A holiday vacation can be the gift of a lifetime, for yourself as well as for those with whom you travel. Many people have a tradition of spending holidays with the same people in the same places every year. There is value in that; traditions become meaningful precisely because they are repeated year after year. BUT a particular holiday can become the brightest memory of all if it involves travel to a different place than usual, or with a different collection of people than usually get together. Why not plan for a holiday that will outshine the rest because you enjoyed it in a different way than usual?
It is probably too late now to get your first pick of holiday accommodations, destinations, or cruise itineraries for December, 2012. But this week is the perfect time to start planning for twelve months from now!
So how do you “start planning”?
Do your own shopping first. Maybe you already know that, more than anything, you want to spend Christmas in a particular place. Shopping in the Christmas markets of Europe? Meeting the tortoises in the Galapagos? Getting a tan on Copacabana beach? Or maybe you want to be alone in Paris with your life partner on New Year’s Eve. Or would you rather waltz at a ball in Vienna?
If you have a destination or activity in mind already, start (or continue) to collect information about what is possible so you can make the plan real enough to feel and taste it.
Or maybe your wish would be to have a special collection of people together at whatever destination is most suitable. Especially if you want to plan a trip with other adults whose lives are as full as your own, you need to give them plenty of time to get in tune with the plan. This December is the time to bring up your hope for a group vacation next year. If this group has not traveled together before, they will need to make room in their holiday traditions for your extraordinary plan. If it is the group rather than the place that compels you most, have some destination suggestions in mind and watch carefully for what seems to put sparkle in their eyes. Would this group rather ski the Rockies or lie by the pool on a Caribbean cruise?
Be prepared to paint a lively picture of the wonderful experience everyone will have, together, separately, or in new combinations.
Do not expect that everyone will immediately jump to agree with a proposal. (But if they do, that’s great!) It takes time for new ways of doing things to ‘marinate.’ People need time to turn things over in their minds, and to talk with each other once the initial idea has registered. You know better than I how the interpersonal dynamics go in your network. You don’t want to seem overbearing — but do not give up if nothing seems to happen immediately. Mention the possibility of a holiday trip next December again to everyone involved. Their responses can help to shape the trip and make it more attractive to everyone. And that will make it more likely to happen!
Traveling together for a holiday is the best gift of all. Where would you like to spend your best ever holiday?
Boundaries divide. Travel unites.
29 November 2012