6 reasons why now is the best time to plan for big travel goals

Coronavirus has disrupted lives and travel plans around the world. Even though we're all staying close to home, here's why now is a great time to get planning.


Jun 10, 2023


planning for future travel

It's a strange time to find your identity in being a traveler. The Coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed how we look at the world, travel included. How can you be a traveler if you haven't left your house in 20 days? 

I've been asking myself that question for, well, 20 days now. 

The truth is that travel is a lot more than boarding the next plane, catching the next train, or exploring a new country. We've known that travel is more than the destination, but there is nothing like a global pandemic to remind us of that.

We can bring travel home. We can cook dishes that we ate with our favorite Worldpackers hosts or play games that we learned in the hostel common rooms. We can learn languages that we've overheard in foreign cafés or read books set in faraway destinations

One of the most tangible ways we can stay connected to our identities as travelers is to dream about future travel. 

The Coronavirus pandemic has canceled trips and squashed travel dreams left and right, but it won't last forever. Someday, we will be able to move freely again. Someday, borders will be open and travel won't mean putting others at risk.

Someday, we'll be able to live out our big travel dreams that we've had swimming in our heads. 

Here are six reasons why now is a perfect time to plan for big travel goals.

1. Because you've never had more time

2. Because it will awaken the same "travel muscle" as actually traveling does

3. Because you know what you truly miss most

4. Because you can practice the skills you'll need now

5. Because you can experience more from your couch than ever before

6. Because you can consider what really matters to you


1. Because you've never had more time

If you're self-quarantined at home, you don't need me to remind you that you've got more time on your hands than you know what to do with.

Carve out a couple hours of your "busy" schedule to plan for a brighter travel future.

Start by dreaming big. What experiences do you want to have? What destinations are highest on your list? What cultures do you want to dive into? What languages do you want to hear? What foods do you want to eat? 

Let your mind go crazyIf your feet can't wander, your thoughts sure can.

After you've landed on an experience that really sparks your interest, investigate that trip further. How much time would you need to do it justice? How long would it take you to get there? How much money do you need to save? Do you need any special skills?

Put together a "someday do" list. You might not be able to apply for visas or book a flight right now, but someday you'll need to. You might not be able to make a reservation at that awesome looking hostel, but someday you'll want to remember it exists. 

Make that list so that, in the future, you can just tick the boxes without planning all over again.

2. Because it will awaken the same "travel muscle" as actually traveling does

I know some travelers don't enjoy the travel planning process, but studies have shown that anticipating future travel brings as much satisfaction as travel itself

Use science to your benefit and boost your happiness. Visualize what that ideal travel day will be like. Dream about what you'll see, smell and taste. 

It's almost as good as the real thing. 

3. Because you know what you truly miss most

If you're anything like me, self-quarantining has reminded you of all of the things you've taken for granted. 

Giving your grandma a hug. Walking through a busy market. Sitting next to a friendly stranger on the train. Think about what you've missed the most during this time.

  • Is it meeting new people? Make that a plan for how to make that a priority on your next trip.
  • Is it trying new foods? Plan a trip all around discovering new-to-you flavors.
  • Is it connecting with loved ones? Plan a Zoom date with your friends to start dreaming of your next reunion, whenever that might be.
  • Is it exploring the natural features of a new place? Start safely planning your adventures and organizing and purchasing any gear you'll need now. 

4. Because you can practice the skills you'll need now

We're living in the golden age of online learning. Take advantage of all of the free trials and resources at your fingertips.

If you want to bartend at a hostel someday, take an online bartending course. 

Do you want to be able to talk to the locals? Learn a bit of the local language. 

Hope to leave your artistic mark by painting a mural someday? Dust of the paintbrushes and beautify your own space. 

Dream of an active adventure? Get fit using the thousands of free workouts available online now.

5. Because you can experience more from your couch than ever before

It's never been easier to be two places at once. You can test the waters by traveling virtually to many places around the globe

6. Because you can consider what really matters to you

With no tangible outside influences, this is a great time to evaluate what you really need and want out of travel (or life, really). 

Take stock of your gifts and talents. Think about what you want to contribute to the world. Ask yourself what you'd like to be known for. Then make a plan to be that person. 

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