One of my favorite things about traveling happens long before the packing, jet-setting, and world exploration begins. It starts the moment that I get online to begin researching (and daydreaming) about far off exotic places. There is something about researching a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and creating a reality off of the daydream.

Photo credit here

The task bar on my laptop fills with many different travel related windows, including: Trip Advisor, Frommers, trip search engines (such as Hotwire, Kayak, Expedia, and more), Google images, and finally, Microsoft Excel. Yes, I said Microsoft Excel. My key to researching and planning trips is to stay very organized. I give myself an opportunity to compare similar trips and to accurately track expenses, and I do this by using Microsoft Excel for every trip that we go on. (The Finance background always shows through).

The most important thing about this step is that I NEVER tell myself “No,” or “That’s too expensive,” or “I only wish we could go there.” It’s not a matter of ‘wishing,’ it’s a matter of timing. There might be some trips that I save for future ideas because of cost or time constraints, but I just consider it a trip to add to the bucket list. 🙂 Trips are a big commitment; they take a lot of planning and even more saving to go, but we have only one life, and only one chance to explore all that this beautiful world has to offer.

Daydreaming is an important component in finding out where you really want to go and what you really want to do. So, my question to you is, when is the last time you took a moment to daydream? Am I the only one who is constantly caught up in a daydream?

Leave a comment

  1. February 8, 2012 / 7:01 PM

    I always tell myself ‘that’s too expensive’. Now I’ll think twice – maybe I should plan instead! I SO want to go to that place in the Maldives? in the picture…

    • February 8, 2012 / 7:10 PM

      butimbeautiful, I’m glad that I could make you think twice. 🙂 I think it’s so easy to disregard our dreams (for many different reasons), but if we don’t follow our dreams, who will? If there’s a will, there’s a way. The picture is from Bora Bora, I want to stay in a water villa so bad!! I want to go to the Maldives one day as well. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  2. February 8, 2012 / 7:18 PM

    I’m the same way! I hate spreadsheets most of the time, but love them when it’s time to start planning. Any special hints you’ve picked up over the years?

    • February 8, 2012 / 10:13 PM

      Kramerjen, I use Excel all day, every day, at the office, so I’m a little biased to how wonderful it is. As far as the vacation spreadsheets, remember that formulas are your friend. 🙂 It’s nice to be able to analyze costs if you decide to cut down one day or add on another two days, it’s simple and easy to do.

  3. February 8, 2012 / 10:06 PM

    “We have only one life, and only one chance to explore all that this beautiful world has to offer” – that has been my motto for the longest!

    If you have a dream vacation in mind, cut out images of the place, and put in a prominent place – that helps make it real. I started a travel bank acct years ago, and it has definitely helped me realize quite a few dream vacations.

    • February 8, 2012 / 10:15 PM

      familyfriendly, I have a fear that there’s not enough time to visit all the places I want to go. I like the idea of taking a photo of your dream vacation and putting it in a prominent place. That’s a great idea, thank you for sharing. We also contribute to a monthly travel fund, before we know it, we have enough saved to go somewhere fun. Where’s the next place on your list?

  4. February 15, 2012 / 8:25 PM

    Oh, gosh – daydreaming of vacations is the best. There’s a lot of pie-in-the-sky, a lot of saving up for, but most importantly, a lot of inspiration. My husband is so great at researching – I’m spoiled to leave a lot of our trips up to him (with some input along the way), and he has never led me astray.

    We just booked our cruise for next winter and already, we’re dreamin’. 🙂

      • February 16, 2012 / 8:09 AM

        We are “redoing” our honeymoon cruise from 2010 – Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Grand Cayman. We loved Cozumel and Cayman, but didn’t feel like we made the most of Belize or Roatan – we’re trying to do it right this time! 🙂

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