Much like spring sees the slow and steady emergence of buds and blooms on trees and flowers everywhere, so too will the spring of 2022 see the slow and steady re-emergence of travel. After two years of pandemic restrictions both here and around the world; with PCR testing, vaccines and boosters, it might finally be time for you to “just say yes to travel!” We know our Amintro audience is actively engaged and embracing “the second half” and what better way to do so than through travel? If you’ve been building a long list of bucket list adventures during the pandemic, it’s time. Time to just say, “YES” to travelling again!
Are You An EngAger?
Before we get to some great tips and tools on travelling we’d like to introduce you to something new! Seniors being active and engaged means something important to us so moving forward Amintro is adding to the language lexicon with a new word, custom tailored to describe our audience. It’s EngAgers! What is an “EngAger?” It’s someone who is “just getting started!” An EngAger is a person who is embracing the second half of life by ENGAGING with the world head on! An EngAger isn’t “old” or a “senior” or even a “mature adult,” although you might think of yourself as all three of those things. Rather, we like this new and more “active” kind of word because it represents folks who are 50+, active adventure seekers who just happen to have the benefit of the wisdom that comes with age. We like to think of our Amintro family as great examples of engagers and we know that you’re “just getting started!” So with the arrival of spring and the loosening of pandemic restrictions, if you are ready to get started on travel plans now here are some of those tips and tools we promised!
Pros To Travelling Now
- It’s been two long years and you are ready! You’re well rested, you’ve done (or with our help you are about to do) the research on travelling and perhaps you’ve even added new adventures to your bucket list.
- Destinations are desperate to see you. A great many countries rely on tourist revenue to support their economies and these past two years have been tough. If you are looking for “justification” to travel, supporting the local economies of many a popular tourist destination seems like a good enough reason to us!
- You might find some deals. For the same reason as above, you might be able to negotiate better rates or upgrade your hotel stay or cruise package to something a bit nicer than you might normally be able to afford.
- Adventures are waiting! Whether you drive, fly, sail or take the train – there is so much to do both here and abroad and when you do – you will find that many places around the world continue to offer a variety of safe protocols to help ensure your comfort. You may have to do a little bit of homework but this is the perfect time to put some of your old business skills to work by engaging in some SMART planning!
- Perhaps you are thinking there might be a few “cons” to travelling right now? We don’t think so but if there was a list of “cons,” chances are it’s limited only by the extent of your patience. Depending on your destination you may be required to undergo a PCR, or Rapid Anti-gen test to verify your fitness to fly.
- You may also have to provide proof of vaccination. This will require you to plan and pre-book your appointments and ensure you have all the paperwork required by the time of your scheduled departure.
- This will also mean having to do perhaps a bit more research than planning a vacation did back in 2018 or 2019. It’s not really a con when you consider the wealth of information available at your fingertips just by logging on to your computer, phone or tablet. *That’s why it’s so important you see our “SMART” planning advice!
- Just about everything you need to know is just a click away and when you’ve done the research, you can simply click on the “buy now” or “shopping cart” feature to purchase your plane tickets, book a hotel or even to book your spot in line to ascend the Eiffel Tower while in Paris! (Yes, you CAN do that!)
No doubt at some point in your career, or for those of you still working, you engaged in something commonly referred to as SMART planning or even SMART goal-setting. SMART is the acronym for creating Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely goals or plans. There’s no reason why this same acronym can’t apply to planning your next “bucket list” vacation!
- S = Specific. This just makes sense. You wouldn’t just announce you wanted to go to Italy or to trek through the Himalayas and then leave the next day. You have to be specific:
- Where do you want to go?
- How will you get there?
- Where will you stay?
- What would you like to do while you are there and how will you do it?
- And…. so on. Apply the rule of specificity to your planning process to ensure smooth sailing every step of the way.
- M = Measurable. Sure you’re not going to be “measuring your success” but there will be an element of “measurement” to your trip including:
- Calculating how much money you’ll need to reach your destination.
- Converting cash into local currencies and should you do that before you leave or at your destination?
- If you are driving to your destination you’ll specifically measure of distance and will need to determine how many kilometres or miles will you be able to drive in a typical day?
- Flying? Consider on your arrival at your destination, how far is your hotel or Air BnB from the tourist sites you hope to visit? Can you walk or will you also need ground transportation to get around? Should you rent a car or rely on public transportation?
- A = Achievable or Attainable. Similar words, whichever one you choose to use, we suggest you give some thought to your physical fitness level.
- Are you ready to take on the dream vacation right now or should you work your way up to any physical requirements by putting in 10,000 steps a day in preparation?
- If you are planning something unusual (like deep dea diving perhaps) you might want to get the advice of a doctor before you leave.
- Do you have enough funds to cover the costs of the trip included a slush fund for unforeseen emergencies or extra expenses?
- Have you verified that travel has resumed at your destination of choice – is the country “open for business?”
- Are your travel plans immediate, for 6 months into the future or more than a year away? Have you prioritized which countries you’ll visit and have you budgeted accordingly?
- R = Realistic. Have you thought about the “boring” stuff like what if you have an accident, injury or illness?
- Don’t forget to plan for medical insurance coverage and even what to do in the event of lost luggage.
- Be realistic about real world issues that could impact your trip and plan for any such interruptions accordingly.
- Consider if it’s important to you that you’re surrounded by like-minded people, and whether you should travel alone or with friends. Being realistic about your expectations is important to avoid disappointment.
- T = Timely.
- Check in with your intended destination. Is this the right time to visit?
- What Covid protocols do they have in place?
- What is the health care system like if you experience an illness or a fall?
- What IS the best time of year to visit? Some destinations may experience different weather patterns than what we are familiar with during the spring season at home. Be prepared. The world might be opening up again but is spring the best time to visit your country of choice or should you wait for fall? The answer will depend on where you plan on going so plan with timeframes in mind – including how long you’ll be gone and whether you also need to arrange for timely mail pick up at your home, house sitting services, pet sitting services or other important details.
We think you can apply this SMART planning principle to any adventure you hope to undertake. Maybe you’ve always wanted to skydive but never had the time or excess funds? Apply SMART goal setting to make sure you not only add this item to your bucket list adventures but you do so secure in the knowledge that you’ve investigated the process thoroughly, you are in good physical shape or you’ve set some interim goals to help get you ready. You get the idea. Be an EngAger! Get started with SMART planning for all your spring travel adventures. If you are looking for a friend – or even a whole group to travel with, consider using Amintro to help find new friends who share the same hobbies and bucket list goals as you. One of the things you can count on with Amintro is our free, easy to use app that helps match like-minded EngAgers with similar interests; friends you may even eventually decide to travel with!