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The 7 Stages of Planning Your Next Adventure

We've all been there...

By: Jess Fischer + Save to a List

1. Deciding You Need Another Adventure; Commence Stalking Travel Destinations

Okay, you've decided, you need a vacation. No, you DESERVE an adventure. You work hard. You do what you need to day in and day out. It’s time. Maybe it’s been months, maybe it’s been a few days but you are itching to plan that next trip. Time to break out the laptop or phone and stalk pictures, websites (cough *THE OUTBOUND* cough) and Instagram to find that next dream destination.

2. Realizing How Poor You Are

You’ve found your destination. Time to figure out how much it’ll cost to get there, yay. Plane tickets are HOW much to go there? Saw off my arm why don’t cha? I have to pay how much to get into the 9 national parks I want to road trip through? I mean, what do you work so hard for all year anyways? To have your money sitting in a bank account collecting dust?! Experiences over things right?

3. Crying Because You Spent a Little Too Much Money

Mere seconds after you click confirm you second guess yourself. Should I cancel and get the money back? OMG I’m going to be so poor. Hey, as long as you can make rent you’re good right? Or maybe not, maybe you’ll just sell all your stuff and live out of your car? Eating ramen for a few months ain’t that bad…

4. Excitement

Okay, no, you’re not canceling your purchase. You’re over it and have accepted your fate of being mildly broke and now you’re excited. You’ve done it! You’ve buckled down and made the first big purchase for the trip. Maybe it was buying plane tickets. Maybe it was booking a campsite or renting a van. Whatever it was you ARE PUMPED! The next adventure is officially going to happen! HOORAY !!!

5. Planning the Logistics aka Being Stressed 101

Okay initial excitement has worn off. Can’t I just pay somebody to plan this trip for me, ugh, no because I just spent all my extra money on this trip. Okay. Car rentals? Campsites? Backcountry permits? Does anyone work at that permit office because I feel like I’ve been on hold for three days straight.

6. Buying Gear You Don’t Need, but like, You Could REALLY Use It

*Trying to justify your purchases to your significant other and/or yourself* Okay yeah, I have two other backpacking stoves but this one is going to be so much better than the last two because...rrrr...moving on. This jacket is absolutely going to keep me drier than the other six I have, and make me look WAY cooler. Do I need to justify all this? The headlamp? I don’t have that color headband yet and it’s a lot brighter than my other three. YES I need to try these new snacks on THIS trip. And you can't blame me for getting a new set of stuff sacks. You can always use more stuff sacks. I feel like I’m being judged…

7. The Pre-Adventure Jitters

It’s down to the wire, you’re maybe a week or days out from your adventure. You realized the day before you accidentally booked your tickets flying back into a different airport than you’re flying out of but it's okay, you handled the situation and the stressful moment is over. You’re excited! You’ve never been here before and you can’t wait to explore. You’re jittery with excitement! The challenge of fitting everything into a pack is so fun and exciting! The time has finally come for your next adventure and to test out all the new gear you didn't need to buy!

Adventure on Explorers!

Cover photo: Jon Mattrisch

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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