Big vacations are meant to be fun-filled experiences where you can relax, enjoy, and make lifelong memories. But planning them can be overwhelming. Sometimes the stress of planning a vacation can distract from the joys of actually going on one, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little preparation and these planning tips, you’ll be jetting off on your next big vacation, stress-free, in no time.
First things first, where do you want to go, and how do you anticipate getting there? When planning for a holiday, this is the ideal first step. While it’s fun to browse flights and find some steals, you do want to choose a place that you actually want to explore. Naturally, much of the decision is dependent on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. If you’re a beach gal and spend all year dreaming about lying around in your bathing suit on some white sandy tropical beach, perhaps you’ll want to find a tropical island destination for your big vacation. If you prefer immersing yourself in arts and culture, maybe a city like Florence or Rome in Italy is more your style. If you are an adventure-seeker who thrives in the great outdoors, then a trekking and camping vacation such as the Inca Trail in Peru may be the best fit for you. With any big vacation, you want to first determine what kind of experience you want to have and narrow down your destinations list accordingly.
Once you’ve picked your spot, you’ll need to figure out how to get there. Some people love the feeling of the big open road and are happy to pack the car and take a road trip to their destination. If your destination is a doable drive and you’ll be traveling with more than one person, it may make sense economically to drive to your vacation spot. If you prefer to fly, it’s good to choose your dates and purchase tickets ahead of time before they get too expensive.
Depending on your budget, personal taste, and destination, you’re going to want to select and book a place to stay. Unless you love the free-spirited life and are happy to drive around looking for a place to unroll the personalized sleeping bag, you want to make your vacation stress free by booking your stay well ahead of time. Many places book up months in advance, so make your plans early enough to ensure you find an affordable and enjoyable place to stay to make your dream vacation come true. Choose from rentals, hotels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, and so many other accommodation options.
Now that you’ve got the basics in place and the important stuff booked, you’ve got time to plan what you’re going to do on your vacation. Some people like to chill on the beach with a book the whole time, and that’s perfect if you’re here for the relaxation and the sunshine. Other people like to spend their vacation time exploring and going on adventures. You may need to book some experiences and sightseeing opportunities in advance, so be sure to check ahead of time. For example, hiking the Inca Trail and visiting the Sistine Chapel are both amazing experiences that need to be booked sometimes well before your trip. Be sure to do your research so that you don’t miss out. Also, if you are a foodie and love a good food tour, research restaurants in the area you’ll be visiting that can’t be missed, and be sure to make reservations ahead of time.
While most people have some suitcases or women’s travel bags around the house, you want to be sure you have the right bags for the job. Where you are going, how long you plan to stay, and how you plan to get there will determine what kind of bag you’ll need to bring. If you’re off on an outdoor adventure, plan to bring along a trekking backpack that is lightweight, practical, and highly functional. If you’re going on a tour of all the European cities, you’ll probably want to bring a big suitcase filled with some fashionable clothes and maybe an extra packable duffel bag for all the souvenirs you’ll want to buy and bring back. Perhaps you like to travel light; in that case, be sure you have a sturdy yet lightweight weekender bag at home so you can pack the bare minimum of what you’ll need on your vacation.
Everyone’s packing list is highly personal, naturally. But we all have felt the disappointment of arriving at our vacation destination and realizing we’ve forgotten something important. Whatever it is you’re bringing, we highly recommend you make a list in the weeks before traveling of all the clothing items and accessories you will need to take with you while traveling. This ensures that in the days before your trip, you can take the time to do laundry, buy anything last minute that you may need, and have all the essentials organized and together so that you don’t forget anything. What you pack will also depend on where you’re going. You obviously don’t want to bring a women’s wool coat to the Bahamas, but it would probably be very useful for a winter trip to London. Check the weather where you plan to visit and pack according to the activities you intend to do on your trip. Planning to hit the town? Bring a nice dress. Want to go snorkeling? Bring along a UV-blocking rash guard. Proposing to your girlfriend? Don’t forget the ring!
Go through the easy steps of preparing and planning for your big vacation to avoid any stress and ensure that you can enjoy and completely relax during your holiday.