Some things are better left unplanned, but a vacation isn’t one of them. Without a plan, your vacation is at risk of getting ruined. We don’t get a chance to vacation that often, so you don’t want to make mistakes that can be avoided when you plan your vacation. Before you get the bags packed and out the door, have a look at the essential things you have to do to have a smooth vacation.
7 Tips for Planning a Vacation
Choose the Time of Travel
Two of the most important factors that determine your destination is the weather and crowds. Some places are more enjoyable in the winter, others in summer. There is also the peak time to take into consideration. Peak times usually mean things will be more expensive such as tickets, accommodations, etc. The best time to travel is shoulder season where both weather and expenses are more manageable.
Choose Your Destination
Choosing a destination is much easier said than done on a planet filled with beautiful locations. Budget isn’t the only element to factor in.
It also depends on if you’re traveling solo or with others, what activities you want to do, among other things. An obvious reason to go to Hawaii is that you love warm, sandy beaches. But if you prefer small, scenic towns and appreciate amazing architecture, Belgium is one of those countries that fit the bill. The team from www.wonderfulwanderings.com also reminds travelers of Belgium’s wonderful Christmas markets, and some of the best waffles and pastries in the world to satisfy any sweet tooth! Choices of locations are many, so you need to narrow them down to two or three locations, then pick one of them.
Create an Itinerary
It’s tempting to do everything and visit every place during your vacation, but you have to be realistic and not burn yourself out. Prioritize the most important things to do and the sights you want to see. Make sure you have enough things to do each day without exaggerating or expecting too much of yourself.
Prep Your House
No one wants to spend their vacation worrying about their house back home. There are things you should prepare that don’t concern where you’re going, but the place you’re leaving. Here are some small tasks you can do before you travel:
- Fix any sorts of water leaks you might have
- Empty the fridge
- Remove small valuables from the home like jewelry
- Pay upcoming bills
- Keep a spare key of your home with someone you trust in case of emergency and someone has to enter the house
- Alert your bank that there might be card transactions from the place you’re going to so they don’t block your card
- Leave the house clean and tidy
Organize Travel Documents
Assuming you’re traveling abroad, all documents need to be with you. It’s advised to make copies of any papers you might need to present and keep them with you in your carry-on bag.
While organizing your papers, it’s a good time to confirm your accommodation arrangements, or car rental, or anything else that you have reserved for your trip. You might have forgotten to mention something when you reserved and you could still have time to modify something if possible. Start this at least 48 hours in advance.
Some people pack weeks in advance and others are last-minute packers. It’s too risky, even for seasoned travelers to pack the last minute, so give yourself enough time. Make sure to have a bag that is lightweight and versatile and big enough to carry your items.
You also have to check the weather forecast so you pack the right clothing. Instead of a piece of clothing that keeps you warm but is bulky and takes up too much space in the bag, pack clothes that can be layered instead. This gives you the choice to keep warm or remove one layer if it gets too hot.
You can also limit your items by coordinating your outfits. If you’re going to have one jacket, for instance, make sure it matches all your shirts or blouses. Most people see the benefits of traveling light, so any items that aren’t needed, leave them behind. Besides, you’ll need the room for souvenirs!
Even the best-made plans can flop at some point. Part of your planning is to prepare your mind that some things might not go according to plan. When that happens, keep your cool, look at the bright side, and enjoy the other parts of your trip.
Vacation time and travel go hand in hand. This is the time to get out of your comfort zone and explore new places. A new place could be right next to you or across the ocean. The preparations you make will make the difference between an okay vacation and an epic one.