How do I find the right pilgrimage trip for me? That’s a great question!

The call to pilgrimage may be powerful for some, while it may be a sense of curiosity or a bucket list item for others. Some are motivated to join a trip because their friends, family, or a favorite priest are traveling. Most Christians want to visit the Holy Land or see the Vatican at least once. For many, a pilgrimage may be a life’s dream, so choosing the right one is important.

Here is a brief guide to five steps to help you choose the right pilgrimage!

Consider the destination

Are you interested in visiting the Holy Land, Rome, and the Italian Shrines, Greece – following in the footsteps of St. Paul, the Marian Shrines of Fatima and Lourdes, Poland- following the life of St. John Paul or exploring the lives of Saints in France? There are so many holy sites and so many choices. Some trips may call out to you more than others. Which destinations and pilgrimage sites are you drawn to and why?

Research the trips

You may want to travel with your parish priest or an organization you belong to that may be sponsoring a pilgrimage. You may want to travel with a well-known theologian or Catholic influencer you follow and connect with on social media. Be sure the trip leadership is known to you and you understand their leadership style. Will there be teachings and lectures on the trip, how large is the group, and will there be daily Mass? Can you spend time with the group leadership? These are all important questions to consider when choosing a trip.

Is the date and the price right for you?

Does the trip date fit your schedule, and is it the best time for you to travel? Will you be traveling with a companion, or will you be traveling by yourself? Do the trip dates work for them? What about the cost of the trip? Is it within your budget, or do you have to take out a loan to pay for it? Will you need a single room and how much does that cost? Remember to add the cost of Travel protection insurance to your total trip cost calculation. Before registering, ensure the dates and the total trip cost work for you.

Consider the content and the pace of the trip.

Does the trip include the places you are interested in seeing? How many hotel changes will there be? How large is the group? Are meals included? How much walking is required? Will you have free time to explore significant sites on your own? How much extra money do you need to bring with you? These are essential questions to consider before you register for any trip.

Understand the itinerary, pricing, and terms and conditions.

Before you decide on a pilgrimage and before you are ready to complete the registration process, take the time to read the day-by-day itinerary, what is included in the cost, how much does the trip cost, is the airfare from your hometown airport included, how much extra is travel insurance? Consider the cancellation fees in case something unpredictable happens and you must cancel. Read the fine print in the terms and conditions and be sure you understand what you are buying before you agree to deposit the trip.

Consider all the questions you may have after researching and narrowing down your choice of trips. Write all your questions on a piece of paper before you call the travel company that is arranging the trip. Having a brief conversation with the trip planners in which your questions are well organized and to the point will save you and the travel planner time and the read for multiple calls and e-mails. Don’t register for any trip until you have the answers to your questions, as once you register and make the deposit; you are subject to cancellation charges if you change your mind or something happens.

Once you register for your chosen pilgrimage, prepare spiritually and physically for the trip. Read about the places you will be visiting, learn about the lives of the saints and the history of the holy sites, and get to know the history and customs of the country you will be seeing. Start a walking program as being fit and able to walk at least 12-15 thousand steps daily will make a huge difference in how you feel, sleep, and enjoy your pilgrimage experience!

We hope these guidelines are helpful to you, and we hope you choose to travel with Select International Tours and Cruises!

Edita Krunic

About the Author

Edita Krunic is the President of Select International Tours.