Print

You Can't Take It With You Travel Self-Help Advice

Written by Blake Gray

Putting off your dream vacation until after your working days is futile. Now is the time to take that trip!

People often say, "When I have the time, I want to see the Taj Mahal." Or the Serengeti. Or the Louvre gift shop.

.
Life Advice
If your company won't give you a month off to take a safari, consider asking for an unpaid sabbatical. Tell them you will return re-energized. It's true.
Don't waste time planning one big trip to every place you want to see. Pick a country you want to see and just buy the airline tickets.
Ordinarily, I don't reserve a hotel room for more than the first night of my stay, to give me more flexibility. However, at Christmas, it's a good idea to call ahead, because some places will be closed. This is particularly important in "very Christian" countries like Ireland and Italy.
Don't worry, it'll work out.
Moreover, the type of destination we choose is affected by the level of discomfort we're willing to endure. The most perfect beach I've ever seen was on a remote Portuguese island, but I had to sleep on it because there are no inns and only one ferry a day. Will I be willing to do that again in 20 years? I hope so, but who knows. I may need to pay an extra boat fare for my Sealy Posturepedic.

In fact, the more isolated the location, the more romantic its allure. Kathmandu was the destination of choice for many '60s world travelers because it was exotic and inaccessible. Now you can take a stopover there on your way to Bhutan, and you just don't hear Bob Seger singing, "I think I'll layover in Kathmandu/Take a shower have a meal or two/That's what I'm really really gonna do/If that's where my flight goes through."

But even if your dream destination is senior-friendly, like Venice, surely you'll enjoy it more now. You have more energy now, and will be more likely to spend the evening drinking vino in a little neighborhood bar after a hard day of staring up at Tiepolo ceilings.

Remember, going now doesn't prevent you from going again when you're 65. If your passion is culture, you'll enjoy a second trip at that age more than a first one, because you'll be able to compare. But if you kill yourself from overwork (there's actually a Japanese word for this, "karoshi") because you don't take a vacation, you'll never get to Antarctica, or Zanzibar, or wherever your travel dream is.

What exactly are you saving your vacation time and money for? To travel, right?

So don't wait. Go now, when you'll enjoy it most. And send us a postcard, you lucky dog.

Related Items