There is nothing better than taking a break from the grind to seek new experiences. However, poor planning can lead to a vacation that may have you wishing you stayed home. Do not let your dream vacation become a nightmare! Follow these five simple steps to transform any vacation into a delightful trip.
1. Brainstorm Destinations and Dates
Formulate a list of all of the places you would like to travel to. This list can be a combination of easily obtainable trips (such as local or cheap trips) and the more extravagant getaways.
Now think about the dates in which you can travel. While daily obligations such as work, family, and finances often prevent us from jumping on that next plane to paradise, it is still feasible to plan trips around these potential time barriers.
Try to come up with as many possible vacation dates to allow more options for vacation trips and choices. Whether you are planning to travel solo or in a group, get a printable calendar to review potential travel dates.
Once you have compiled a list of destinations and possible vacation dates, it is time to do some vacation matchmaking. Ask yourself these questions to help you make an informed decision:
What will the weather be like at this time?
If you are considering a trip to China, you may not want to go during monsoon season. Likewise, your summer vacation to Australia may not be as warm as you had anticipated.
How much will this trip cost?
Whether you are flying solo on this trip or coordinating with a group, decide how much money is going to be put into the vacation pot. Remember that the costs are not limited to travel and accommodations; there are the additional costs of food, souvenirs, and experiences to consider in your budget planning. The costs vary per destination, so be sure to do your research on what the daily tourist cost of living would be to get a good idea on how much to put aside.
What will I need to travel?
Remember that in addition to holding a valid passport, some international travel may require you to obtain a travel visa, immunizations, and travel medicine. Completing these tasks can take several months, so be sure to get them done as soon as possible. To get a better idea of your international travel and health needs would be, check the Department of the State’s International Travel website.
Would the permitted vacation time suit the needs of this trip?
If you have limited vacation time, you will need to be realistic about the time constraints and travel time. If you would be spending more time travelling than relaxing, consider taking a rain check on that particular vacation spot so that you can make the most out of your time with a more convenient destination.
3. Make a Plan
Your first major priority is purchasing your means of travel and accommodation. Making these reservations early on in the planning process will typically provide reduced prices and allow more reservation options than if you were to make last minute plans. Next, think about how you would like to spend your vacation time. Will you sightsee along the way to your destination, or will you enjoy everything at the vacation destination? Regardless of what your vacation goals are, perusing travel sites, reading reviews, and asking around will allow you to make the best out of your trip with authentic and unique experiences.
4. Make a List
No matter where you go, there will be a variety of items that you will need to have a comfortable vacation. Keep an ongoing list of potential items to pack during your planning period. As you gain more knowledge of your itinerary, you will be able to expand or compress the items list until you know precisely what needs to be packed. If you are planning a group trip, using a shared online document (such as google docs) can also help with collaborating with your team. Regardless of where you are going or who you are going with, do not forget to pack these must-have travel accessories.
5. Organize Your Material
Now that you have finalized reservations and your packing list, do yourself a favor by organizing your travel extravaganza into one concise plan. Build a vacation cheat sheet by compiling hard copies of all of your reservations, travel plans, maps, and other important documents into a folder. Having access to this folder eliminates the need to use online or electronic resources (which could be inaccessible at times during your travels) and allows you to travel with confidence throughout your journey.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to have refreshing breaks and thrill-seeking experiences. While improper planning will lead you to trading your time off for a stressful vacation, these simple planning implementations will steer you in the right direction. With some creative brainstorming, list compilations, and perhaps a little bit of collaboration, you will surely optimize your vacation to create the trip that you deserve. Bon Voyage!