Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s vacation time for many families! While summer is supposed to be filled with fun, there can be anxiety and tension that mounts from planning a vacation. These stress-free vacation hacks are sure to help you have your best vacation yet.
Before you even set forth on your journey, you’re going to want to decide where you’re going. While there’s a lot of fun in letting fate decide where you’ll land, it’s smarter (and more budget-friendly) to make an educated decision. Do your research. A popular vacation spot might seem like guaranteed fun but be wary. You’ll definitely be subject to long lines, crowds, and expensive prices. There are hundreds of underrated vacation destinations to choose from whether you’d like to go international or stateside. By thinking creatively, you’ll surely be able to make the most out of your trip.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, create a list to compare. Take note of the pros and cons of each destination. Lodging options, landmarks, price - and let this list be your guide for deciding the perfect location.
Plan Your Travel and Where You’ll Stay
Planes, trains, boats, and automobiles… Once you settle on your destination, you’ll have to decide how to get there. Once you’ve decided this, it’s time to make sure you have everything you’ll need. Do you need a passport? What about tickets or a reliable car? Depending on where you plan on traveling, you might not have that many options. How are you going to get around while you’re there? Learn the rules on transportation where you’re going. Can you rent a car? Can you use ride-share apps or cabs? Are there other modes of public transportation?
Lodging is also important to narrow down before you head out on your vacation. Hotels are great, but there are also a bunch of other options to choose from. Find a place to stay on Air BnB, or if you’re planning on making your trip an annual event, consider finding a rental property. Weight your options here, too. With so much to chose for, you want to make sure you find the perfect fit for the group your traveling with. A family of five with young children might fit more comfortably in a beach house rental than a single hotel room.
Look at Local Amenities
This should be a part of the research process but find local amenities. Are there museums and landmarks nearby? What about beaches or state parks? Movie theaters and shopping malls? What options do you have if it’s raining outside and you’d still like to get out of the house? Or for food if you’d like to go out to dinner? It’s important to survey the area around where you’re staying for things to do and places to go so that when boredom strikes or you’re thinking of going off the itinerary, you have a plan.
Create an Itinerary
If you’re planning to go sightseeing, this is crucial. Your travel itinerary is going to be your best friend throughout your trip, the perfect way to make sure you hit each and every attraction or event on your bucket list. Create a calendar based on the number of days you’ll be away and again do your research to plan your travel routes accordingly. Plan your days by the hour but try to leave space for when you get sidetracked or find something really interesting that you can’t miss. Schedule time or meals, rest, and jet lag. Most importantly, make your itinerary realistic. You’ll be exhausted if you plan too much for one day and find yourself feeling miserable or rushed which can make for a less than desirable vacation.
Set a Travel Budget
There’s nothing worse than going on a vacation and overspending. Unfortunately, many people find themselves in this predicament and coming home to mountains of debt. Splurge, but be mindful. Create a list of things you’ll need to purchase while you’re away: airport expenses if you’re flying, tips for housekeeping or cab drivers, souvenirs, and any other extras that may accrue. Once you’ve determined what you’ll be spending, start saving! Using Excel, an app, or good ‘ole pen and paper, gather a list of all of your expenses to determine exactly how much you’ll need to save each month before your trip.
Stick to your budget and try to cut corners when you can in order to stay within range. Track your spending while you’re away to make sure that you remain within your means.
Pack the Essentials… Double, then Triple Check
If you’re hitting the beach or traveling in the summer months, it’s likely, you’ll need sunscreen, bathing suits, beach towels, beach chairs, and bug spray. Look up the weather of your destination so that you can back the appropriate clothing for your trip. There’s nothing worse than showing up unprepared and nothing more frustrating than having to go out shopping for clothes. Pack toiletries but keep in mind how you’ll be traveling and TSA’s rules.
Make a list of everything you need and check it off as you go just to make sure that you aren’t missing everything. Then go through everything again twice more. You don’t want to risk forgetting chargers, toothbrushes, or hygiene products. And don’t forget your camera to capture memories and moments from your trip. Most cellphones are just fine for this, but if you’d like to have something nicer or worry about running out of space, keep this in mind.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Lastly, no matter how much you prepare, there’s always going to be tiny hiccups. Don’t let that ruin the day or the rest of your trip, Your beach vacation might not be perfect, but you should still try to relax and have fun. Think of the quality time you’re spending with your family or friends. Make the most out of sour situations by keeping things lighthearted. It’s important to have a positive outlook and look on the bright side even when things veer off schedule or off course.
When things change or troubles happen, make sure your rental or vacation property is protected with I & E Insurance’s Rental and Vacation property Insurance. We’re here to make sure that all of your unique needs are met and you remain covered so you can have a stress-free vacation.