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Posted on Wed. Sep. 12, 2012 - 12:01 am EDT

How to cross your dream adventure off life's to-do list

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(ARA) - Run a marathon. Visit the rainforest. Backpack through Europe. You might have a to-do list for chores around the house, work tasks or errands, and while those are all intended to keep you on track for the more mundane, but necessary, tasks in life, have you thought about compiling a more exciting kind of to-do list - filled with the places you want to see and things you want to do before you die?

While you've trained yourself well in accomplishing the day-to-day tasks that keep your life moving, you can use that same mindset to accomplish your life goals when it comes to travel and adventure. Compiling a to-do list and then formulating a plan for crossing the top items off is one of the best ways to ensure that you'll get to live your dreams.

If you're dreaming of that big adventure, but haven't quite made it a reality, here are a few tips for making that dream come true:

* Start by compiling and prioritizing your to-do list. Your adventures could range from running a marathon in a city you've always wanted to visit to zip-lining through a tropical rainforest. If you're in need of inspiration, visit Hilton Garden Inn's Facebook page and check out or contribute to Life's Ultimate To-Do List. This interactive contest asks participants about their ultimate adventures in an attempt to inspire each other to cross items off their lists. At the end of the contest, 10 winners will be chosen to receive a vacation package centered around completing the number one item on their to-do list.

* Set up a savings fund for your adventure. This can be a long-term venture, but set an automated withdrawal your paycheck each month into a special account, or develop a similar plan to build your savings. Find easy ways to save, such as cutting out your morning latte a couple days a week.

* Research your destination to keep you thinking about your trip and to make sure you get everything out of it when you go. Look through issues of National Geographic Traveler and travel books to learn more about your destination.

* Sign up for deal alerts for your dream location on travel websites. If you find the right deal, you might be able to afford your trip sooner than you had thought. It also pays to follow hotel chains with locations in many destinations, such as the Hilton Garden Inn, on Facebook and Twitter, as you never know when a promotion might pop up that can help you save even more. If you have an activity planned, be on the lookout for deals in the months leading up to your trip.

* Find unique ways to make your vacation happen. Traveling as part of a volunteer group is also a great way to see the world and do some good at the same time. If you simply love to travel and enjoy helping others, do some research in your community to see if there's an upcoming trip you might want to join, or research volunteer tourism organizations on the web.

When it finally comes time to cross that item of your life's to-do list, you'll be filled with excitement you could never receive by finding everything on your grocery list or completing the last chore on your honey-do list. For more ideas for filling out your list, visit www.facebook.com/HiltonGardenInn.


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