Looking Into the Crystal Ball: Future Travel Plans & Goals

gty_crystal_ball_plane_js_150213_12x5_1600I am always thinking of travel. OK, maybe not always, but I think about it a lot. Almost every day I’m reading someone else’s travel journal, or clicking on their pictures on Facebook, or looking at Kayak or Google Flights or AirBNB or something else related to travel.

I can’t help it. I love to dream about traveling, I love to plan travel, and I to travel. It’s almost like I’m addicted or something.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I am a long-term planner. Thinking long-term is what made it possible for us to move to Hawai’i, and what has allowed us to even think about traveling on our retirement income. It also showed me that things come up and happen a lot quicker than you might think they will. I start with a travel idea (and check with Brett to see if he’s interested), then start putting some flesh on the idea’s bones to see if it’s doable, and what it’s going to take for us to make my flicker of an idea a reality, both in what we want to and can see and do, and how much we have to save.

I am currently thinking out to three years in the future at this point. Three years is how long it took us to make our Hawai’i dream a reality, and I know that having those ideas on my radar will go a long way to making sure they happen. Current travel plans are front and center right now and get most of my attention, but there ideas starting to simmer on the back burner are also getting some attention these days.

Here’s what’s on our upcoming travel plans look like so far:

  • Waikiki Getaway (June): I almost can’t believe this is happening in less than a month! Our hotel (an ocean-front room at the Hale Koa) is booked and paid for, airline tickets have been purchased and paid for, and transport to and from the airport to Waikiki has been arranged. We’re there for just three nights, but that will give the girls enough time to do some shopping, and for Brett and I to decompress on the beach with some mai tais.
  • Take WenYu to College (August): Airline tickets, hotels and rental cars have already been booked for this trip and mostly paid for. There’s still a few things to figure out, but we have plenty of time to get those taken care of.
  • Japan Visit (March 2017): Our stay at the New Sanno Hotel has already been reserved, and I am just starting to look at air fares for Brett, YaYu and myself. There’s been a couple of good fares put out already, but I’m feeling pretty sure there will be better prices this summer or early fall.
  • A New Mystery Vacation™! (December 2017): I’ve come up with what I think is a terrific and doable idea for a family Mystery Vacation™ over Christmas break in 2017. I’m just starting to look at lodging options and what airfares might be that time of year and so far nothing has screamed No Way Lady! Lots can happen between now and then, but the idea is simmering. I’ve been told though that this time, once air fare and lodging have been booked, I have to reveal the destination. No last-minute announcements will be allowed.
  • Take YaYu to College (August 2018): For obvious reasons this has just been penciled in so we stay aware.

    Beautiful Rotorua, New Zealand

  • Fall Getaway (September 2018): This is just something that’s being penciled in as well on our virtual travel calendar. Brett and I had originally thought we would go somewhere for up to two months; now we’re looking at more like two to three weeks. New Zealand’s North Island is at the top of the list for both of us.
  • Spring in Japan (February – May 2019): This will be the first of our annual 90-day stays in Japan. We currently can’t even think about where we might stay in Tokyo because our son and daughter-in-law are planning to buy a house or condo in 2017. They’re pretty sure they’re going to stay in Tokyo, and not move out to the suburbs, but that’s not set in stone.
  • Meiling’s Graduation in Oregon (June 2019) Again, just penciled in right now.

We’ve got some long stretches in there where we’re not going anywhere, but will use those times to beef up our travel account and figure things out. The hardest part is going to be the two years between Spring 2017 and 2019 when we won’t visit Japan. We can’t visit beginning February 2018 as U.S. visitors are only allowed to stay 90 days out of a 365 day period, and visa extensions can be very difficult to obtain. It seems like it will be too long to go without seeing our grandchildren, but hopefully our son and family will be able to make it here to Kaua’i during that time. If not, we’ll figure something out.

10 thoughts on “Looking Into the Crystal Ball: Future Travel Plans & Goals

  1. sherri says:

    You are lucky you are married to a fellow traveler. My husband is afraid to fly, so we either take a train or don’t go. I do fly alone to visit family. He had to go to California last week, and used up 10 days of vacation to take a train across the US. Takes 2.5 days each way; interesting going out there, not so much on the return trip! Kudos for planning ahead. I hate planning too far in advance.

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    • Laura says:

      Brett is a good traveler, although unlike me, he does NOT enjoy the planning phase of things. But once he’s packed and everything’s ready, he’s eager to go and always has a good time. We’ve talked about taking a cruise some day, but that’s where I balk. He’d be in his element, but I don’t enjoy being at sea (I’ve been on a cruise and didn’t enjoy it all that much).

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  2. SAK says:

    I love this – it is similar to how I plan as well. One thing – I just did 3 weeks in New Zealand in October 2015. Happy to pass on any information you might want – places I went and loved, places to skip, etc, tour guides I used, a travel agency that did some in-country planning for me (they arranged my bus/train/ferry travel and hotel for the last 2 weeks – and it was very very affordable even with the single supplement and staying at the most central locations. plus their website had tons of information. Just email me if you want any info!

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    • Laura says:

      Oooh – I would love to receive any tips you have to pass along. We are thinking we’ll fly in and out of Auckland (direct flight on Hawaiian from Honolulu), rent a car and drive to Rotorua, then down to Wellington and then back up to Auckland, staying for a few days in different places in AirBNB rentals. But, we have lots of other stuff to think about/plan first, but we’ll get there!

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    • Laura says:

      I will! Although there are other places we want to visit, we moved New Zealand to the top of the list because we can fly there direct on Hawaiian Airlines, and we’ll still be trying to accumulate miles to get the girls back and forth between college and home.

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  3. Denise says:

    I love that you’re going to decompress from Kaua’i in Waikiki!

    I absolutely loved New Zealand, and plan on going back some day. It’s beautiful, exciting, and the people are so welcoming.

    Hmmm I’m going to have to start thinking about next year now, you’ve inspired me!

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    • Laura says:

      We’ll be decompressing from the end of the school year stuff, not Kaua’i! We just need a break where we don’t have to be or drive anywhere, and can just relax on the beach. Brett and I thought about visiting Pearl Harbor, but decided we can do that later. The girls really need to do some shopping as well – there is so little here on Kaua’i, and they really haven’t bought anything other than school t-shirts for the last two years.

      We’re excited that a decision has been made about New Zealand!! We’re really looking forward to going.

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  4. Hawaii Planner says:

    Sounds amazing! We plan similarly, although fly a bit more by the seat of our pants. We do have a few family trips penciled in. We need to do a better job of making adult trips happen – it’s tricky to arrange the childcare. Not sure if we will get one this year based on schedules, but fingers crossed!

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    • Laura says:

      I always enjoy reading your travel plans! Three years out is a far as I can realistically plan. Even then, things change, but having ideas and plans and goals helps to keep me focused on what and how much I need to do to make things happen.

      The last adult trips Brett and I took were to Japan when our grandson was born, and here to Kaua’i in 2014 to house hunt. We love traveling with our kids – all are great travelers and good company – but we’re looking forward to setting off on our own as well. The next Mystery Vacation, if we can pull it off, will really be our last hurrah as far as traveling together as a family.

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