Right at this moment, millions of people worldwide are dreaming of going on a vacation! It’s true! The idea of traveling, relaxing and exploring keep us all going through stressful days, working tasks, and depressing weather. However, there is a fine line between daydreaming about traveling and actually planning a trip.
The latter, obviously, demands great planning skills and lots of research. After all, nobody wants to visit the United States during tornado season or Thailand during the monsoon season. This is where our tips for planning the perfect vacation come into the picture.
In this guide, we have included several useful tips and tricks to help you smartly plan your next road trip. Our advice not only should help you avoid stressful situations, but also it will save you money, too. We use these vacation planning steps for all of our trips and have had amazing results so far.
1. Determine Location
Ah, the sweet question: “Where to go next?”. Should you explore the natural gems of the Balkans or maybe relax in Punta Cana? Whatever your preference is, you’ll have to determine the location of your next vacation as the first step of the planning process. Only after you know where you’d like to go, you can move on to the next steps.
2. Do Research on Best Time to Visit and Set Dates
Once you know your travel destination, you can do some research on it. Many spots are not recommended during certain months because of bad weather. Will there be jellyfish in the sea/ocean? Are there going to be thunderstorms? This is necessary information when selecting traveling dates. So, don’t be lazy here as you may end up ruining your entire vacation.
3. Browse Cheap Flights and Accommodation
You know the location and you have the dates! Great! Now, it’s time to find some cheap flights and accommodation. You shouldn’t be lazy here either, plus try thinking outside the box. The most popular services are not always the best ones.
For example, you can try low-budget airlines headquarter in the area you want to explore. For example, let’s say you’re going to discover the Middle East. Well, Air Arabia has some great deals for Middle East flights, plus it flies to North Africa, Central Asia, Europe and the Indian subcontinent.
4. Read Destination Reviews and Guides
Everything is settled for the trip, but now you need more info about the destination itself. What to see? Where to go? What are all the must-visit attractions? Well, this is best discovered by reading useful destination reviews and guides. Such reviews usually offer first-hand recommendations from fellow travelers. Plus, they often include useful tips and advice that will surely give you some insight.
5. Create an Itinerary and a Packing List
We never go anywhere without an itinerary. Some people laugh at us for being over-organized. Yet, I’d never change this because it has helped me so many times before. One can easily forget something they wanted to see or even waste precious time when they don’t have a clear plan.
Yes, free exploring is advised and awesome. However, we usually include one or two days for random exploring among the days with a clear list of what to see. Here, I’d also like to mention creating a packing list. Pack smartly, try not to over pack and include travel essentials.
6. Determine the Needed Budget and Start Saving
Now that you have most of the trip planned, you’ll have to calculate the amount of money needed for it to become a reality. Often, traveling costs go well beyond the price of the flight and accommodation.
Will you need extra cash for food?
Are you going to need alternative means of transportation once you get there?
Try to think of all the possible costs and include them in you vacation budget. Then, start saving money so you won’t have to worry about cash when the time for vacationing comes.
7. Check Travel Documents, Credit Cards, Phone Charges
Many people forget to check their travel documents, call their banks and get info on phone charges. As one can guess, that’s not smart at all. So, first, make sure that your passport and travel insurance is still valid.
Most countries will require your passport to be valid for at least 6 months from the date you cross the border. Keep that in mind.
Also, get informed whether you need a visa or not. Similarly, certain credit cards cannot be used in foreign countries unless you approve this by calling your bank. Lastly, unwanted phone and mobile data charges are one of the biggest problems of travelers. So, make sure to check these and find local alternatives if possible.
8. Peacefully Wait for the Departure Date
Alas, once the hard part is over you can relax. With everything above completed, you can be sure that everything is in perfect order. The only thing left is for you to wait for the departure date!