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Adventure Planning – Yucatan, Part 1

After a few delays, my wife and I are finally getting around to planning our next international adventure. It’s going to be a relatively short one, about 3 – 4 weeks in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and parts of Central America. We’re shooting for a road trip to Florida to see family in Mid-February and then flying out of Miami to Cancun, but we are still open to other ideas. Many folks might look at planning a month-long trip a month before departure as woefully last-minute, and I suppose it is, but that’s half the adventure really.

Although yesterday was the first day I started checking out flights, we’ve been conceiving this trip for a while now, so let’s look at our process so far.

1. The Book – I have a serious love/hate relationship with travel guides, but if you’re looking to visit somewhere for the first time, no other resource gives you all the essential need-to-know stuff in one location. There’s many out there, but my personal favorite for trip planning happens to be the “Rough Guide.”  You can read almost the entire book here. How does Google get away with that? Plenty of travel guides are available for reading online at Google Book Search.

2. Determining the Destination – It’s great to have an open itinerary to let the adventure seep into your trip, but the book helps to at least pick out your arrival city, a necessary evil of planning. Picking the right destination consists of weighing many different factors like weather, budget and your heart.  The book is good for researching what particular locations will mean in terms of climate, expense and simple potential awesomeness. For example, we’ve picked Cancun as our starting point, because it worked well in terms of climate, our budget and logistics. Cancun is the closest airport to the region we want to travel where we can use frequent flier miles. This trip is also partly a delayed honeymoon, so we may spend some anti-adventure time in one of those fancy resorts that I normally curse on this blog…

3. Determining the duration – Unless you’re planning to go expat for an undetermined amount of time, you’ll want to figure out how long you can be gone, unless you’re willing to spring for the extra expense of buying a one-way ticket whenever you’re ready to come home. Usually this decision is a simple matter of budget and what’s going on in your life. For us, it’s about how much we can afford to spend and how long we can afford to be gone before we need to get to work on building a house once things warm up here in April.

4. Determining the Departure Date – This brings us up to the present. Just yesterday we decided we’re shooting for Mid-February. Next step is to start looking for plane tickets. I’ll let you know how that goes right here in the near future….