Hello and welcome to Vacation Planning 101, here is your syllabus. Haha, sorry I couldn’t help myself. But seriously, vacation planning is an important part of any successful trip. I see you back there “fly by the seat of your pants” people, I see you and I ignore you.
I’ve mentioned this before for Paris but having a plan, even a lose plan helps guide you and works to ensure you see everything on your travel must list. I could just say to contact me and Ill take care of all the details for you…which is 100% true…but I thought I would share my crash-course in planning as well.
- Figure out where you want to go. Seems like a non-issue but listening acquaintances shows that not everyone is as decisive as me. Some people actually switch #1 with #4 but that’s not my style.
- Get a travel guide and read up on the destination. Pinterest is great and has a ton of information but I find travel guides like those from Lonely Planet and Rick Steves have very beneficial information. There is also something very helpful as marking pages in a book.
- Find your top 5-10 MUST DO items depending on your time at said destination. I bet there will be more than 5 things you want to do but narrow it down to 5 things you absolutely have to see before you leave.
4. Start shopping for flights, use the Hopper app to track prices and it will help you know when is the best time to buy. Like I said some people actually look for cheap flights and base their travel around that but this is really only good if you live in a city like New York City or Los Angeles where there are a ton of international flights.
5. Find an area you want to stay in and book your accommodation. In London we wanted to be by a tube line. In Paris we wanted to be in a nice district that wasnt overpriced. In Italy we wanted to be close to tour sights. Where you stay will depend on your preference and goal of the trip. Talking to people who have been to the place before can also be very beneficial.
6. Start putting your day together, what do you want to accomplish each day. I like to put all the places I’m interested in on a google custom map. This helps me figure out what points of interest can be clustered together, thus forming a day to day plan. Its great to walk around a city and its much easier to do if the things you want to see in a given day are within walking distance.
7. Don’t forget food! Find a few places you would like to try and make reservations if necessary. Food is an important part of travel so make sure and dine at one highly reviewed restaurant at the very least.
8. Research transportation and how you will get around the destination. Not every destination has great public transportation if any so make sure you know how you are going to get around when you get there.
9. Research currency, credit cards accepted, identification requirements etc. You have money to spend make sure you can!
10. Notify your bank, embassy, credit card company that you are traveling (mainly necessary for international travel but sometimes necessary domestically depending on your bank). Credit card companies can freeze your credit card if they think its been stolen so make sure you let them know you are traveling so that doesn’t happen. Notify the embassy also helps in case there is a disaster in your destination.
11. Make sure someone at home has your itinerary or at least your flight and accommodation details just in case of emergency. I don’t like to think worst case scenario but honestly its a good idea that someone close to you knows where you are going to be.
12. Get a mobile hotspot or international data plan for you phone and install WhatsApp (free text messages around the world). Or don’t if you want to be totally off the grid but better safe than sorry right!
13. Print out any necessary documents and paperwork and keep them in a safe place when traveling. Also make a copy of your passport and hide it in your suitcase. This will come in handy in case your passport gets stolen.
14. Bring some snacks just in case you hate the food (this came in handy in Amsterdam)
15. GO HAVE FUN!!!!!
Don’t forget, I can help you plan your vacation to Disney, Universal, Cruises or ANYWHERE!!! Here is the link to my facebook page or email me at Rachael@DreamComeTrueVacations.com
CHIME IN!!! Are you a planner? Where have you always wanted to go? What’s stopping you?