Your Super Simple Guide to Making Your Dream Vacation Happen: Easy Steps for an Awesome Getaway
Going on vacation can be so exciting! Imagining yourself relaxing on a tropical beach or exploring a new city is fun. But actually planning and paying for a dream trip can feel overwhelming.
Where do you even start? How do you find the time and money? This super simple guide breaks down easy steps for making your dream getaway happen. Keep reading for vacation planning that is stress-free!
Step 1: Pick Your Destination
First things first, decide where you want to go on vacation! Make a list of places you have always wanted to visit. Do you love the idea of lounging on a Hawaiian beach? Or maybe you want to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris? Choose one or two top destinations to focus on.
Next, do some research to learn more about each place. Look at best travel agency and tourism sites to see main attractions and average costs. This will help you estimate a realistic vacation budget. Narrow it down to your favorite spot that fits within your budget!
Step 2: Set Your Budget
Knowing how much your dream vacation will cost allows you to save and plan. First, research average prices for flights, hotels, food, and activities at your destination during your travel timeframe. Then add all those expenses together for your total estimated budget.
Don’t forget extra costs like travel insurance, airport parking or transportation, and souvenirs! Also factor in some wiggle room for unexpected expenses.
Once you know approximately how much your trip will cost, open a separate savings account. Set up automatic monthly transfers from your regular bank account to steadily build up funds.
Step 3: Get Time Off Work
Now that you know where and when you want to go, ask for time off work! Check with your employer’s policy on requesting vacation days. Often you have to ask a certain number of weeks or months in advance.
Tell your boss the exact dates you need off and the reason why. Explain that you planned the vacation time in advance so work can be covered while you are out. Also offer to help transition projects or tasks to coworkers.
If your request gets approved, put the vacation dates in your work calendar. If not, see if other dates would work better or shorten your trip by a day or two. Getting the time off is key to making your dream happen!
Step 4: Book Flights
Flights are often the biggest expense for vacations. Prices depend on destination, time of year, airline, layovers, etc. Tracking flight costs for a couple months is best to find a good deal.
Sign up for fare alerts from airlines and sites like Scott’s Cheap Flights. Check flight prices frequently, especially Tuesdays and Wednesdays when sales are usually announced.
Once you find an affordable fare that works for your dates and destination airport, book it! Don’t wait too long or else the price could jump up again.
Step 5: Find Accommodations
Now to figure out where you will stay! Search hotel booking sites for deals on rooms and compare prices in different areas. Read reviews to ensure good quality too.
If hotels are too expensive, consider hostels, vacation rentals, home exchanges, or camping. These options can help you save money on lodging costs.
Book early, especially if traveling during peak tourist season. In popular destinations, rooms can sell out months in advance. Put down a deposit so you are guaranteed a place to stay.
Step 6: Make a Loose Itinerary
To maximize your limited vacation time, map out what you want to see and do! Make a list of top attractions and activities at your destination. This will help build an itinerary.
Organize your itinerary by day or area of the city. Leave room for relaxation or getting lost on purpose too! Travel should be fun, not rushed.
Having an itinerary reduces stress so you don’t waste precious vacation time deciding what to do next. But don’t overload your schedule either.
Step 7: Get Travel Insurance
No one likes to think about emergencies happening on vacation. But travel insurance protects you from financial losses if something unexpected occurs.
At a minimum, get medical coverage in case you get sick or injured on your trip. Also look at coverage for trip cancellation, delays, and lost baggage.
Shop around to compare plans and prices from providers like Allianz, Travelex, and WorldNomads. Read the fine print about coverage exclusions too.
Step 8: Start Packing
As your trip gets closer, begin gathering everything you need to pack! Make a master checklist with essentials like passport/ID, medications, cash, phone charger, etc.
Also list clothing and toiletry items you will need based on your destination, hotel amenities, and weather. Gather these together in one spot so they are ready to pack.
Try to pack light! Only bring necessities you actually need and wear versatile clothing that mixes and matches. This avoids checked bag fees and hauling around heavy luggage.
Step 9: Have an Amazing Trip!
Finally, the big day arrives and you are headed off on your awesome dream vacation! Check in online for your flight before leaving for the airport. Print boarding passes and any Cheap Air tickets needed.
At the airport, relax during your flight layover by browsing shops. Or catch up on reading that novel you have been trying to finish for months!
Once you arrive, the real adventure begins! Soak up new experiences. Try local flavors that are unique to the region like fresh seafood by the ocean or pasta in Italy. Wander narrow cobblestone streets and mingle with locals. Let your dream vacation come to life by immersing yourself in the culture!
Stay in the moment and don’t stress about work or life back home. Capture special moments with lots of photos. Keep a journal to record meaningful memories from each day. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy this magical time exploring a new place!