There’s nothing like cutting clean from your job and day to day routines and hitting a road. There’s freedom out there on the open road that you can’t find from sitting at home. Many people look forward to their travel opportunities all year, prioritizing it over many other ‘adult’ matters.
However, as anyone that’s taken a serious trip knows, it’s not all fun under the sun. A great deal of preparation and work goes into ensuring that a trip goes off without a hitch. Preparing for a vacation is an art unto itself.
How can you ensure that your big vacations runs as smoothly as it should? Read on and we’ll walk you through some key tips and tricks that you should be familiar with.
1. What Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong
Optimism is a great trait to have, but it isn’t what you need in your toolbox if you’re hoping to launch a great vacation. The real secret key to vacation planning is knowing there’s a very good chance that everything could go south at any given moment— and planning for those scenarios.
It might be annoying to lie down at night and think about every little thing that could possibly go wrong with your trip, but at the end of the day, you’ll be glad that you did. Make a long list of all the risks and potential problems that you might face.
Really try to look at your trip from every angle and make sure you’re not forgetting any big part. Once you have your list, attempt to create solutions for just about every problem on the list.
Your list might remind you to do a bit of research into things. If you’re afraid you could get turned away from getting a rental car, you might look deeper into what kind of documentation you need to have with you to be eligible to drive.
What about your luggage? Is there going to be a place you can keep it at your destination, or will you need to invest in a luggage storage service?
These are just a few examples of many that could arise from your list of potential problems. Mitigating risk with active solutions will ensure that when something inevitably does go amiss, you’re prepared and it won’t interrupt the joyful flow of your time away.
2. Keep Your Itinerary Manageable
Yes, there’s likely a great many things to do and see wherever your vacation destination is. In fact, there might be so much that it’s liable to drive you a little bit crazy.
A mistake that many travelers make is to try to cram too many activities and sights into the little time they explore a certain location. It’s okay to be ambitious, but at a certain point, you’re going to get diminishing returns in terms of the enjoyability of your trip.
How much fun is it to see the Colesium if you’re rushing through it, stressed about making your trip down to the Vatican in time? A little bit of breathing room can go a long way.
A good rule of thumb is to include only one must-see item on your itinerary each day. Leave the rest of the day for attractions that would be nice if you saw but it wouldn’t kill you if you missed them. This will help to keep your days stress-free.
Don’t forget that spontaneity and flexibility are essential to an enjoyable trip as well. Give yourself some time to wander and explore without the need to hustle from location to location. You’ll be much happier later that you did.
3. Give Yourself Buffer Time
It is totally human to want to squeeze as much vacation as you can out of your time away. Especially with flights costing so much, you likely will feel the pressure to maximize the time you can spend on the ground in a new place.
However, if you don’t leave yourself some buffer room on either side of your trip, you can find yourself crashing or leaning hard into disorganization and chaos.
It’s no fun to have to pack and plan for your trip while juggling work and all your other day-to-day activities. Not only is it not fun, but it can create an environment where it’s impossible for you to be as on top of your planning as you need to be.
If you’re rushing to pack late in the evening the night before your flight, it’s much more likely that you’ll forget something crucial that you need. Giving yourself even just one day off between work and your trip can give you a much-needed breathing room. It’s much more likely in this scenario that things will go off without a hitch.
Having a day or two to breathe once you get back home from your trip can be important. It feels like a waste to be at home when you’ve taken off work, but it will provide a much easier transition back into your normal routine.
Plus, if you inch your ‘real-life’ right up against your vacation, you’ll start to ruin the backside of your time away. Who needs work anxieties and thoughts creeping up while you’re enjoying your last day or two in paradise?
No one! Give yourself some buffer time and you’re likely to feel much better.
Essentials Tips for Preparing for a Vacation
If you’re someone who gets wanderlust easily, you’ve probably already set sights on your next destination. However, you’ll want to take some time to read through the above tips on preparing for a vacation before you head out the door.
These tips can ensure your highly-anticipated trip goes off without a hitch.
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