Tips on How to Plan a Vacation

One of mine and my husband’s favorite things to do is travel to new places. Right now I’m in the midst of planning our next vacation to London and Paris in May. It coincides with our 2 year wedding anniversaryand I can’t wait to explore more of Europe with B!

When it comes to planning a vacation, it can seem like a big task especially if you aren’t using the help of a travel agent or tour company. I wanted to share my process of planning a vacation to hopefully make your next vacation easier for you.

  1. Plan out the dates or the destination you want to go

There are 2 ways to approach how you decide on a vacation. You can either plan around dates for a special occasion like an anniversary or birthday. Otherwise you can pick what time of the year you want to visit a particular place in the world. If winter is your least favorite season, then plan a trip to the Caribbean to escape the cold and snow. Side note, make sure that you also have available time off from work and your vacation won’t coincide with any big deadlines or projects.

  1. Book your flights

I find that booking your flight is the easiest task to conquer first. Take to sites like Expedia or Orbitz to compare airfares.

  1. Use Tripadvisor to look at things to do and restaurants to eat at

Tripadvisor is my favorite to use when it comes to vacation planning. We’ve always had good luck with getting top restaurant recommendations, hotels and activities to do while we’re on vacation. You can choose to search the region you’re in and can also look at what is close by your hotel. Just remember to pay it forward and leave reviews and feedback after your trip so that others can use your experiences to help plan their vacation. I’ve also found it helpful to purchase some books about your travel destination. I used a book while in Italy that had maps for us to follow and some self-guided walking tours which helped us to see the sites.

  1. Book your hotel

Again, using the same tips as above. Look to Tripadvisor for best hotels in the area and compare prices on travel websites.

  1. Make a spreadsheet to track and plan

I love making spreadsheets for travel to track everything that we are doing. Once I book a restaurant or activity, I put the time, address and any other important information into a spreadsheet itinerary. This makes it easier for me to see our vacation at a glance and know what we’ll be up to.

  1. Make a packing list

Even if it’s 2 months before a trip, I make a packing list to jot down things that come to my mind. For instance, I recently realized  that we didn’t have a travel umbrella so I’ve made a note in my planner and on my packing list to pick one up before we go out of town. It’s easier to write these things down ahead of time as you remember them instead of having to run around at the last minute to get things done.

  1. Print out all confirmations of everything you’ve booked.

Flight, hotel, restaurant reservations and any activities you’ve booked – print them all out! I liked to arrange mine in the order that we’re doing each of the things to make it easier to find.

And last but not least, enjoy your vacation! I know it can seem daunting and a little bit stressful to plan a big vacation on your own. But remember that soon enough you’ll be on vacation relaxing and enjoying yourself!

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