Vacation season isn’t over yet! No matter where you’re going, traveling is sure to get you excited. But with all that excitement, you might forget to pay attention to certain details. This is easy to do, unfortunately, but there’s no reason to worry. Creating a comprehensive list ahead of time of things to pack and arrangements to make can save you future stress. Don’t know where to begin? Keep reading for four tips to prepare for the best vacation ever.
1. Keep Your Wellness In Mind
You know what would make a vacation totally tragic? Getting sick or forgetting to bring your prescriptions. That’s why making sure you pack various medications is super important to ensuring a smooth trip.
If you’re on any prescriptions, it’s vital you don’t forget to bring them along. Depending on what medication you’re on, even missing one dose can have negative results. Prescriptions like birth control, antidepressants, or blood pressure medicine require diligent daily dosages. Going into withdrawal or getting an early period could make you feel sick or upset when you’re supposed to be having fun.
Speaking of feeling sick, it’s easy to fall ill when traveling to new locations with all sorts of germs. This is especially true if you’re visiting crowded locations such as beaches or tourist-ridden landmarks in big cities. To stay on top of your health, bringing multivitamins or vitamin C tablets can keep your body protected. It’s also a good idea to pack allergy, cold, or pain medicines just in case. Better safe than sorry, especially when it’s your vacation in jeopardy!
2. Remember Location and Timing are Everything
Picking your vacation spot can be a lot of fun. You might have several ideas to choose from, based on your bucket list or dream destinations you’ve been saving for. However, when it comes to deciding where to go, make sure you research plenty about the location and its seasonal weather. Looking into this information before you make any solid plans can save you from disappointment when travel time comes around.
For example, tropical destinations have a rainy season that could make beach visits out of the question. Hawaii, a popular tourist site in the States, has its rainy season from November to March. So if you’re looking for an island getaway during the winter, you might want to look somewhere else, like the Florida Keys.
Moreover, it’s a good idea to look up the typical forecast of wherever you’re thinking about visiting. If you’re not a fan of the cold, stay away from places with low average temperatures, like Iceland or Norway. Additionally, make sure to check the weekly forecast right before you travel. You can pack your clothes according to the predicted temperatures.
3. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule!
Unless you absolutely hate rigid travel plans, make sure you have a solid idea of when and where you’ll be spending your days. Spontaneity can be exciting, but you don’t want to leave the whole trip up to your whims in the moment. To ensure a vacation that goes smoothly and allows you to see everything you want, make sure to create an itinerary.
Start by researching what kind of landmarks and activities are around your destination. Think about what you like to do when on vacation; are you a museum visitor or bike tour enthusiast? Do you prefer to hit the big tourist attractions, or stick to the less popular hidden gems? Maybe a mix of all the above? Based on your preferences, select activities accordingly.
Now that you have an idea of what you want to do, it’s time to create a schedule. You can use a spreadsheet, a calendar, or even a blank piece of paper to write down days, times, and locations. When creating your itinerary, there are some rules to follow, like leaving buffer room between activities. You never know if something will go overtime or if you’ll get turned around in the city. You also don’t want to sell yourself short on a place you might never visit again.
4. Consider the Costs
Now for the less exciting part of your trip — the budget. Not everyone can afford vacations like celebrities, with no worries of money in mind. To get the most out of your trip, it’s a smart idea to set a budget for your vacation. You don’t want to return home to realize you can’t make next month’s rent.
Start by determining how much you can actually spend on this trip. Do some calculating, check your bank accounts, and note any available PTO. Once you’ve got an amount in mind, you can start booking the high-dollar items, like plane tickets and hotel rooms. Keep in mind there are many discount travel sites that offer deals and packages, like Expedia, Trivago, and Priceline.
After that, if you’ve scheduled activities for each day, you could pre-purchase necessary tickets. In some cases, buying tickets in advance online can save some money. The next part of budgeting is setting a daily spending allowance for food, transportation, and souvenirs. When you’re on your trip, do your best to adhere to this spending limit. Be smart with your money, and your vacation should go smoothly.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Even though planning, budgeting, and researching can seem overwhelming, don’t forget to have fun on your trip. It is a vacation, after all, and they’re meant to be a fun getaway. If you plan and prepare in advance, you won’t have to think about what to do each day. This way, you’re less likely to forget something you wanted to do or see. And you’ll decrease the likelihood of running into any negative surprises along the way. With a plan in place, let yourself kick back and relax!