Travel Tips for Booking and Planning Your Summer Vacation
Warmer weather can only mean one thing—summer vacation time is finally here! If you’re like most people, the initial excitement of soaking in the sun is eventually followed by the dreaded reality of planning and organizing a vacation. Ugh! While it can be fairly stressful to be the one in charge of planning and booking a friend or family vacation, it doesn’t have to completely drain you of the all vacation excitement. Just take a look at this fool-proof guide to planning the perfect summer vacation!
- The first thing you’ll want to do is compile a list of the essentials you absolutely cannot leave home without. Make sure each person is prepared for just about any occasion—if you might need a pillow, hiking boots, and a tent, then be sure those things are not forgotten. For the smaller things, don’t panic—toothbrushes, socks, and an umbrella can usually be picked up near your vacation spot. In fact, it may make more sense to plan to do so right off the bat. Prioritize what you’ll need ahead of time so that you’re not scrambling to remember how many pairs of shorts you’ll need or if the kids remembered their swimsuits. Need more help putting together the perfect checklist? Check out this one we found.
- Another tip we have for planning the perfect vacation is to make sure your sleeping arrangements are scheduled and confirmed ahead of time. Chances are, you will be choosing between booking a hotel room and using a couch-sharing service such as Air B&B. If your accommodations will involve staying at a hotel, make sure to plan for the worst. Although ideally, the only time you’ll be spending in your hotel room is to sleep, you should consider other circumstances in which you may be forced to spend a decent amount of time there. In that case, you’ll be glad you opted for a clean, spacious room to enjoy your time! Simply put, don’t skimp where it might count. It’s also a good idea to call ahead to confirm your reservation and make sure that the room will be ready in time. Double check about checkout times and other fees to avoid any surprise charges! Of course, if you decide that an Air B&B is right for you, then be sure to read any reviews from previous tenants about their experience staying with the host you’re considering. It’s also a good idea to follow up with your host to make sure that all accommodations are prepped and ready before your arrival.
- If your vacation will involve flying, then we’ve got a whole separate list of tips for you! According to some experts, the perfect time to book your flight is 57 days before takeoff. Any sooner, and you won’t be able to get the lowest prices; however, studies show that shopping for airline tickets at the last minute, while not necessarily a recommended move, can actually get you the best deals. Either way, make sure to do your research on not only the ticket prices between comparable airlines, but also what’s included in the price. For example, will checking your bags yield an additional fee, and how much is it?
- Another great tip we have for travelers is to come up with a rough itinerary of the day’s events. Do your research about local hotspots, sightseeing opportunities, and any monuments or tourist attractions ahead of time. Having your vacation outlined can help you stick to a schedule to ensure that you accomplish everything you want to do. Try to schedule indoor activities on a rainy day, and outdoor activities for the nicer days if possible. Getting everyone on board for each event will make things go much smoother, and you won’t have to deal with arguments about what to do each day. If everybody in the group has different interests or are different ages, then try to compromise and plan something for everyone.
Planning your summer vacation doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful, but it can be if your trip is disorganized or not well thought out. With these tips, you can be sure you’re prepared and ready for just about anything vacation could throw at you. Always call ahead to confirm reservations, do your research about flights or other travel arrangements to avoid getting burned, and come with a prioritized list of things you want to do on your trip. Safe travels, and happy summer!