Everyone dreams of going on a grand vacation at some time during their lives. It can be overwhelming, however, when you sit down to actually plan your trip. Many considerations go into planning a vacation: timing, weather, activities, budget and preferred travel method. By taking as many of these as possible into consideration, you increase your chances of having an enjoyable vacation and set your mind at ease during the planning process.
Brainstorm vacation ideas. Write down things you’d like to include in your vacation: places you’ve dreamed of visiting, activities you like, your favorite season or weather, people you want to visit, your preferred way to travel, important dates and anything else that will make your vacation special.
Determine your budget. Don’t forget to factor in travel costs (i.e., airplane or cruise tickets, bus fare), food, clothing, hotel expenses, souvenirs, sports equipment, cameras/film, attraction entry fees, tips and travel insurance.
Research online and flip through travel books and tour catalogues to find the best intersection between your desires and budget. Try to find three or four potential itineraries. For example, if you’re dreaming of a sailing vacation with sun and team sports, and your budget is $5,000, an all-inclusive cruise may suit your tastes and budget. Find three cruises that might suit. For adventure travel with animals and an unlimited budget, a luxury African safari might be a good fit. Look into three tour companies that offer what you like.
Write out your options. Include dates and times, and information you’ve found about interesting attractions on each potential itinerary. Sleep on it for a bit, or consult friends and family. Share what you’ve learned with potential travel companions. Over time, the best option should leap out at you. If it doesn’t, try some additional research.
Book your vacation. Check to make sure that your hotel reservations and transportation tickets cover the same days, and that the sights you wish to see will be open during the time period. Create a packing list based on your destination’s weather and your preferred activities.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY DEMAND MEDIA IN USA TODAY BY REBECCA CHANDOS