I get asked all the time how I am able to travel as much as I do. By the end of 2017, it will have seen me in Thailand, Washington DC, Atlanta, and Curacao, and possibly one other destination with all the travel reward points I have earned with these trips. Each time the question is asked of me, I answer it the same way. I am very list- and research-orientated and work with a travel agency that understands that and can transform my travel goals into a fun-filled affordable vacation.
What is most important in that statement is the part about working with a travel agent. I know you've got the "Trivago Guy" tempting you to use their websites with the lowest prices on the internet for your hotel stay and airline tickets—along with sixteen other travel sites that have commercials airing during Netflix/Hulu breaks. These sites only work if you're able to book your trip outright with all the money upfront. I, on the other hand, would not have been able to save the $2200 for the nine-day journey I had in Thailand this past April for Songkran, aka Thai New Year, so I needed an option that allowed for a payment plan for flights, hotels, rental cars, and even excursions I could take while there.
If that's your story too, let me tell you, what my travel agent provides me with is the ability to reserve my room in almost any hotel in the world, airfare, tours, and even a car rental with a deposit of only $200. With his help, I can also pay on the trip up to eleven months before my travel date.
Going this route allowed me to cover the $2200 for Thailand with a side trip to Phuket and an overnight in Hong Kong, the $1500 for Curacao, or wherever else I go as long as the full cost is paid off forty-five days before I travel. And then I can make the most of my vacation. By setting up travel in this manner, I can take the last seven weeks or so to set aside spending money for each trip, ensuring that I can eat, ride in a taxi or tuk-tuk, and of course bring back the souvenirs that without a doubt everyone will ask for. Doing this all while ensuring that I see the museums, national monuments and take in the culture and food of the destination that I'm travelling to means that I will do more than just relax pool- or beach-side which I do as well whenever possible.
With simple planning, working with a great travel agent, and budgeting to cover your next travel destination, you too can see the world. My next trip is currently being planned for June of 2018, a major trip that is being designed to commemorate my 40th birthday. I’m planning a nine-day tour of Europe and a second in November of Asia. My deposit is $200 plus any cancellation insurance that my agent and I choose to add to these epic adventures, all of which will have an epic tour or event associated with it: Roman Catacombs, Athens Pride, etc. The first leg of my world tour comes with a heavy price tag, but I have until April 2018 to make monthly or weekly payments to cover the balance, and then May and June to ensure I have spending money, plus ten months to do my research to see what all I need to see, taste, and experience while overseas.
It seems odd to create a new monthly bill for a "vacation" but I, for one, feel that travel is essential to creativity, restoring faith in humanity and this world, as well as expanding your horizon beyond the corner of the world that you live in both presently and in the past. Plus how else can one experience washing an elephant in Phuket, Thailand, or riding in a vintage Chevy Bel-Air in Cuba, or swim in some of the bluest water that you have ever seen in your life?