Most great vacations are the result of diligent planning. True, it’s impossible to foresee certain events; no one expects to lose their wallet or to fall in love while on holiday. In the main, though, savvy travellers can and do outline nearly every aspect of their trips before they leave. If you’ve always wanted to travel like a pro –– or if you’re tired of struggling through ill-conceived vacations –– then check out our four-step guide to planning the perfect vacation year after year. This list will prove helpful if you’re traveling alone, with your family, across the state, or across the globe.
Step #1 Pick Your Spot
The hardest part of organizing a vacation? Narrowing your possibilities down to one location! Though it may be tempting to try and squeeze in multiple cities, destinations, or even countries within a single trip, it’s almost always preferable to visit one place at a time. This way, you won’t have to worry about catching connecting flights, navigating difficult train schedules, or traveling through customs more often than necessary. If at all possible, stick to one city per vacation.
Step #2 Set Your Budget
Airplane seats. Hotel reservations. Event tickets. Party bus rates. Individuals should calculate all of these costs well in advance of any trip they decide to take. No, you don’t have to budget every single purchase you make. But you should have a good idea of how much capital you have available to spend before you reach your destination. Remember, it’s very easy to forget how much things cost on vacation, and you could quickly find yourself going over budget on food, drinks, and accommodations if you’re not careful.
Step #3 Build Your Itinerary
The perfect holiday itinerary should be robust enough to keep you (or your family) interested each day, but not so full that it prohibits exploration or spontaneity. Consider highlighting two activities per day and giving yourself the rest of the time to roam in your surroundings. It’s the only way to discover the unknown and truly have an adventure.
Step #4 Emergency Precautions
The last thing anyone wants to think about is tragedy striking during a holiday. Yet, if you don’t take care to set up contingencies for worst-case scenarios, you could find yourself in big trouble. Create an emergency contacts list, carry backups of all important documentation, and let your family members and friends know where you’ll be staying. Most of the time these precautionary measures aren’t necessary, but if they are, you’ll be glad you left prepared.