How To Plan And Have A Great Vacation

There is nothing quite like the anticipation of a vacation.  Waking up super early in the morning to catch an early flight for a long awaited trip is an experience like none other.  Falling asleep that night is always difficult because of the excitement for the trip.  However,  proper planning is crucial in order to ensure an enjoyable trip.  For a vacation to be successful and enjoyable, one should plan for months or up to a year.  Planning could involve hours of research using online resources and talking with friends and family.  Planning a vacation can become overwhelming, and it is not for everyone. Some people who find the process too much to do on their own can use a professional travel agent. But in my opinion, the planning of a great vacation is fun and exciting and is a part of the entire trip experience.  

Setting a budget should be the first step to planning a vacation.  The costs of plane tickets, hotels, food and activities all have to be kept in mind when making a budget.  It’s important to plan a budget for your travels to avoid overspending.  You want to look at your finances and be realistic with what you can afford.  This ensures you have a nice time but without creating financial problems on your return.  Another financial issue to keep in mind is that the location of your trip may have a different currency.  You need to plan how you will pay expenses during your trip with the local currency.  Consider whether obtaining currency at the destination will cost more than if you did it in advance at home.  Online money exchange services may be worth exploring.  It is a good idea to compare different services.  You also want to pay attention to the handling fees and service charges.  The season of your trip could also have an effect on the price.  If you are choosing a warm location during the winter or holiday seasons, plane tickets and hotels are more likely to have a higher price.  The day of the week of your flight can also impact airfare.  The type of accommodation you choose will also impact the cost of your trip.  

Once you have established your budget, you are ready to decide when and where to go.  My favorite time of the year to go on a vacation is spring time. In most places, the springtime has the perfect temperature for a vacation.  Choosing the location may depend upon what type of trip you are looking for and what you enjoy doing while taking a break.  Cities, small towns, beaches, and mountains all have their own attractions to appeal to different tourists.  Factors to consider when choosing your location include cost, time of the year, and your particular interests. This part of the planning process may be the most crucial, but could also be the most fun.  Researching destinations online is a good way to start.  You could also use the library or a bookstore to browse travel books.  Using these resources will ensure that you make an informed decision on your destination.

After determining when and where to go, you must make arrangements to get to and from your destination.  A far away destination will require the most advance planning because you will need to arrange airplane reservations and perhaps a car rental.  Purchasing airline tickets requires significant research to obtain the best flights at the best prices.  There are many websites to use to compare prices between the airlines.  These include,, and airline websites.  Airfare tracking websites are also very helpful.  Similar research will be done when selecting your accommodations.  Many options are available to travelers, each with different price ranges.  For example, prices vary between resorts, hotels, apartments, home rentals and hostels.  Renting an apartment or home can be a great way to save money and a fun way to get to know the destination. 

Next, it is time to start planning the activities for your trip.  This will involve research, requesting information, and reserving activities.  Although you don’t want to have every minute of your trip preplanned, it can be important to reserve popular activities in advance.  For example, tours, shows, popular restaurants, and other events should be booked in advance.  Doing this requires advanced research.

As the trip gets closer, it is time to start packing.  Packing for a trip is something I enjoy greatly, especially for a warm location.  Bathing suits, flip flops, and summer dresses are some of the essentials for a warm vacation.  Giving yourself time, and properly making a list of everything needed, can make this process come together smoothly.  The duration of your trip should determine the amount of clothes you should pack.  For example, if you are staying for only a couple nights, packing lightly might be a safe option.  For a long trip, it can be very helpful to have a washing machine and dryer available.  In that case you could wear the same clothes multiple times.  Packing some sort of entertainment should also be considered.  Long plane rides or drives can get extremely boring after a while so having entertainment will make the rides go by quicker.  Following these guidelines when packing for a vacation will make the process easier and more enjoyable.

Once you have reached your destination, it is time to have fun.  Explore the town, go to a local coffee shop and go shopping at the stores.  Enjoy the various activities that you planned, and eat at the restaurants you reserved.  You can also explore the location by visiting cultural and historical sites.  This is where all of your planning pays off.  Even though planning and packing for your trip may be difficult and stressful, it is all worth going on an adventure to see a new place.

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