|Japan and Thailand||South Africa|
|France, Switzerland & Italy||Costa Rica|
Traveling is one of my passions, it is something I think about often and I have had so much success when I manifest fun through travel. I love setting off to discover anything that is different, new and slightly out of my comfort zone. I love to have a plan in terms of where I will stay and how I will get there but I like to leave the days open to whatever may present itself. Having a list of options pre-researched helps but I don’t ever get fussed about sticking to a schedule.
There are 2 parts in learning how to manifest fun through travel. First comes the plan. I take my time to do research and find exciting opportunities from home before I leave. When things start to make sense, I move onto the second step – I imagine the trip in my head with a focus on all the things that will be fun. This is where the real magic happens – you will learn how to manifest fun through travel.
For me, more than half of the enjoyment I get out of traveling comes in the planning. I can happily spend hours planning a trip before I go. In fact, I’ve planned a couple of full 3 week trips with itinerary and budgets and I didn’t even go on those trips! This was part of the process of selecting a place in the world to travel.
When we were planning our upcoming family trip in October 2016, we had much debate over our destination. We are traveling with another family so that complicated things but it was all very fun and exciting to live and dream through the process. Our first destination was going to be Bali and the Gili Islands. Next it was going to be Peru and then India. Finally after creating full plans for each of those places, we decided to go to Japan and Thailand. Maybe I will post those itineraries for the world to use because they are seeds of potential for an awesome adventure for someone!
The first step in my planning involves reading many many travel blogs. My searches usually include the words “family adventures in …” (as I am usually traveling with kids). There are so many amazing bloggers out there who have kindly taken the time to write about their travel adventures with their kids. Some are one off trips but mostly my searches result in articles found on some of the big family travel sites like Ciao Bambino, Travel With Kids, and The Family Adventure Project.
I search for all sorts of activities, from the all day tourist destinations to cool restaurants, outdoor parks or nature walks. I have to make sure to take into account the time of year I am wanting to travel as these adventures can vary drastically. I also like to search for special holiday and events in that city / location at the time I will be traveling there. For example, we discovered that when we are in Japan this October, we can witness the moon viewing day where people have special shrines to view the moon.
For this part of the planning process I create a folder on my bookmarks bar with the name of the country / city I am researching. Every time I find an interesting blog post or website I will add a bookmark to this folder. I can later read through the bookmarked pages and dig deeper into the search from each one. I always make sure to clean up my bookmarks to reduce the clutter and make sure I have a folder of valuable information.
Using Google Maps
Once I bookmark at least 5 destinations, I plot them on a map. I like to use google maps for this. I sign into google and I click on the icon with three lines beside the search. This will open the menu. Select “Your Places” and “maps”. From here you can create and save your own custom maps. I like to get the addresses for all of the destinations in my travel folder and save a pin on the map. Once you have an idea of where all of the destinations are, you are ready to choose the area that you want to stay in and decide how many days you might need there.
Picking a Place to Stay
There are many different options for places to stay. Typically on holiday, most people would stay at a hotel. I am an airbnb type of gal. I prefer to rent an apartment or house through airbnb with my family because we can get our own kitchen, we can be located in an actual neighbourhood and there is usually more space for the kids to play around (a living room, an extra bathroom and multiple bedrooms). It has been my experience that the accommodations I have booked through airbnb have been cheaper than renting a hotel room for 4 people. In fact, in Asia I discovered that I have to book 2 different rooms to be able to fit the 4 of us. This came as a surprise to me as almost every hotel / motel I’ve ever been to in North America always comes with 2 double beds that can sleep 4 people.
Manifest Fun Through Travel
And now comes the cool part. I’ve put in all kinds of work to get the destination, the maps, the hotels and transportation figured out and in a spreadsheet. If the dream trip is feasible financially I move onto the next step. I take my time to live the trip in my head before anything has been booked. I try to picture the travel days, the relaxing times at the apartment or hotel, the adventures we will have. I try to pay attention to dates and times to make sure there is a good balance of adventure with down time to soak up the culture. If it all feels right, I book it.