Vacations: what most people look forward to for the entire year, booking time off work, taking the kids out of school, and getting ready to relax, unwind, and not worry about regular life stresses. However, planning the perfect vacation can be time-consuming and require a lot of work to get everything just right. It doesn’t have to be a stressful process, though, as long as you follow these simple steps to help plan the best vacation ever.
1. Decide where and when to go
The first step is choosing where you want to vacation to. Consider what kind of trip you want: are you looking for a relaxing beach holiday, or an adventurous trip full of excursions? Are you interested in nightlife or culture, or nature and exploration? Depending on what your interests are, you can find the right destination by doing a bit of research.
Once you have figured out where you’re going, you need to figure out when is the best time to go to maximize the value of the trip. If you want to travel so you can go hiking, it’s not such a good idea to go during colder or snowy months. The same goes for places that can get too hot in the summer, where you can’t stand to be outside in the heat for long periods of time, let alone being active as well. You also might want to avoid high prices and masses of tourists during popular times of the year, so checking out when the low season is can help avoid crowds and save you money on accommodation and flights.
2. Make a plan
You don’t need to meticulously schedule everything into a minute-by-minute itinerary (the point of a vacation is to relax!), but you should decide what kinds of activities you want to do. It can be fun and thrilling to travel without a plan, but it can also be stressful, and you can miss out on a lot if you aren’t sure where to look. Whether you’re looking for things to do in Los Angeles, or excursions to take in Costa Rica, planning in advance ensures you won’t miss anything special, and that you can fit in everything you want to see and do.
3. Book in advance
If you can, book as much as possible in advance to avoid the headache of uncertainty or the disappointment of getting turned away because the event is sold out. Booking flights and accommodation far in advance can help save you some money as well, seeing as last-minute flights and hotel rooms are usually pricier, and can sometimes be unavailable during peak season. Depending on the place you’re traveling to, sightseeing tours, restaurants, shows, and other events may be crowded or popular and might sell out in advance, so buying your tickets ahead of time will help get you into the places you really want to see.
4. Pack smart
Traveling abroad and realizing you’re missing an important item or outfit can ruin your day, or even your entire trip, so do your research and pack appropriately. Check the weather during the dates you’ll be traveling, and read up on packing tips and tricks to help you pack efficiently.
Time away from your regular life can also mean time away from your devices. If you’re feeling burnt out from technology, consider a tech-free vacation (except for a camera to capture memories) to help reset and recharge so you come home feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world again.