If you are like many Americans, seeing the world is a huge part of your “bucket list.” In fact, you may even have a separate wish list specifically devoted to your most-dreamed of travel destinations. If you are as busy as most, or if you’re on a budget, achieving those goals can seem like a distant possibility, but you can realize your dreams and cross a few items off no matter your situation.

Start by preparing, even before you begin planning your trip. For many, this will include budgeting and putting some money into savings over time, but even if you have plenty in your vacation fund, you may have other things you need to save up. Unless you’re retired or self employed, you may need to take some time to save up your available paid time off, so you don’t need to worry about getting the time off once you are ready to plan your vacation. This is also a great time to start thinking about destinations and types of trips you might want to take.

Road Trips

Each type of vacation has its pros and cons, and road trips sometimes receive an undeserved bad reputation. Especially if you have children, there can be something daunting about committing to a long drive in the car, truck, or RV. This type of travel also limits you a bit in terms of destination, since you obviously can’t drive overseas from home. However, if you’re not intimidated by the challenges presented, this type of trip is incredible for sight-seeing along the way. You also have the flexibility to visit multiple places in a single go or to do a serious deep-dive into a single location, as well as the flexibility to change the plan mid-vacation. If you have the time, you could even manage to deep-dive into multiple stops, making this kind of travel easily the most versatile.


While road trips give you the choice between an in-depth look at one destination or multiple stops, cruises specialize in smorgasbord travel. If you want to knock lots of items off of your bucket list in one go, especially overseas, this is the way to go. This is also a fantastic way to travel if you want to sample a variety of new places in one go, in order to plan a more in-depth trip later on. The best part is that you get to sail the seas in the lap of luxury, surrounded by great food, great entertainment and so many fantastic ways to relax and unwind. Cruise ships also go to a lot of fascinating places that are difficult to get to in other ways. For example, if you want your friends to think you are even more daring and adventurous than you already are, try planning an Antarctica cruise.

Destination Trips

If you are a more serious traveler, or if you only have one or two locations you are dying to get to, you’re probably interested in the traditional destination trip. Usually this means taking a flight and spending the entirety of your vacation in a single country, state or even a single city. While you may not be travelling to multiple destinations, this gives you the best opportunity to enjoy everything an area has to offer. If you’re going to a foreign country, you get the opportunity to appreciate, and perhaps even participate in, the local culture. This method includes everything from a trip to Las Vegas for a weekend of gambling and shows, to a weeks-long tour of Paris for the French cuisine and historic buildings and museums.

Whether you are thinking of one specific place or many, or hoping for a nearby location or a faraway land, your world-trotting goals are achievable. Prepare yourself, save everything you need, choose the right kind of trip and plan well. Then all you will need to do is go and enjoy yourself on the vacation of your dreams.