Since summertime is here for quite some time now, people are starting to think about going on vacation. I know I am! Even if one is going away for a whole month or just for a few days, vacations are always something to look forward to and in order to come back home with nice memories, all vacations need to be carefuly planned, even if they are spontaneous. It sounds odd, planning a spontaneous vacation, but you can’t go away without your toothbrush, money or a map.
I’d start with the planned vacations first, since there are more things to consider. If you’re planing a vacation alone, with your spouse or the whole family there are a few aspects that should be taken into consideration:
How much money did you manage to save up for your vacation. If you were able to save more than you hoped for, planing the vacation shouldn’t be a problem. However, if your savings are not a lot you need to either plan a shorter vacation or find cheaper aternatives (cheaper hotels, cheaper restaurants, book low cost flights etc.)
2. Where and when
When depends on the vacation time you take from work. If you have the possibility to take time off when you chose to, make sure to check out the weather forecast first. You don’t want a vacation spent indoors because of stormy weather.
Decide where you want to go depending on your budget. Research is very important when planing a vacation. You can do your research online or you can ask friends and relatives if they can help with ideas for places they recommend. For better inspiration you can look at photos and videos other travelers took in their previous experiences. This way you cand see, more or less, what to expect.
3. Book in advance
After you decide where you want to go you will certainly need transportation, a place to sleep, an idea of what you’ll be doing (visit museums, lay on the beach, go clubbing etc.).
Book plane/train/bus tickets ahead, they are cheaper than the ones you buy last minute. Also, if you plan on using your car make sure you have enough money put aside for gas so you won’t have any unpleasant surprises.
Find a decent place to stay and book it also in advance if you don’t wish to sleep in your car.
Depending on what type of activities you’ll be doing, estimate some costs. Find out how much things cost in the area so you won’t exceed your budget.
4. Pack your bags and an umbrella
I always make a short list of stuff I need to NOT forget at home before packing a suitcase. Buying a toothbrush might not be a problem, but forgeting half of the little things you need can leave a hole in your wallet.
So, from underwear to photocamera, I always put them on a list and check twice before leaving. I’d hate to go to the beach and have no swimsuit! Also, pack umbrellas, a jumper or other stuff you find essential in case of bad weather. All the planning in the world won’t stop the rain.
5. Small but important details
There are a few other things to take into consideration if you want your vacation to come close to perfection:
– pack a first aid kit, you never know when someone needs a band aid
– have a list of emergency phone numbers. For example, almost every country has a different “911 emergency”
– always have a map with you, you never know when you get lost
– find a pet sitter or a safe place to leave your pets if you can’t bring them along
– turn off all appliances, turn off the main gas switch or anything that may cause problems while you are gone.
Be safe and don’t forget to enjoy your time off!