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Taking the Trip of a Lifetime

Posted on Friday, June 14, 2024
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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4 Comments
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The vacation of a lifetime is a trip you’ll likely take only once. It is a rare travel opportunity that sweeps you to places you long to see. Sometimes, trips are planned many years out. Other times, travel opportunities may unexpectedly appear. For example, on a whim, a group of friends may suddenly decide to take an Italian Sojourn cruise from Rome to Venice. But is it practical for you to join them? Let’s examine whether you should do it!

Not to be a killjoy, but is it practical?

Sometimes rare opportunities present themselves, like the trip of a lifetime. It’s tempting to want to go, but before you commit, there are some things that need to be thought through. They include and are not limited to:

  • Affordability – Big trips are generally expensive, and price is often a consideration. On average, an 8-day slightly off-season cruise excursion to two European countries for two travelers begins at about $3,700 per person. However, note that cruise prices can be confusing so it’s important to note what is included/excluded. Not only must one factor in the cost of the trip itself, but international airfare, travel lodging, rental cars, meals and excursions that are not included, tipping, souvenirs and more must be considered. Can I afford this trip without going into debt? Or, if I charge the expense, how fast can I pay it off? And is this trip worth the value? These are big money questions one must consider.
  • Time – Big trips involve vacation plus travel time to and from destinations. When taking a European cruise, for example, it’s best to arrive several days early to avoid missing the ship. Note that airlines are notorious for travel delays, so it’s essential to build-in that extra time to get to your location early. These bonus travel days need to be added to vacation time. Before committing to travel plans, it’s important to designate time away from the office so work pressures don’t mount or interfere with the trip. Or, if you’re retired, are there any commitments, such as caring for a spouse, that require consideration?
  • Trip safety – Travel safety is an important issue, especially for solo travelers who lack travel companions. Note that there are some risks involved in travel, even when going in groups. The destination is a big part of the safety quotient. Are there travel advisories to your destination? Also consider your health and the overall health of your fellow travelers. Should you have a medical condition, are there reliable hospitals where you can receive care if in need?
  • The company – Spending quality time with people you like is a big part of trip enjoyment. It’s beneficial to take vacations with like-minded people with similar interests. For example, a thrill-seeker would likely have a better time on an adventurous trip where one goes sky diving or mountain climbing rather than with someone seeking to sit poolside to read. And vice versa. You’ll also want to avoid going on trips, no matter how tempting the locations sound, with people who grate on your nerves. There’s nothing worse than being bossed around, teased, and mistreated, or having to listen to someone continually whine or complain on vacation.
  • Location – Is this really my dream location? And, if I had only one trip to take for the rest of my life, is this the ultimate place I’d choose to go? This is not to say that a person can’t enjoy a vacation to a surprise location they never imagined visiting, but it’s important to consider outstanding places on one’s bucket list. At minimum, make sure the destination checks off some of the boxes of things you’ve dreamed of doing on vacation, such as enjoying a romantic Mediterranean cruise, experiencing winter fireside at a cozy Colorado inn, taking the scenic Sound of Music Tour in Austria, drinking a Mai Tai on the beach of a French Polynesian resort, or kite surfing on the Atlantic. The vacation must embrace some of the elements on your wish list.

Do it – but do it wisely!

Taking the trip of a lifetime is something everyone should strive to do! Unique travel opportunities don’t happen every day. So, when they do come up, it’s important to weigh travel options to see if the trip is a good fit for you. This is especially important when it comes to a once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel! Consider factors such as affordability, time, trip safety, the company, and the overall location that can make or break the experience. Understand that your personal needs and desires are top priorities for enjoying the absolute best and ultimate vacation of a lifetime.

What is your idea of a trip-of-a-lifetime? And, if you’ve been on one, what advice do you have to share?

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Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
26 days ago

My “dream trip” is to the meat department at Winco and buy whatever steak I want. But it’s just a dream, Brandon.

Toby
Toby
26 days ago

My trip of a lifetime was in 2001, when I went with a choir group of about 100 to Europe. We went to France, Austria, Prague, and Austria. The trip sort of fell in my lap, in that my friend from grade school told me about her friend, who was in the choir, who said that there were some openings for the trip, if she and a few other friends wanted to go. We helped out the group in that the more people who divided up the cost, the better. I would not have gone on a trip like that myself, so it worked out for me. It was great! It was also cheaper for me to go with a group, and the trip organizer took care of all the details. I haven’t gotten any younger, so I probably won’t go to Europe or an extensive trip again. I’d rather go somewhere in the U.S.
The thing I’d tell people to be careful about are pickpockets. We were warned of course, where they were the worst, and we kept our passports on a lanyard around our necks and inside our clothes. Another tip for a trip is to familiarize yourselves with the type of money used in the country where you’re going. Of course, make sure you know how to use your existing phone in another country.

Carol
Carol
26 days ago

I want to go on an African safari where I can see the animals in their habitat. Maybe the wilder beast migration in the Serengeti and lions! I love lions and cheetahs!

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