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Planning The Perfect Vacation

Planning a vacation can be exciting but also extremely stressful.  There are so many little details that go into planning a trip and these small details can be intimidating if you are unsure about what you are doing.  Here are a few tips on how to plan your perfect vacation with ease.

Start Early

Start planning your vacation at least six months in advance.  You will first want to pick what days you will be on vacation and get your vacation approved by your employer, if necessary.  It is important to get your date sorted out as early as possible so you can start researching potential vacation spots.  Pull out your laptop and start doing some in-depth research on potential vacation spots. There is a lot that goes in to planning a vacation, so giving yourself enough time will help you get everything done without stress.  You don’t want the stress of scrambling to book a last minute hotel or to have to settle for an outrageous airfare because you did not have time to compare rates.  The sooner you start planning, the less stress you will encounter, both financially and emotionally.

Create a Budget

After you have chosen your vacation dates and conducted some valuable research on potential destinations, you will want to start thinking about how much you are able to spend.  A vacation should not be a financial drain, but you should expect to set aside a portion of your income so you can spend freely while you are gone.  Factor costs such as hotel, airfare, food, and entertainment into your overall budget, and leave yourself some extra money for spontaneous expenses. Start a savings account as soon as you decide to take a vacation so you are not tempted to spend your saved money.  This is part of the reason why it is so important to start planning your vacation early; the sooner you know you are going, the sooner you can work out how much money you will have to set aside.  Remember, if you are going on an international trip, you will need a passport which requires a processing fee at the time of application.  Passports must also be applied for in a timely manner so your trip is not delayed.  Consider monetary exchange rates when traveling internationally and keep some of your vacation money set aside in case of an emergency.

Compare Rates Online

To get the best deals on your vacation, compare prices on hotels and airfare online.  Websites like Expedia and Travelocity compare rates on plane tickets and hotels so you can choose the best one within your price range.  Don’t rush this process as travel rates change frequently, and you can get a good deal if you give yourself enough time to find the best rate possible.  Be sure to read the reviews and look at pictures of whatever hotel you choose to stay at so you know a little about the service and cleanliness.  Doing this in a timely fashion allows you to be picky about where you stay and how you will get there, instead of just going with the first available.

Try For an All Inclusive Vacation

Resorts are great for vacations because they are often all-inclusive.  Many resorts and cruises allow guests to pay an upfront fee that covers all food, lodging, and even transportation.  These venues often include event passes and other incentives for booking which makes them very attractive. If there are any all-inclusive resorts at your desired destination, look into their various packages and see if there is one that is worth booking.  If you are unclear as to their terms, be sure to call and confirm before you book.  Many resorts do not include alcoholic beverages or certain events in their all-inclusive packages while others do.

Look Up Attractions and Events

Chances are, you don’t want to spend your entire vacation inside a hotel room.  Make sure to look up any attractions or special events which will be happening at your vacation destination on your chosen dates.  Think about how you will want to spend your vacation and what you will have the most fun doing.  If you’re going to relax, a nice beach or spa is a great way to get away from everything while an amusement park is great for someone looking for adventure.  Write everything down and choose as many events as you can comfortably fit into your vacation. Avoid trying to cram as many events and attractions into each day as possible.  A vacation should be about fun above anything else so be sure that having a good time is your top priority.

Book As Soon As Possible

As soon as you find a good rate on airfare or a hotel that you like, be sure to book it.  Travel rates rise and fall during peak times so it is possible your rate could go up if you wait even a few days to book your vacation.  If possible, try to book your vacation during the off season, the Fall and Winter months, so you can get a lower rate.

Stay Organized

When planning your vacation, you will have many things to remember. Make everything easier on yourself by keeping all documents in a centralized location as you continue to plan your trip. Print out any confirmation numbers or correspondence you have so you can reference it if there is any confusion. Write up a list of attractions and places you want to visit, as well as some emergency contact information, in case you need it.  Each time you sit down to work on your vacation planning, have this information ready so you can add to or alter it as necessary.

Be Prepared

Planning a great vacation does not have to be stressful or difficult. Make sure to give yourself enough time to fully prepare everything and you won’t have any problems with getting everything settled in time for your departure.  Do your research and planning so that you are sure to enjoy a vacation to be excited about.

About Julia Blake

Julia has a lot of experience traveling. She has been to over 20 countries so far and plans to tour the world one day.

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