Going on vacation is an exciting prospect. After working hard for months on end, you know you need and deserve a break, and the white sandy beaches are all you can think about ahead of time.
However, to truly enjoy a stress-free holiday to wind down and relax with your family, there are a few important things you’ll need to plan ahead of time. Failing to plan your vacations thoroughly leaves room for all sorts of disasters in terms of your finances, documents, or other issues that you really don’t want cropping up while you’re just trying to enjoy your pina colada.
Here is a quick checklist of things you’ll need to remember while you’re planning a trip, whether it’s a short one or longer-term travel.
Make Your Bookings Early
Don’t have a last-minute attitude when it comes to making bookings. Flight tickets, bus passes, car rental, accommodation, restaurant reservations, important sightseeing that you don’t want to miss – all of these should be planned, booked and scheduled as early as possible.
Not only can booking early save you money, but it can also save you stress when you plan to leave in a week and you realise that barely anything has been done.
Probably not what you want to be thinking about when you’re planning an exciting trip, but staying safe and prepared is important, for your peace of mind if nothing else. If you’re going away for an extended period of time (or even just for the weekend), you’ll want to make sure you’re financially covered in case of any mishaps.
Some things you’ll want to have in check are home insurance while you’re away, and a great idea is to purchase holiday insurance, which can cover for flight cancellations, lost baggage, medical expenses and other vacation-related issues.
Get Your Documents Ready
If you’re thinking of going on holiday, dig out your passport right now and check if it’s still valid! The earlier you start the process of renewing passports, applying for visas and getting other general travel documentation together, the better off you’ll be. These things can sometimes take a while, and you don’t want to be dealing with them a week before your trip.
Do Your Research
Especially if you’re travelling to a foreign country, doing some research on where you’re headed will help you be far better prepared, and make the process less nerve-wracking. You’ll want to find out about which areas are safest to move around in, which areas to avoid, how much things generally cost, where the locals like to eat and visit, what the cuisine is like and any other details you’re interested in. You might also prepare yourself by learning some basics of the local language – knowing how to find the bathroom is crucial no matter where you are in the world.
There’s no need to beat around the bush about it – holidays can be expensive. Starting a savings fund, a few months in advance is possible, will help to make your trip less stressful and a lot more fun. The more money you have available to you, the more you can enjoy yourself during your vacation.
If there isn’t much room in your budget for extra savings, you might want to consider a side hustle or some ways to earn passive income. This can help you to save not only for your vacations but for other future needs and wants. A little extra income is always a good idea if you can manage it.
Make a Packing List
You don’t want to land on the other side of the world and realise that you’ve forgotten something crucial at home. Having a list of everything you need to bring with you will help ensure that you don’t end up having to buy replacements while you’re on holiday (which is just wasteful) and that you don’t forget anything when you’re packing up your hotel room and rushing back to the airport after your vacation.
Your packing list will depend on the type of vacation you’re going on, so be sure to have an idea of where you’re going and what activities you might be doing while you’re there.
Having a smooth vacation basically comes down to one major thing: planning ahead. Deciding a few months in advance on your holiday destination will give you plenty of time to assess where to go, how much money you’ll need, what documents to get hold of, and what you’ll need to take with you.
Getting these important elements sorted out as soon as possible leaves room for you to simply relax into your airplane seat when the day comes to leave – no need to worry about what you’ve forgotten because you can be certain that you haven’t.