Every time I remember my first vacation, I cringe because it wasn’t good. First I had zero idea where to begin from and just guessed my way through. Of course I arrived at my first place, with half of my budget already gone. Oh, there sure wasn’t much memorable time for me.
Planning a vacation can sure be a daunting task. Where do you begin? What’s step one? What’s step two or three?. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the beginning, especially when you haven’t done something like this before.
Hence the purpose of this post, since over the years I have been able to successfully planned other trips. So here are 10 things to consider in other to have an amazing vacation as a smart woman.
- Make Up Your Mind on the Where: Defining where you want to go sets a goal to work toward. A lot of people talk vaguely about going on vacation. They never say where they are going, just that they are going. Picking a destination is immensely important, as it gives you a definite goal. It’s a lot easier to mentally get behind “I am going to Cyprus” than “I’m going to Europe.” Not only will your trip become more concrete for you and easier to commit to, but it will make planning easier as well.
- The Decide for How Long: How much does it cost to travel? I have no idea without knowing for how long you’re going away. You can’t figure out how much you need to save if you haven’t decided on how long you’ll be in your destination. After you say “I’m going to Cyprus,” add “for 10 days.”
- Figure out its entire Cost: Do not be like me planning my first trip and working basically on guess work and assumption. So you know where you’re going and how long you’ll be there. But to really nail down how much money you need, your next task is to research the costs in your destination at the style of travel you want. How much are hostels, hotels, restaurants, and attractions? Knowing will allow you to estimate how much money you’ll need for your trip.If you are going to Cyprus for 10 days and need =N= 12, 000 a day (not including your flight), you know you need to save =N= 12,000 (though round up to =N= 15, 000 since it’s good to have extra) for your trip.
Now you have a concrete goal to work toward.
- Time to Start Saving: Time to start saving! Write down all your current expenses so you can determine where you are spending money and how you can cut back. People bleed a lot of money every day through small purchases: that bottle of water, the snack, that recharge cards. All of that adds up and creating this breakdown can let you know where you need to cut and save.
- Keep Your Inspiration Alive: Some days it will appear almost impossible, but keep the dream alive.
- Get Travel Rewards Credit Cards: While you are obviously busy saving money, also take time out to get travel rewards credit cards. Believe it will save you a lot of money and anyway, nobody wants to be the person paying the most aboard a plane.
- Check up for Last Minutes Deals: Okay, you’re inspired, prepared, and on your way to saving money for your trip. But before you go buy that flight or book that hotel, check for deals you might have missed. You may dream of Cyprus but maybe there are great deals to Berlin right now. Maybe you can get a seven-day cruise for 70% off, a package deal to Hawaii for the price of your flight to Cyprus, or 50% off sailing trips around Greece.It’s a big world, and there are lots of places I want to see, so if I end up choosing B over A, I’m happy! If you’re flexible too, make sure you look for any money-saving deals.
- Time to Book Your Flight: After you’ve used your travel credit card and received your sign-up bonus, use your miles to book your flight. It is harder to use miles these days due to less availability, so make sure to book early to insure you get your desired flight.
- Time to Book You Accommodation: If you have a set schedule, feel free to book accommodation for the duration of your trip, but if you are going to be traveling long-term, book just the first few days. Once you know the dates you’ll be in your destination, go find a place to stay. My view is that waiting will just lead to you losing your top picks.
- Plan Your Activities: Sketch out the major activities you want to enjoy and how much they cost. Make any last-minute adjustments to your savings so you can ensure you have enough money. This will also help you figure out if you need any reservations for your chosen tours or activities.
HAVE MAXIMUM FUN: Go on your vacation and have fun! Head to the airport, board your plane (don’t forget your passport!), and enjoy the fruits of your labor. By using this post as a guideline, you can better organize and prepare for your trip.
P.S. Yes, I did leave out visas and vaccinations, because needing those isn’t as universal as the other stuff. But don’t forget to check if you need those, too!