Everyone deserves a vacation where they can relax and unwind from their busy 9 to 5, free from emails, last-minute meetings, or stressful projects. However, planning a vacation can be just as hectic. Between choosing a destination, budgeting, and booking flights or hotel stays, planning a vacation can start to feel like more work.

Thankfully, there are ways to make vacation planning stress-free, easy, and enjoyable. For example, creating a virtual vision board of travel destinations with a free large file sharing app can put a playful spin on it. Pinning your dream vacation spots can help you visualize exactly where’d you like to travel, as well as motivate you to make your ideal trip come to fruition. However, choosing a destination is the easy part – in this article, we go over 7 steps that will help your vacation planning go more smoothly.

1. Download a Travel Planning App

Travel Planning App

Downloading a travel planning app can be a helpful tool to use when preparing for your trip, but it can also be a great place to store notes, links, and images post-trip! A virtual space to keep road trip directions, reservation information, phone numbers, or other important info will be super helpful in keeping you organized and excited for your vacation.

2. Decide on a Location

After a difficult day at work, where would you travel to if you could? Do you see yourself drinking a margarita on the beach, or roasting marshmallows around a campfire? The ideal vacation spot looks different for everyone, consequently making the vacation planning process vary from person to person. If you’ve chosen a location that requires flying, your vacation prep will look much different from someone who has decided to go on a cross-country road trip.

Spend some extra time on this step – looking for hidden gems instead of falling into tourist traps will make your trip more worthwhile. Additionally, who you are traveling with can play a major role in where you plan to vacation. Are you looking for a family-friendly getaway or a couple’s retreat?

3. Check Reviews

Once you’ve chosen a location, it’s time to consider the logistics. If you’ve decided you want to book a hotel room, looking into the hotel’s ratings can save you from an uncomfortable experience. If you’ve decided to go camping, checking out a campground’s reviews will help you choose a place to enjoy on your own or with your loved ones. Alternatively, doing some research on airlines may lead you to find some discounts or sales.

4. Outline Your Vacation Budget & Estimate Total Costs

An important part of the travel planning process includes outlining exactly how much you can afford to spend on your vacation. This can also help you decide on a location, as it might be a better idea to go with cheaper options should your budget not allow otherwise. Developing vacation plans ahead of time will allow you to save up what you need to make this trip remarkable! Important costs to consider when budgeting for your vacation can include:

  • Gas or car rental
  • Flight
  • Hotel
  • Restaurants
  • Souvenirs
  • Camping supplies
  • Sightseeing
  • Emergency expenses

Depending on the time of year, flights can range in price, and during the busiest times of the year, hotel rooms can also fluctuate in price. Finding the right time to plan your vacation can really impact your budget planning and estimated costs.

5. Mark Your Calendar & Book Your Flight or Stay

Book Your Flight

Once you’ve made it to this step, your vacation plans may start to feel very real! Make sure to put in your vacation request at work if you haven’t already, schedule a pet-sitter, and most importantly, book your flight or stay. Tie up those loose ends because seeing those few days highlighted on your calendar will make the last week of work leading up to your vacation fly by.

6. Plan Out Vacation Activities

Awaiting your vacation can leave you with butterflies, but there is still more you can do in the meantime. Since you’ve picked your destination, you can plan out some fun activities to do during your stay there. Whether this means planning a hiking trip, museum visits, brewery/restaurant tours, and other day trips! Even if you’d like to plan a day just for yourself, make sure you planned enough time to relax.

7. Start a List of Things to Pack

To make sure you’re ready for your vacation, it can be helpful to put together of list of things to pack. For example, if you’d decided on a camping trip, listing out exactly which supplies you need will help prevent any last-minute mishaps. Additionally, no one wants to buy a swimsuit every time they forget to pack one. Using a checklist like this can really simplify packing. Otherwise, some items that are commonly forgotten when packing for vacations include,

  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Soap
  • Socks & underwear
  • Medications
  • Phone chargers
  • Contacts, contact solution, glasses, etc.
  • Passport
  • Cash
  • Vaccination Card
  • ID

Other Important Things to Consider

Depending on the vacation destination you’ve chosen, there may be other important things you may want to consider. For example, whether you’ve decided to travel out of the state or out of the country you may want to educate yourself on the COVID-19 laws and regulations for that particular location. If you’re traveling internationally, reading up on the entry requirements ahead of time may save you a lot of stress at the airport. Lastly, don’t forget to call your credit card companies and let them know you’re out of the state or the country!

Conclusion – How to Plan a Vacation: 7 Easy Steps

Planning a vacation

Planning a vacation should be just as exciting as the vacation itself! Breaking down the process into 6 easy steps can really lighten the load. A list of things to pack, projects you need to wrap up, and final things to do will really help lessen the stress of vacation prep. With fewer things to worry about, you’ll find vacation planning much easier and more enjoyable than before.

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