities within close proximity. You will be surprised to see what’s available and how much money you end up saving.
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Sometimes, you have the desire, but no clue as to where you want to go. Think about your favorite foreign language. Mine is French and as corny as it sounds, it inspired me to make getting to Paris a major goal for myself. Are you into foreign films? Where is the setting of said film? That could be a potential spot for your next getaway!
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Start checking out travel magazines at the library or go to travel websites like Lonely Planet, Frommer’s and Fodor’s among others. You will find yourself whisked away to faraway lands and will be able to visualize being there. Allow yourself to explore places that you not only probably would have never considered, but maybe never even heard of. This is the time where you must resolve to be open to all of the possibilities. The world is a big place and there’s so many wonderful places to pick from.
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Focus, Focus, Focus!
By now, you should have a general idea about what part of the world you’d like to visit. Hopefully, you’ve narrowed your choices to a select few. Try to learn as much as you can about, say, your top three picks. Do your own legwork; learn as much as you can about each location; ask friends who are in the know for advice.
Gradually, begin to start a process of elimination for each place. Ask yourself why either place wouldn’t work out. Is one too expensive? Is another area experiencing unseasonably bad weather? Is one location better suited for the activities that you are interested in? This may seem a little backwards, but when challenged with lots of great potential vacation spots, you will find yourself having to find reasons to disqualify certain candidates from consideration. Focus on what it is you truly want to do and select accordingly.
Get with the program!
First of all, get your financial house in order. As soon as you’ve made the decision, start putting money aside if you don’t already have a vacation fund set aside. Take inventory of what you will need to get ready for your adventure. Will you need to apply for a visa? Is your passport (assuming that you have one) up to date? Remember most countries want you to have at least 6 months left on your passport or you may be denied entry.
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Arrange to have the post office hold your mail for delivery until the day you return, or if you are concerned about the mail carrier skipping your house everyday and thereby causing others to become suspicious of your whereabouts. Alternately, you can have a trusted friend come by to get your mail. However, in my opinion, that would be even more of a red flag to me. Board or arrange for the care of any pets that you may have. Making sure that you have covered all your bases on the home-front will assure that you will be able to have a wonderful worry-free vacation. Bon Yoyage!
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