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Ready to explore? 4 tips for your next big getaway


Allworth co-founder Scott Hanson shares a few helpful suggestions for your next big vacation.


Here are a few facts that you’ll find interesting: 92% of Americans have travel plans in the next six months,1 while 25% of people over the age of sixty-five say they want to venture to a foreign country at least one time a year for as long as they can.2

It varies, but with airfare, most couples traveling for two weeks internationally could spend right around $10,000.

That is a lot of ducats.

Here are some tips to keep travel prices down and experiential aspirations high.

Plan early

I have clients who have mapped out their travel plans a decade in advance. And I know folks who recently paid $400 for nonstop, economy plus flights to Paris.

And yet I also know someone who recently paid $2,200 for a middle seat in the back of the plane.

When it comes to travel, the earlier you plan, the more options you will have and the more money you’ll save. Remember, there is certainly nothing wrong with spending $7,000 for a trip that cost your neighbors $10,000.

With the 2023 travel season in full gear, where do you want to go in 2024? While there are exceptions, most airlines and hotels allow you to book about 11 months in advance. Remember, as the dates get closer and the seats and rooms fill up, the prices rise.

If you know you are going to travel next year, don’t put off planning or making reservations. Sit down and map it out now.

Experience over destination

After a few trips, or even a lifetime of travel, you may think you have been everywhere you want to go.

Fair enough.

But if you’d still like to travel, but aren’t excited about another visit to Rome, then switch it up and make a list, not of places you’d like to go, but of things you’d like to do.

Such as?

Stand beneath blue seracs in a glacial icefall. Cavort with emperor penguins. See FC Barcelona play Real Madrid in front of 95,000 people. Helicopter into the crater of an active volcano. Take a dunk in the hot springs of Blue Lagoon, Iceland. Or you could see the Northern Lights from inside a glass igloo.

Most people pick a destination and then research the highlights and history. But if you’re done with Paris or London, build your next trip around a singular experience that you’ve always wanted to have.

Team up to travel

I realize that dysfunctional travel companions fertilize the fields of great comedy. But whether single or partnered, there are a lot of advantages to travelling with friends.

First, someone has your back and can help keep you from zoning out and falling into a canal. Second, how many times have you traveled, hit an energetic wall, and felt like you’d had enough, only to appease a companion, venture outside, and experience something memorable that you never have before?

Travel companions can be terrific motivators and prolific idea generators.

Lastly, it is safer and more affordable (think rental homes) to travel with friends.

Go all in on living like a local

We all know that feeling of being somewhere unfamiliar and not fitting in. Most of us don’t like to be recognized as obvious tourists. And it can feel… conspicuous to be part of a large group of travelers.

I understand. For a certain type of person, just wandering around for two weeks alone is heaven.

But have you ever really looked at a map of Berlin’s U-Bahn? They somehow managed to connect the transportation systems of two major cities. You learn to navigate that, and you are about as dialed-in as you can be.

While the challenge of traveling like a local is that you must put yourself out there and ask strangers for directions, you quickly find that most people are proud of their homes and love to give advice!

Use local guides for obscure tours. Ask locals where they go to view the sunset, what they would most like to see if they were visiting, or where to get a traditional meal or drink. You can keep travel fresh and inspired by committing to going native.

Not everyone desires travel, and you can obviously expose yourself to entire worlds by exploring a garden or by studying the night sky from inside your own yard. But for those who crave the road, and who embrace the uncertainty of travel, I encourage you to book early, think local, and identify experiences and not just destinations.

Lastly, when you travel, should your trip begin to falter, and your energy start to wane? And should you sense weariness, regret, or even reticence creeping in? Perhaps take a deep breath and contemplate this simple observation from Viennese philosopher Martin Buber: “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”