Planning a trip can be stressful, even overwhelming for an anxious type of person. And if you’re not used to it, you’ll find it too much work. Others who are detail-oriented find planning for a vacation as thrilling as the vacation itself. If you belong to the first group, don’t give up. It’s never too late to pick up a new skill or two. All you need is some extra prepping in advance so that your trip lives up to your expectations. If you belong to the second, keep doing what you’re doing. Read on to learn how to plan your vacation like a pro!
1. Pick your destination
You already have a place or more in your bucket list. To make a choice isn’t as easy as it might seem, but answering these questions will help you narrow down your options. Are you traveling solo or in a group? Who’s traveling with you? Why do you want to travel in the first place? For how long will you stay? How do you want to spend your vacation? What’s your budget?
Put your answers on paper to get a clearer vision of what you really want.
2. Set a budget
It should cover everything from flight tickets to waiters’ tipping. Sounds tedious, doesn’t it? But the truth is, it’s better to anticipate expenses rather than get stuck in awkward situations with no cash on you!
If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to avoid traveling in peak season. Choose off-season packages, look for affordable accommodations, and first and foremost choose your destination and itinerary accordingly.
This way you’ll know exactly how much you should save for your trip.
3. Save up for your trip
Many travelers will tell you that you don’t have to be rich to travel often. It’s true, by the way. To save up for travel, you’ll have to follow a few steps.
First, assess your current situation. Review your bills. Track down your monthly expenses. List down everything you spend money on starting from rent and utility bills all the way to fancy coffee drinks. Secondly, set a saving strategy and work on it. Know how much you need to save for your trip. Thirdly, act on the strategy. Fixed expenses might be hard to reduce which leaves you out with flexible expenses. Refer to the findings of the first step to ditch the luxuries and stick to necessities and only necessities. Finally, assess your progress on monthly basis. Your spending habits are supposed to be more responsible by the time.
4. Get your documents in order
Make sure your passport, visa, and driver’s license are all valid. All these documents might take up to weeks to issue and renew. The golden tip is to make copies of every document you might need during your trip. Add to the mentioned documents, copies of your flight tickets, hotel and rental car reservations, and your credit cards.
It is advised you keep hard copies on you and your travel partner. Confirmation emails should be printed out as well just in case you need them and you can’t access the Internet.
5. Pack smart
Don’t be a last-minute packer. Plan ahead what you’ll need to bring along with you at least a week ahead. This will give you enough time to buy the necessary items and prepare your luggage and belongings. If you procrastinate your packing, chances are you’ll forget an essential item (and you don’t want that, right?). Check the weather a week before your departure, choose your clothing accordingly, write down a packing list, and before you start packing, be sure your bags and suitcases are all functioning.
To read more about packing smart, click here.
- Learn about the customs and traditions of the country you’re visiting. Remember, you don’t want to offend the locals.
- Learn some helpful words and phrases before you travel.
- Don’t forget your camera or phone. There are so many pictures to take and the GPS proves useful in case you’re lost.
- Place your valuables in a safe place.
- Get enough rest and sleep before you embark on your trip. You don’t want to spend your vacation tired and sleepy.
- Be flexible as unexpected situations may arise which will require you to change plans.
- Ask for help when needed. There’s no shame in that.
- Get out of your comfort zone and do something adventurous.
- Attend local festivals and celebrations.
- Always smile. People will love that and you’ll find them very willing to lend you a hand.
Now that you’ve planned your vacation like a pro, it’s time to live it up! You’ve put a lot of time, energy, and bucks to get away from it all, so make your time there unforgettable.