We’re already halfway through January. It’s hard to believe, I know. How’s it going with those travel goals you have? Are you working towards them, or are they in the abyss of dreams and you’re hoping they’ll just happen?

I want you to travel this year. That is my wish for you. It’s time to start thinking ahead to make your adventures come true. Take some action and make moves. They don’t have to be big moves but the sooner you do this, the more likely it is those trips you want to take this year will happen.

Here are four ways you can make your 2017 travel goals a reality. Do these four things, and you will be traveling more this year. I promise.

Set a Realistic Travel Goal

Be real with yourself. Where do you want to go this year? How do you want it to look? The first step to making your travel happen is to be realistic. When you’re honest with yourself about what you can truly pull off in the year, then your energy and finances go in the right places.

If you’re like me, you have a never-end, constantly-growing list of places you want to visit. That’s awesome! But let’s be reasonable about how many you’ll be able to visit in a one-year period. There’s nothing wrong with shooting for the moon and dreaming big, but it won’t get you any closer to Peru when you’re planning five other trips at the same time. Focus on what you want, set a goal, then work one step at a time towards it.

Plan Ahead

Now is the time to sit down, look at your timing and mark your calendar. Do it now. Right now. It’s amazing how quickly time flys – one minute it’s January, the next it’s July and those two trips you wanted in 2017 are pushed to 2018.

If you work full-time and have vacation time, start the conversation with your employer now about taking time off. Maybe you put in the request now. You don’t necessarily have to book your flights today, but if you have a timeline you’re working against, you’ll stay motivated and continue planning.

Create a Budget

Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. Or it can be. It ultimately depends on your priorities and how you like to travel. Along with planning and setting a goal, look at your finances and see how much your can realistically start to save each month. Have a legitimate conversation with yourself about what makes sense based on where you live and your lifestyle. Maybe it’s $100/month, or maybe it’s $500/month.

A good understanding of how much you can save helps to shape your goal and gives you a better timeline for planning ahead. Creating a budget helps determine how your trip looks. So, maybe Switzerland is out of the cards this year, but Croatia and the Czech Republic are more doable.

Define Your Priorities

What are you travel priorities and what are your life priorities? Identifying your priorities might be more than one conversation with yourself throughout the year, which is a good thing! It means your consistently reevaluating what’s important to you.

Maybe saving money for a new apartment or a new car is more important than a fancy trip. Totally fine. You can still travel this year if you want – if it’s a priority. It just might look a little different than it normally does. Instead of going to Argentina or Australia this year, maybe you stay closer to home. Maybe this year you road trip to Canada or take a budget trip to Guatemala. Travel doesn’t have to be priority number one, but if it’s important, you can make it happen. But, allow yourself to be flexible with how it looks.

So, what trips do you have on your list this year? What do you do to accomplish your travel goals?

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