We are smack dab in the middle of summer, and just about everyone is thinking about vacation. You’re probably dreaming of laying on a sunny beach or exploring a new country and culture. It’s hard to think about anything else let alone get any amount of actual work done.
But before you book your next vacation, there are things you need to think about first. Be mindful and take the time to consider and research all your options according to your needs so your travel experience is fulfilling and rejuvenating.
1. Where do you want to go?
This is the first question you need to think about! The destination is key to making sure you get completely recharged in the way that’s best for you. Are you looking to have a completely relaxed, low maintenance, nice weather, reading a book on the beach kind of vacation? A hiking through the woods, swimming in a lake, chilling around a bonfire, and cabin in the forest vacation? Or do you want to travel to a new land, try exotic foods, and experience interesting cultures? Whatever you decide, planning far in advance is going to make that trip less stressful.
If you decide to travel abroad, be sure to take into account a country’s current state of affairs, crime rates, and disease outbreaks like the Zika virus. Staying safe and healthy should be a priority when traveling.
2. How much are you going to spend?
There’s a good chance the vacation you want to take is going to cost money. Planning your destination in advance will give you more time to plan a budget. Looking at flight costs is a great first step toward deciding the best time to take your vacation. There are a lot of services on the web that will compare prices for you, and even compare flight dates if you are flexible on your vacation dates. If you are planning on traveling abroad, it’s a good idea to look at the exchange rate between your home country and the country you are planning to visit to get an idea of how far your money will go.
If your budget is based on money you currently have, add to it with some easy ways to save money every day. Saving extra money will make it so you can indulge on your vacation, instead of worrying about every dollar you spend. It’s easy to save a little here and there by cutting frivolous spending. Suggest a night in with friends instead of going out somewhere. Anytime you feel the need to eat out, think about all the awesome food you can eat on your vacation and choose to eat at home. Make coffee at home rather than buying overpriced chain coffee. Avoid any unnecessary shopping, and save that money for shopping on your trip. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much you can save in a short time.
3. What do you need to pack?
Nobody likes packing, but it’s a necessary evil for a well prepared and stress-free vacation. Luckily, if you are traveling by plane, there is the last packing list you will ever need. It covers most all of your bases, from important documents like identification and itineraries to basic essentials like practical clothing, toiletries, and entertainment. If your trip is a road trip and camping, there is a bit more you need to consider like tents, food, and maps. Making your own list with your personal needs along with the essentials is a great way to stay organized and make sure you’ve got everything.
Once you choose a destination, set a budget, and pack your bags, relaxation and fantastic adventures will be on their way!
Mila Sanchez is a writer with a BA in English Linguistics living in Idaho. Her ambitions in life include traveling the world, learning languages, and taking pictures of her dog, Baymax. She and Baymax can often be found hiking in the foothills near her town.
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