If there’s anything that people are more excited to count the days for than December 25, it’s definitely vacation time. An essential part of a busy and hectic routine, vacations are a perfect time to pause, take a break, recharge, and reset your mind. And let’s face it, today’s high-stress lifestyle leaves zero time for vacation adventures. The reps of a long-hours working culture tend to devote themselves to their offices and neglect everything else that might add joy and meaning to the 9-to-5 lifestyle.
Before the burnout breakdown becomes the new reality (and you look exactly like your ID photo), make sure to plan your own escape.
Ready to start vacationing the right way? Good.
This simple guide on how to plan a perfect trip by yourself and not go crazy will get you started on your next adventure and actually enjoy your travels.
Single Travel, Trip with Friends or Family
Someone said, “A good friend listens to your adventures. A best friend makes them with you.” If you gravitate to exploring the world with a gang of noisy buddies, just go for it! Every other trip with friends is a unique opportunity to create memories that you could never get at home. Besides, it is when traveling together that your friendship may be tested and proven to be strong. Or not.
If you happen to plan a trip with your family, both benefits and drawbacks come in a package. On the one hand, you get to build life-lasting memories and immerse yourself in new cultures. On the other hand…kids fighting in a car, arguments between vegans and family members that are huge supporters of meat, grandmas trying to spoil kids, and other essential parts of family vacation should be considered at the family trip planning stage. If you don’t feel ready to face that kind of an emotional rollercoaster, invest your money and time in a single travel.
More and more people choose to travel solo. This is a perfect alternative to a trip with friends that are louder than a chainsaw or kinfolks talking politics over the dinner table. Whether it’s a quick weekend trip to the nearest town or a voyage to some far-and-away land, you’ll 100% have some much-needed me-time.
There are things to consider as you work on a travel plan, but the key is to listen to what your inner tired self is longing for.
Choose Destination to Travel
Whether you’re busy planning a trip with friends, family, or just you-yourself, the most exciting part is actually picking the place you’d like to explore. The whole world's in front of you! From the medieval cobbled Schnoor street in Bremen to Nai Harn Beach in Phuket – you can find whatever your traveler’s soul is longing for. If you choose to travel with family or friends, get together to narrow down your ideas to a specific destination. Even if you have a vague idea for now, discuss your expectations to see if there’s a single location that will meet them all.
Don’t know where to go?
Hunt for inspiration on Pinterest, or TikTok, or browse some trusted examples of a travel blog that will take away the stress of planning. Put everything together, and before you know it, you will choose a destination to travel to and actually enjoy your travels.
Create Travel Plan
Group or personal travel planning, as well as anticipating your next trip can be almost as enjoyable as going on it. As the old saying goes, those who fail to plan, plan to fail. The key here is to know which region (international or domestic) you want to visit.
Up to more than one travel destination?
Put that on a trip planner. Or, even better – get a 3D wooden USA map multicolor or monochrome with push pins to visualize your upcoming travels. If you find yourself too spoiled by options and want a grandiose adventure, go for a 3D wooden world map multicolor. A perfect tool to plot an itinerary does exist, and it’s just a click away.
If you choose to navigate a particular place at a peak travel time – during a famous natural phenomenon or festival – start pre-planning as early as possible.
One final thought here: don’t let yourself get caught up in planning a last-minute vacation! That’s a trap.
Set Time to Travel
Time is one of the crucial things to consider when planning a trip. It usually depends on the purpose of the visit and your touring plans. Is it culinary tourism? If yes, the weather forecasts shouldn’t bother you at all. However, if you’re excited to admire the magnificence of imperious Stonehenge, you better check all weather sources a hundred times. Let’s face it, extreme weather situations along your tourist route aren’t the memories you expect to make during the long-awaited vacation.
Correctly estimate how much time you will need for your next holiday. Is it a week-long vacation in picturesque Bruges? Or, perhaps, you plan a trip to ‘the city that never sleeps and you consider a week for NY? Even though no destination has a predefined perfect duration, you better determine your trip length before you find yourself frustrated by not planning it.
Tickets and Accommodation – Things to Consider when Planning a Trip
To make your next vacation perfect, book tickets for your bus, train, or flight ahead of time when bagaged in personal travel planning. It is an important step to take if you’re traveling during the high season. Thus, you’ll make sure you have a place to stay on arrival. Since prices tend to rise over time while train and flight tickets are a matter of availability (just like hotel rooms), it’s better to get the bookings done a couple of months in advance. Whether you are planning to try all types of onion soup in Paris or dive into intense gambling activity in LA, advance booking will give you peace of mind.
Quick travel planning tips here:
- Are you absolutely sure about your vacation plans? If yes, pick the cheapest non-refundable train, bus, or flight ticket. If not, refundable tickets are the only way to go.
- Track flight prices here and there to choose the ones that are pocket-friendly.
- If you’re planning a family trip, you’ll need some separation sooner or later (yes, you will). Choose hotels and resorts with mary-poppins services. Things like kid’s clubs will help you make children part of your trip but provide you with a chance to self-isolate if needed.
- Browse dozens of online resources to compare prices and get the best deals. Enjoy great rental deals on Airbnb, check discounts at Google Flights, or find your next perfect hotel room on Kayak.
Find Activities and Entertainment
Make a list of what you’re going to do on vacation. When it’s a solo trip, you just schedule things based on your preferences. If your travel plan includes going with family or friends, let them pick something. Make sure every potential travel buddy chooses one activity that s/he is dying to try and incorporate it into your friend or family trip planning. Are there kids too? Be careful here. Their activity choice will most likely take you out of your comfort zone. So far that you probably won't go back.
Up to nothing?
Planning no activities can make you feel more refreshed. After all, your vacation shouldn’t be regimented. Who knows, maybe the whole point of your escape is to do absolutely zero. Go with the flow with regular pauses for SPA, a glass of bubbly, or message sessions.
What to Remember When Packing for a Trip
Are you done with the bookings part? Time to pack your stuff! If you wonder what to remember when packing for a trip, keeping in mind the destination and some external factors will help. As you’re picking travel things, here’s something to consider no matter what:
- Unpredictable weather conditions;
- Festive high season;
- Political & social scenario;
- Religious rules;
- Tropical diseases in specific regions;
- Your health conditions, etc.
To avoid alteration of the blogger-worthy trip that you’ve planned, ensure your holiday story starts with putting these must-haves into your water-resistant organizer:
- Skincare products (SPF, lip balm, eye moisturizing drops, etc.);
- Clothes (swimming suit, raincoat, shower flip slops, sweater weather outfit, pajamas, etc.);
- Medicines (antihistamine, diarrhea medicine, birth control pills, insulin, etc.).
There’s an old truth that every traveler knows – the bigger your suitcase, the more stuff you will put into it. Pack efficiently but don’t relocate your wardrobe to the valise.
Things to Do Before Going on Vacation
Before you dive into the whirlpool of poolside parties, sightseeing, and gastronomic delicacies, ensure to deal with the practical stuff. Things to do before going on vacation include the following:
- Talk to your boss to plan your vacation and get it approved;
- Find someone to take care of your pet(s);
- Finish all the deadline-based projects;
- Tell your colleagues you’re off to the dreamland free from reports, meetings, and other office attributes;
- Inform your credit card companies about your plans. You don’t want to hear “Declined” at some Barcelona store just because your credit card company found it suspicious that you make your purchase so far from home.
Things to Do to Your House Before Going on Vacation
It’s never fun to imagine all the scenarios picturing your vacation go wrong. That is why taking your time to prepare for the worst is the best way to avoid torturing yourself with what-if thoughts. Below, we have a few things to do to your house before going on vacation:
- Have someone check the place while you’re away. They’ll see if everything is OK and make your home look lived;
- Keep it clean. No one wants to come home after a perfect trip to see a pile of garbage instead of a welcoming haven!
- Unplug/disable all non-essential appliances around the place;
- Secure valuables in a deposit box. Even though your insurance will do the job in case anything happens, something dear to your heart can’t be replaced even for all money on earth.
The final talk?
Be smart. Plan. Anticipate. Don’t be last-minute. But make sure to leave some time for the spontaneous. All in all, the best memories are made during unplanned moments, right?