Planning a vacation can seem overwhelming, but with some expert tips and tricks, it can be stress-free and enjoyable.
Simeon is a Senior Editor at Tozome, an amateur wine connoisseur, and a mediocre Tennis player.
When it comes to planning a holiday, there are typically two types of people: those who enjoy meticulously planning every detail of their trip, and those who would rather go with the flow or avoid planning altogether.
Your planning style may depend on various factors such as previous experiences. Regardless of your preference, organizing a vacation can be challenging due to the potential obstacles that could derail your dream trip.
You work hard and deserve a break. So, to make life easier for you, we have compiled a mini checklist of essential things to consider when planning a vacation.
Before you start your holiday planning, it’s important to assess your finances. While the idea of jetting off to a sun-drenched paradise may seem enticing, it is essential to have adequate funds to back it up.
You also need to take into account your budget when selecting holiday destinations – it may be necessary to postpone that round-the-world trip until you have saved enough.
Nevertheless, there are several ways to guarantee your bank account is healthy enough to shoulder the weight of a break. Opting for a destination that fits your budget is an excellent start.
For instance, countries like Thailand and Laos offer relatively cheap travel packages, with the option of a luxurious hotel equipped with a pool and other facilities starting from as low as $20 per night.
If you’re dead set on visiting more expensive countries like the UK and Spain, consider shortening your trip and take advantage of the free attractions available at these destinations. Alternatively, consider a staycation or even a domestic road trip to cut down on costs and make your money stretch further.
Whatever method you decide to employ, make sure you have enough cash in your coffers to cover the initial travel and booking costs, as well as enough to actually enjoy yourself once you’re there.
Also Read: 10 UK Tourism Attractions That Are Free To Visit
After you’ve established your budget and saved up enough funds, it’s time to choose a destination for your vacation. While it may seem tempting to select a random location, you may regret this decision later on. Instead, have a think about the places you’ve always dreamed of visiting and use that to narrow down your ideal vacation spot.
Are you genuinely interested in visiting California, or is it a fleeting interest? It’s important to pick wisely since this may be your sole holiday for the year, if not longer.
Discuss with your loved ones and see if there’s a place they have been eyeing for some time. Chances are there’ll be a compromise somewhere that will make all of you happy. If you’re still unsure, here are some questions to help you decide:
Photo: Kristin F. Ruhs/Shutterstock
Think about your favorite things to do or travel experiences you’ve had in the past. Do you love exploring cities, admiring the architecture, and sampling local cuisine? Or do you prefer relaxing on a beach and going on outdoor adventures?
Or maybe you want to try something completely new? Some countries might be able to accommodate more than one type of trip, while others specialize in just one or two. Your eventual destination should reflect your interests and travel style. For example:
Photo: Kuznetcov Konstantin/Shutterstock
Photo: Syafiq Adnan/Shutterstock
Instagram and Pinterest are great ways of finding blogs and photo inspiration for your trip. Search for your destination using the search tab or scour the hashtags for recent photos from other travelers.
This can be a great way to come up with ideas for places to go, and identify local attractions you hadn’t considered before. You can also search for travel bloggers and accounts with similar interests to yours.
Often, they will have traveled to the same destination that you wish to visit and can, therefore, provide tips and advice. Tripadvisor and destination-specific Facebook Groups are great ways to get insider tips and advice as well, from locals and people that have previously been to the country.
Sites like Viator and Get Your Guide are also a great source of inspiration on activities to do in your chosen destination, you can also book tours, attractions and entry tickets directly on these two platforms ahead of your trip.
Chances are you have a date in mind for your getaway, or you may even be restricted by when you can take time off work. It’s important to remember that many places experience different climates and temperatures throughout the year.
If you’re looking for a sunny beach vacation, make sure to go in the summer months when it will be warm enough to swim in the sea. On the other hand, if you’re planning a ski trip then winter is definitely the best time of year to visit the Alps. As part of your vocation planning:
Also Read: Diwali is Celebrated Worldwide
Photo: Vladimir Borovic/Shutterstock
If you’re traveling far, there’s likely to be a significant time difference from your home country, It’s a good idea to book your flight on a day and time that reflect this.
Suppose you have booked a 7-day holiday, it’s not ideal to waste the first day due to a long-haul flight that lands at an inconvenient time, like 3 am in Spain. Try to plan your flight times around your travel itinerary to ensure it complements your intended holiday plans.
For instance, if you have a full day of high-intensity activities or lots of walking scheduled for your first day in Beijing, avoid booking an early flight from Heathrow since you may be too jet-lagged and tired from the long flight to enjoy the experience. Remember that your flight is just a means to an end, and your travel should fit around with your holiday experience.
Before booking your flight, it’s important to research any visa requirements that may be applicable to your chosen destination. Different countries have different Visa rules, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the relevant laws for your destination.
You may also need to provide evidence of accommodation or travel insurance in order to apply for a Visa. The required documents can vary, so be sure to check the official website of your chosen country’s embassy or consulate in advance.
Easily check your visa requirements here
Now that you have completed your research, it’s time to create a day-to-day itinerary to ensure that you have a well-planned holiday. Many Tozome writers have expressed regret for not being able to do everything they wanted to during their vacation. This issue can be prevented by creating an itinerary that structures where you want to go and what activities you engage in at each stage of your trip.
Having a schedule will not only provide peace of mind but also prevent you from spending your time lounging in your hotel room. Remember why you chose to take a holiday in the first place; it won’t be worth it if you end up substituting your daily life with a similar routine on vacation.
With that being said, start by pinning the locations from your research on Google Maps so you can easily identify what attractions are in close proximity to each other, and plan your route accordingly. Don’t forget to also factor in any flight times, visa requirements, and other logistics like check-in times.
You can also use apps like TripIt and Wanderlog to create an itinerary based on your research and any bookings you’ve made. These apps will also show you where the main attractions and landmarks are in the city, as well as suggested restaurants and nearby things to do.
When putting your vacation plan together, keep an eye on the following things:
Photo: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock
It’s true that no trip ever goes exactly as planned, even with an itinerary. So, don’t be anxious about making changes to it, especially if you come across something that you must try.
For instance, if your itinerary doesn’t include visiting the local markets, but you come across one during your travel or you stumble upon an appetizing food, why not spend some time exploring instead of the planned activity?
Or if you happen upon a local festival or celebration that wasn’t part of your plan, embracing the moment may leave you grateful later on for not sticking rigidly to your checklist.
After all, holidays should be moments to cherish, and you’ll likely have more stories to tell when you allow yourself to go with the flow every once in a while.
It is that exciting time; you are ready to book your trip now that you have a better understanding of what you’re looking for, and when the best time to travel is.
Book flights using search engines like Skyscanner or Kiwi to find the cheapest flight deals with the least amount of layovers. It’s also worth comparing the price directly with the airline as they may be offering promotions not shown on flight search engines, which could make your flight cost considerably lower.
Stopovers are also a great way to make your flight cheaper, while also giving you the opportunity to explore another city. For example, if you’re flying from London to Singapore, try a stopover in Dubai. Kiwi allows you to add in stopovers to see if that increase or decreases your price.
Photo: Julia Lav/Shutterstock
Use your itinerary to decide where you need to book accommodation and do some quick research to find out the best area to stay in the city. For example, you might want to find accommodation close to the beach if plan on spending a good portion of your time in the water or sunbathing, or a hotel in the city center to be near tourist sights and attractions. Use sites like Booking.com to find excellent deals and safe reviews.
Photo: MaJew Sakulpat/Shutterstock
Arriving at your destination after a long flight or train ride can be daunting if you’re not sure where you’re going. When planning a vacation make sure to:
Photo: Eleni Vasiliou/Shutterstock
Organizing important paperwork is a key part of the planning process. Make sure to have all your important documents such as travel visas, passports and flight tickets ready. Also, look into the country you’re visiting to see if they require any other documents or paperwork. Don’t forget to:
Photo: Soft Light/Shutterstock
Photo: Antonio Diaz/Shutterstock
Finally, it’s time to start packing your bags. Start by making a list of all the items you need and go through the list one by one. This will help you keep track of what you have and what you still need to buy, this is especially important if you are traveling with kids.
It’s also good to plan your style ahead and make sure all of your clothes can be mixed and matched, as this will help reduce the number of items you need to pack. Most importantly, don’t forget to pack your sun cream and any other essentials that you may need for your trip.
Following these tips on how to plan a holiday will help you stay organized and stress-free during your travel.
When you purchase something through our links we earn a small fee. However, you still pay the same. Win-win!