19 Tips for Taking the Trip of a Lifetime

Many travel agencies, tour organizers and tourism boards promise a “trip of a lifetime”: a travel experience that will stay with you for the rest of your days. Yet, any trip can have such an impact; it’s simply dependent on you and your attitude. Here’re 19 tips to help you make your next trip a trip of a lifetime.

Plan, but do it in pencil

Have a good idea of where you’d like to go and what you’d like to do, but be prepared to change your plans at any given moment. Trying to fully plan a trip of a lifetime is a fool’s errand, like trying to fully plan life itself.

I actually like to consciously over plan: if I have three days, I plan five days’ worth of activities, so that, if one of my top three activities falls through, I’ve always got activities four and five to fall back on. If there’s one thing you should plan—not just in ink, but in stone—plan to be flexible.

Maslouskaya Alena / Shutterstock.com
Maslouskaya Alena / Shutterstock.com

Listen to your inner child

Think back. Is there a country, city or experience that, as far back as you can remember, has always intrigued you? For me, there certainly was.

Even in high school, when friends would ask what I would do if ever I won a million dollars, I always answered that I’d move to the south of France. No idea why. But some twenty years later, I am literally writing this from a hotel room on the Cote d’Azure. I still can’t tell you why my teenaged self was so drawn to the region, but I can tell you he was absolutely right.

Vasilyev Alexandr / Shutterstock.com
Vasilyev Alexandr / Shutterstock.com

Know yourself

This is a big one. You have to know your likes and know your dislikes; know your strengths and know your weaknesses; know your dealmakers and know your deal-breakers. Be honest with yourself.

For example, I’m pretty much done with the whole hostel experience. It’s not to say I wouldn’t be willing to do it again, but a trip of a lifetime, for me, would not include sharing a hostel with a group of twenty-something backpackers and their guitars. A tent? Sure. A Hotel? Of course. A cabin by the sea? Now we’re talking. But, then, that’s just me…

Linda Moon / Shutterstock.com
Linda Moon / Shutterstock.com