Step one of vacation planning is determining your travel destination. If traveling with family, make sure to take all their needs and preferences into consideration when choosing an itinerary.
Consider both your budget and travel duration when making this decision, so as to quickly narrow down destinations and plan dates of travel.
Choose Your Destination
Many people enjoy the idea of relaxing on a tropical beach. Others would rather get back to nature by hiking the mountains or discovering ancient cities. No matter your preferred vacation spot is, taking time for proper planning can only increase its enjoyment!
Begin your travel adventure by soliciting advice from friends and family on where they have visited. Next, create a bucket list of places you would like to see someday; store this list somewhere accessible such as in a notebook, Excel sheet, Notes app on your phone or even your middle school diary!
Once your choices have been narrowed down, review entry requirements, climate and weather for each one to narrow your selections further. Cross off those that won’t fulfill your desired experience before comparing remaining choices until finding one that perfectly meets them all while keeping a budget in mind will aid with making a final decision. Taking time for planning is an invaluable way to reduce stress when traveling and ensure an amazing vacation.
Set Your Budget
Starting your vacation planning off right means having an idea of your budget, which will allow you to both splurge on some elements while saving elsewhere. Airfare could be the largest expense – particularly if traveling internationally; lodging costs could also play a large role; don’t forget meals and transportation!
Plan out what activities and attractions you wish to include during your trip and create a loose itinerary. This will give you a better idea of costs as well as when discounts may be available on tours or attractions.
Once you’ve created your budget, start saving early to ensure a successful vacation experience. Setting aside small amounts each pay period until there is enough money saved up will increase your odds of sticking with your plan and avoiding expensive last-minute expenses. Aim to save at least enough to cover your entire trip expenses!
Decide on a Time Frame
Once you know where and how much you want to spend, it’s time to think about when. Your timing has an enormous effect on cost and crowds; planning accordingly is crucial.
Cost is one of the main considerations, so try traveling during shoulder season when airfare and hotel rates tend to be more reasonable. Furthermore, our brain gives more weight to events which occur nearer their end date – so plan your splurge dinner on your final night instead.
Once your vacation dates are set, physically write them into your calendar as a visual reminder. If your boss requires that you be available during these days, be sure to let them know as early as possible in advance (common courtesy). It may also be beneficial to set an autoresponder on work email and messaging apps to keep everyone up-to-date about what’s happening with you during that period.
Packing for your trip should take you some time; doing this can ensure you have everything needed, as well as give you an opportunity to pre-screen items you are considering packing – this can save both hassle and stress later on.
Be sure to include weather conditions at your destination and laundry services when creating your packing list. In addition, it would be prudent to include first aid supplies and snacks if flying or taking an extended car ride to reach your destination.
Travel planning may seem tedious at first glance, but doing it properly will ultimately make your trip much more pleasurable. By setting expectations with family and friends about what they expect out of your trip, preparing a basic plan will allow everyone involved to enjoy themselves more fully during their trip.