Whether you’ve been working overtime at work or are feeling as though you are stuck in a rut – a vacation can often act as the perfect pick-me-up. After all, nothing seems to melt away stress as quickly as sipping a delicious cocktail on the beach! Furthermore, as vaccination plans continue to roll out across the world, we’ll soon be able to travel freely once again – meaning that right now is the perfect time to start planning your next vacation!
With that in mind, here are some top tips for planning the perfect vacation!
- Remove the stress from traveling by putting your plans together as soon as possible. While you don’t have to plan your day down to the last minute, certain elements – such as your transport and accommodation – need to be booked far in advance. Furthermore, if certain attractions are popular amongst tourists, it may also be beneficial to book with them ahead of time.
- When booking flights, use websites such as Sky Scanner to compare prices across multiple different airlines. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you are getting a good deal – and could even save you hundreds of dollars in the process! Alternatively, you can check out each airline’s website individually – but this could take a little longer.
- Remember that different countries have different laws and legislations regarding entering the country that you must follow. For example, when traveling to the United States, non-nationals must obtain either a VISA or ESTA. Thankfully, you can find out if you need an ESTA and begin the application process online.
- If you’ve found a hotel or hostel that you’ve simply fallen in love with but feel as though the price is a little high on a travel provider’s website – consider reaching out to the hotel or checking out their own website. In some cases, booking directly through the hotel can save you a lot of money as it removes booking fees for yourself and the hotel owners. Remember, if you reach out to them directly, be polite and courteous – as this is the easiest way to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.
- Put together a budget for your holiday by figuring out precisely what you need to pay for and when. For example, you will probably have to pay for your flights upfront, while hotel costs can be paid on arrival or departure. You should also remember the unexpected costs that come with traveling, such as baggage fees.
- Purchase travel insurance ahead of time so that you are protected financially should any problems arise. While this is highly unlikely, and many travelers never need to use their travel insurance, it is far better to be safe than sorry. For example, in some countries, receiving medical treatment (without insurance) could cost you thousands of dollars.
- Start saving for your holiday as soon as possible. For example, setting aside a few dollars each week could quickly add up over time. Furthermore, your budget can help you decide how much you want to spend on each aspect of your holiday. For example, you may be able to afford a slightly more luxurious hotel but stay for five nights instead of seven. Alternatively, you could plan for a longer vacation at a less expensive venue.
- If traveling as part of a group, set aside some time ahead of your travels to talk about what you each want out of the holiday. For example, some members may be looking for adventure while others want to do absolutely nothing but lounge by the pool. You can use this conversation as a starting point to put together an itinerary. While you don’t have to do everything together, you must take it in turns to choose group activities to keep everyone happy.
- Remember that while relaxing, traveling also gives you the opportunity to learn more around you – so ensure that you venture outside of the hotel once or twice and take in the local culture. Whether this means you visit a historical landmark or pop by a local restaurant for some authentic cuisine – the choice is yours – and there is truly something new to discover around every corner.
- Before traveling, delete your work email from your phone. This means that you’ll be less tempted to check on it throughout your travels – and you can experience what it means to be truly disconnected. After all, you deserve a break – so don’t deprive yourself of one.
- If you’re looking for inspiration, be sure to check out travel blogs and guides that focus on your destination of choice. This can give you a real insight into what to expect from a certain area – whether you are visiting Miami or traveling to Thailand. This is due to the fact that travel bloggers or enthusiasts are candid and honest when discussing their travels – whereas travel providers and hotel owners are more likely to stretch the truth in order to encourage you to visit.
- If you find yourself without something to do during your trip but fancy a bit of exploration – be sure to ask the locals for some advice. This can help you steer clear of over-crowded and over-priced tourist traps in favor of something a little more adventurous and unique.
- If you are visiting a country where the first language is not easy, try to learn a few useful words or phrases ahead of time. While nobody will expect you to become fluent, learning how to greet others, exchange pleasantries, or ask for directions can prove beneficial – and gives you the chance to challenge yourself to learn something new.
- Pack the suitcase sooner rather than later. This minimizes the chance of you leaving something important (such as sunscreen) behind and also can help you make sure that you aren’t over-packing and going over the weight limit decided upon by your airline. Remember, no matter how many stunning pairs of shoes you may have bought for the occasion, packing light is always beneficial – especially when you have to drag your suitcase around yourself.