Prior planning is essential for traveling on a budget. When it comes to

family trips, globetrotting, well-deserved vacations and/or

going to see new places we have never been before, the

reality of cost and budgeting is always in the back of our


Planning and spending our travel dollar wisely is a priority

for most families. Curbing spending and costs, while still

enjoying your vacation to its fullest, is the key to

guaranteed success and fiscal responsibility. Your

pocketbook and family will thank you!

The reasoning behind saving money while traveling is simple:

Even if your personal budget is extremely tight, you can

still take a break and enjoy life! Simply put, life is just

too short to never step out of the door or leaving the


Also remembering that while traveling, whether on a budget

or not, even the smallest of things can all add op to a

large vacation or travel bill!

For example, all those hotel extra’s, cab-fares, tips,

restaurants, car rentals, gas for your own vehicle if on a

road trip, tickets for special attractions or events,

beach-and-pool-side drinks (if not at an all-inclusive

resort or cruise) and more, adds on and piles up!

This brings us to the some of the rhyme and reason behind

budgeting for travel and planning well. This also applies

monetarily, to ensure your trip is a success, enjoyable and

memorable. Your outlook could be a balance between

replenishing your resources and not breaking the bank in the


How to make “SMART” travel goals that are achievable.

(You may find yourself at the resort of your dreams if you follow

these steps) .

Like anything else in life, travel needs to be planned for

somewhat. It is almost like setting a short-time ‘SMART’

goal for leisure and vacationing. Marketers of time-share

and destination vacations, often refer to this as an

argument to invest in a travel solution.

People often suggest that we treat travel or vacationing,

like any other planned financial decision in life. This is

all irrespective of whether this includes house, car,

tuition, health, insurance or other life-expense. Travel and

vacation is justified and ‘sold’, as just another important

item on the list to think about and budget for.

Setting goals is described and accepted as a powerful tool

to achieve success and keeps people motivated.

Out of the list of dream destinations you just made or have

in mind, you cannot possibly achieve reaching all of them,

and nor should you perhaps. Only wishes and dreams are possible…

Going after these dreams in a planned fashion, will mean a

significant investment of time, money, energy, talent, and

opportunities. Setting priorities is a must.

Prioritizing should include travel items, trips, goals and

destinations that you really desire to visit, see, conquer,

treasure, explore and would love to achieve in your


Realizing of course that these ‘dreams’ though, might not

all be achievable immediately, or at all. You need to view

this as a wish list, shortlist eventually becoming

checklist! Then, move on to making at least the first goal

or location visit on the list happen this year!

(Alternatively, as soon as funds allow and you are able to

make it happen).

Hands-on work, defining and planning for travel in such a

way that it will convey an actual goal or goals,

destinations, budgets and periods.

A goal, in order to be effective and drive people towards

it, should have the following characteristics. The goal

should be Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic,

and Time-constrained. In other words, it must be a SMART

goal, (as referred to earlier).

The destination(s) should be clearly defined. Detail is

what matters here. Avoid generalizations; get to the point

and crux of the matter. Specify your immediate travel needs

and means. then make a proactive plan to pursue it.

For example, take that tropical island, destination dream

vacation: “I’ve always desired it…” seems a little

general when compared to ‘I will travel, with my family to

Hawaii for a vacation of two weeks within the next six


The SMART travel objective must be quantifiable. This

goes along with being specific. A goal defined specifically

might already be measurable. The abovementioned goal stated

intention, involved parties, location, purpose and a

timeframe – all measurable elements.

A measurable travel goal, like going to Hawaii, with a

family of four, including two children under the age of

five, within the next six months helps you identify, plan,

execute and track more efficiently and increase your odds of

actually making it there! Considering the logistics in this

fashion, makes it that more realistic to enable your family

to take the planned trip of a lifetime, as opposed to just

dreaming about it!

A SMART objective also needs to be action-oriented.

It can’t just be said, though. You must relate the goal to

doing something, to indicate what needs to be done. An

action verb will indicate what needs to be accomplished. “I

will travel” is a good example of an action statement,

stated intent and implies preparation and planning, will and


REALISTIC: For any goal to be motivational and get you

committed to reaching it, it must be realistic. When a goal

is not realistic and the person does not really believe it

can be reached, then the commitment is lacking and the

effort will not be there to permit the goal to be realized.

Based on your current situation, choose goals that are realistic.

What jumps to mind right away in our example, is whether and

how you can afford it and make it happen! (Hopefully this

guide can also offer some tips to get your there).

TIME-CONSTRAINED: In order for a goal to move people towards

it, it must be time-constrained. A timeline needs to be

associated with it. It will entice people to move towards

the goal. The timeline set, will be based on the goal itself

and the present status. Six months is stated here as a

realistic timeline, leaving enough time to save for, plan,

book and take your well-deserved vacation to Hawaii (as in

our stated example),OR any other location YOU decide to visit!


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