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The Five-Year Travel Plan

DaniellaHarrisonWhen planning a vacation, everybody gets excited. And why wouldn’t you? You work hard, you have many responsibilities at home and you hold out all year for those precious two weeks. So when the time finally comes, you want to make sure everything is just right. You should look at your vacation planning the same way you handle your financial planning.

First off, use a professional travel consultant. Take an hour out of your schedule and have a real consultation. Discuss your dream travel bucket list, which ones are your priorities and who you would like to travel with on which trip.

Now, here is where the magic happens. A good travel consultant will tell which areas in the world are best to visit when. There is nothing worse than planning an amazing vacation in the Caribbean just to find out that you traveled during hurricane season and it’s raining cats and dogs for two weeks straight. It will allow your consultant to create a travel plan for (or with) you and keep an eye out for any specials coming up concerning your bucket list.

Your consultant can advise you how far in advance you want to book your next vacation to lock in the best rates and availability. I cannot tell you how many people wait too long, hoping for a good deal, just to find out that the ship they wanted to cruise with has been sold out for the last six months.

For some destinations, you might be better off if you combine them into one longer trip, rather than two separate trips. For example, doing a world cruise segment will give you better amenities, safe costs on an extra flight and usually combines two or three itineraries into one. Especially on long haul destinations, such as Australia or Asia, it will earn you some nice savings in cost and time.

If you’re planning on traveling with family or friends, make sure to ask for group rates. Depending on the trip you’re planning, you might not need as many people in your party as you think. Group rates don’t always mean a lower price, but they may secure extra amenities, like cocktail parties, ship board credits and more.

If you’re anything like me, your bucket list will never really shrink, but rather keep growing with every trip you take and every book you read. Having a strong partner by your side, who knows what interests you and works closely with you, can make all the difference.

If you do a good job planning out these trips, you should end up with a nice three- to five-year plan. You’ll know how much money you’ll need to save up for each trip, how many vacation days you need, which trips you need to do while you’re more active and which can wait until you can’t travel as far anymore. You can also easily see if the good deal you found advertised somewhere is really a good deal.

So, go ahead invest a little bit of time and find a consultant who clicks with you. Yes, most of us will charge an office fee for our services and we will take up a bit of your time getting to know you and find out what tickles your fancy. Just think of how long you’ve waited for your next vacation. After all your hard work, you deserve some time to enjoy the fruits of your labor with the people you love most.

So stay calm, make a plan and let your travel consultant handle the details. FBN

By Daniela Harrison

Daniela Harrison is a travel consultant for Avenues of the World Travel in Flagstaff.

For questions she can be reached at or 928-556-0853



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