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Anna Marie

What You Need to Know to Begin Your 2024 Travel Plan

The new year is an excellent time to strategize and make plans for your year in travel. PullOverandLetMeOut takes you on a deep dive into the critical elements you'll need to know to begin your 2024 travel plan.
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Hi, I’m Anna Marie. I’m a wife, mother, Irish dancer, and pug mom living in North Carolina. I also love to travel. Come along for the ride! If you see something you like, don’t be afraid to say, ‘Pull over and let me out.’

Having a travel plan for the year isn’t only beneficial, but also necessary. It is essential for planning, budgeting, discovering the best deals, obtaining reservations during peak times, and so much more. However, it’s also vital for mental health. Planning those much-needed getaways and breaks offers us something to look forward to, which helps us stay positive. January might be a little daunting, but now is the time to start planning dates and getaways rather than becoming stuck in the winter doldrums. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of essential questions you can answer right now to start planning your next adventure. Here is what you need to know to begin your 2024 travel plan.

These questions will help you start your 2024 travel plan.

a bride and groom at sunset

1. What trips or events do I already know of on my calendar?

If you already know you’ve got a special event or occasion coming up in 2024, it’s time to set that date in stone on your calendar. Think of things like weddings, graduations, holidays and the like. This way you will avoid planning something only to remember, oops cousin Lulu is getting married that weekend!

Not only will you avoid the dreaded double-booking, you can also do some research to find out what’s nearby. That item that’s already locked in on the calendar can serve as a spring board to an adventure. Make the most of this! We once took a 7-hour detour after a family wedding that turned into a visit to Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. A true travel win-win!

2. What word(s) describe the type of traveling I want to do this year?

Something as simple as identifying the word or words that best express what you’re looking for when traveling can have a significant impact on the trips you plan.

Words like luxury, adventure, cruise, glamping, beach, mountains, all inclusive, and more will help you tailor your travel to meet the specifics of what you’re looking for in your vacation days.

There may be more than one word or objective so take some time and write down those travel words and start defining your travel plan for 2024.

3. Is there one specific place I want to visit this year?

Whether it’s a big trip to a bucket list destination or a short trip to a nearby destination you’ve been meaning to visit, this place is a priority for you in 2024. If you’ve identified this as “the” place you must see this year, write it down and make it happen!

Something as simple as putting it on your calendar will bring you that much closer to making it reality. Seize the moment!

collage Cliffs of Moher

4. How many trips will I take this year?

Set a reasonable amount of travel dates and begin planning.

Consider factors such as the number of vacation days you have, budget, time of year etc. Do you prefer to take one big vacation, one trip per quarter, or twelve weekend getaways?

Give this some thought so that you consider all of the aspects that will go into determining an achievable number of breaks.

5. What is my budget?

Ah, yes. The “B” word. Budget!

The earlier in the year you start your planning, the more time you have to start saving. Ask, is there anything I can do right now to start saving?  Perhaps something as small as forgoing your daily Starbucks run and putting the money in a jar could do the trick.

Or, maybe consider opening a savings account that’s dedicated to travel and have money automatically deposited into it on a regular basis.

January is also a great time for building your core travel wardrobe since there are so many sales. You can learn more about developing a core wardrobe here.

Also, be creative. Is there a way to save money on travel expenses, such as TrustedHouseSitters?  This is a wonderful service that offers travelers accommodation in exchange for pet-sitting services. Pet owners can travel confidently knowing their furry loved ones are safe at home being cared for. I use this program and have had wonderful experiences and my pugs have loved their sitters! You can learn more here.

Take some time, do your homework, and I highly recommend reading 12 Ways to Save Money for Travel.

a man and a woman each holding a pug
Our TrustedHouseSitters, Ryan and Jodie from the UK, cared for our pugs in exchange for lodging while we were in Arizona.
PullOver Pro Tip picture

If your schedule allows, I recommend looking into traveling during the off-season or shoulder season. During certain periods, hotels and airfares are less expensive, and crowds are considerably smaller. Because things are less crowded, you're likely to receive better service. Keep in mind though, not all attractions are open during these times so you'll need to do your research to be sure you're not missing out on something you really want to see or do!

6. Are my travel documents in order?

If your travel plans include a trip abroad, this is the time to take a peek at your passport and make sure it’s up-to-date. The United States State Department had significant delays following the shutdown and is only now only now getting back up to speed. When it comes to renewing, sooner is better than later!

Also, depending on where you intend to travel, now is the time to do your research to determine whether any additional documentation is required. Check and then double-check to avoid any last minute hiccups.

7. Should I begin looking for airfare deals?

Is it time to set up alerts to find the best airfares?

If air travel is part of your travel plan, then yes! It’s never too early to start looking.

Set up alerts to make sure you find the best deals. While no one can predict when the optimal time is to locate the best offer, there are a variety of websites and tools to help you minimize the window and score excellent deals.

Kayak, Google Flights, Skyscanner, Going(formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights), Hopper, and of course the TravelingToGive tool on this website all work to search the Internet to find outstanding savings.

8. Am I on social media following the tourism boards for my destinations?

You can discover many tips and ideas by following the locations you wish to visit on social media.

Find the CVB (convention and visitors bureau) for the location on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest and press follow.

You’ll discover so much about your destination that will help you organize your itinerary.

Is there an off-the-beaten-path attraction or restaurant you’d like to visit? You’ll most certainly learn about it on social media!

Jumping at Black Cat Alley. PullOverAndLetMeOut
The Milwaukee CVB helped me create a terrific itinerary.

9. With whom will I be traveling?

Granted, this is a question that should be further up on the list, but if you’re planning the trip, you probably already know the answer.

That being said, is your traveling companion or party nearby or should you plan to meet regularly to prepare for your upcoming trip?

Will weekly or monthly video chats be helpful?

Is there any delegating that can be done? Maybe you can divide the research by activity or attraction to let everyone participate in the planning. Or, if too many cooks spoil the soup and you’ll be making all the arrangements, be sure to provide regular updates for your traveling companions in order to keep them apprised of the plans and avoid unwelcome surprises on the road.

Are you ready to start making your 2024 travel plans?

At PullOverandLetMeOut, I’ve partnered with Solutionz’ TravelingtoGIVE™ to bring you their SmartTrip™ tool. The tool takes my information and scours the Internet to find the best prices for accommodations, airfare, rental cars and more. What I also love about the tool is that every trip benefits charity.

I’ve been using the tool for a while and have had great success. That makes me happy because I couldn’t recommend something I don’t use myself.

If you’re starting your 2024 travel plan, take a few minutes to check out the SmartTrip™ tool and see what you find.

Travel More in 24!

Travel More in 24! I’m making that my slogan for the year.

Whether it be a short staycation in your home town, a trip across the state, country, or world, now is the perfect time to start planning.  Shed those post-holiday blues and forge ahead into 2024 and planning your next adventure.

Happy Travels!

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