Plan your trips in advance

How can you make sure your holidays are meeting your expectations? From budgets to activities, accommodation to experiences, everyone has their own goals when it comes to holidays and travel. And a way to make sure you’re getting what you want out of your holidays is simple – planning! 

What is long term planning?

Long term holiday planning means to devise holiday plans well in advance allowing you to stop and think about what your holiday purposes are, and this will help to make sure you not only save a few dollars, but also make the most of your experiences with your loved ones. 
Below we delve into how to plan a holiday and the things to consider when making your long-term holiday plans, and tips and tricks for whether you’re looking 3, 5 or 10 years into the future! 


Planning a holiday: Things to consider 

Here are some things to consider before you start the process of mapping out long-term holiday goals. If you’re wondering how to plan a trip, make sure you’ve got a clear idea of each of the below, and you’ll be set up for adventure success! 

  • Your family – is your holiday planning just for yourself, or will you be including your family or friends in the plan? If you do you have kids, what ages will they be at each of these stages? Ensuring that the holiday and activities are age-appropriate is a good place to start to ensure that you’re all getting the most out of your holiday. 
  • Travel priorities - what do you want to get of travel and your holidays? If you’ve been on trips before you may have an idea of this, and if you’re still figuring it out, that’s fine too! Make a list of the benefits that travel and holidays provide to you and your family, and when you’re planning, refer regularly back to these benefits to make sure you’re achieving your goals.
  • Financial goals- how do your travel priorities fit within your financial goals? Maybe for the next few years your budget allows for only local trips (which can still be just as fulfilling as overseas adventures!) or maybe you’re looking to put all your financial focus on travel? Consider having a buffer for other things that may come up in the next few years, and be flexible with your holiday budget. Explore our tips on saving for travel to help you out.
  • Milestones- maybe you want to line up your holidays to a celebrate a milestone? Or maybe it’s important to be home for them? Things like birthdays, weddings or other celebrations could either be part of or reason for a trip away or may work better when you and your family are all firmly at home. Note all important milestones down before you start mapping your trips. 
  • Flexibility – consider what parts of your travel plans can be flexible and what you’d rather keep set in stone. This can apply to accommodation types, transport options, budget, length of trips and travel dates. 
  • Plan your gear – it can be hard to know up front what type of gear you’ll need for your travels, until you’ve noticed what you’re missing! Whether it’s a sturdy luggage set or a perfectly sized tent, make a wishlist of the things that will help enhance your travel experience. Remember that it’s not always the ‘stuff’ that create the best experiences, and there’s no shortage of ‘must-haves’ in the travel industry, so scale back on the purchases where possible.  
  • Insurance options – factors that could help to influence the best type of travel insurance for your long-term trip planning could include destinations, frequency, medical cover required, or activities you’ll be undertaking on your holidays. 
Working from home 

Planning a trip: 3 years or less in advance

  • Short term goals - Trips that require less planning and are shorter in length can start to be planned out in this stage. Perhaps you want to go to another region state, and there’s a certain season that will work best for it? Now’s the time to plug that into your calendar. It might be simple weekend trip that doesn’t require too much complexity, and easy to explore within a shorter timeframe. 
  • Budgets- draw up an easy-to-follow budget and allocate funds for your short-term trips. Seek out accommodation options, transportation deals and even discounted activities to help stretch that travel budget further! Remember to factor in all travel-related costs, including travel insurance
  • Mix up the experiences- play around with what type of travel you enjoy best at that three-year planning stage. Including a variety of activities such as outdoor adventures, cultural excursions, culinary tours or relaxation retreats can help to inform your longer-term holiday goals. 

Travel planning around map

Planning a trip: 5 years in advance 

  • Travel skills – when you’re delving into your 5-year travel planning, start to think about whether there’s a destination that you’ll be spending enough time to learn a language. Aside from language, cultural awareness and navigation abilities are also key to enhance your experiences and save on costs. 
  • Seasonal opportunities – now’s the time to start looking at what seasons you’d like to travel in. Are you someone who’d rather save some money and travel in the off-season, sacrificing some weather ideals, or do you want to be there right when the sun is shining, despite the busy-ness? 5-year planning allows you to ensure that your trips are taking place at the exact seasonality that suits you best. 
  • Plan for special occasions – we touched on this above, but if there are any milestone birthdays, anniversaries or family memories that would be best celebrated on a holiday, now is the time to contact all those involved and pitch the idea of a memorable trip to commemorate! 
Travel planning with map

Planning a trip: 10 years in advance 

  • Big Ideas - Start to think about big ideas like sustainable travel – you may have 5, 10 or even 20 trips planned out over these 10 years, and it pays to look at what that means for your carbon footprint. Where can you adjust the mode of transport or buy carbon offsets to ensure you’re committing to travelling sustainably. 
  • Once in a lifetime destinations – dust off your travel wishlist and prioritise those destinations that are at the top! Whether it’s hot-air ballooning in Cappadocia or exploring the Great Barrier Reef, now is the time to map out a plan to get yourself there!
  • Consider extended travel opportunities – given you’ve got enough time to think about it, consider any extended travel options, which could be opportunities with sabbaticals, gap years or even looking into retirement. Travelling within a longer timeframe allows for that deep exploration and cultural immersion – which can enhance all the great benefits of your adventures! 

Good holiday planning is essential for meeting your expectations and making the most of your experiences with loved ones. Whether you're mapping out adventures for the next 3, 5, or 10 years, consider factors like family dynamics, travel priorities, financial goals, and milestones to ensure you’re creating unforgettable memories and your travel experiences are shaping your life, for years to come. 

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