Sapa Make Successful Traveling Plans-Getting Started
1 Start planning 3-6 months in advance. The further away you want to go, the sooner you should start planning. International trips can take months to plan properly. Likewise, trips during high seasons, such as summer or over the holidays, need to be booked further out than trips during low seasons.
- As a general rule, give yourself 6 months to plan an international trip, 3 months to plan a domestic vacation, and at least 4-6 weeks for a trip like a long weekend.
- Some major destinations such as resorts may require a deposit well in advance. As soon as you decide on a destination, contact them to figure out if they require a deposit, and how far in advance you need to pay it.
- If you are planning a last-minute trip, be mindful that you will need to be flexible in where you go and exactly what your vacation will look like. You can certainly plan a successful last-minute vacation, but it often takes more maneuvering.
. Before you do anything, you need to know how much money you will have at your disposal. It’s easy to overspend when you’re traveling if you don’t plan ahead, so start your planning by breaking down how much you want to spend on transportation, food, lodging, sightseeing, nightlife, and any other activities you hope to include in your trip.
- Your budget breakdown will vary significantly depending on your trip. If you’re going abroad, for example, a lot of your budget may be dedicated to transportation. If you’re planning a food tour, you may be spending a lot on meals but relatively little on attractions.
- If you want or need to go to a specific destination, the going rates in that location will factor into establishing your budget. You may be able to find a hotel in Des Moines for $60/night, but you won’t get that same deal in New York.
- Remember to plan for little things like taxis or ride shares around town, the cost of boarding your pets, foreign transaction fees, baggage fees, and different sales tax rates in different regions.
- It’s wise to set aside about 10% of your overall vacation fund as an emergency fund for unforeseen circumstances. Forgetting your sunscreen at home, having to take a taxi because you missed the last bus, and ordering an extra drink at dinner all add up. Have an emergency credit card in case you need it, but try to avoid relying on credit cards to curb the potential for overspending.
3 Choose a destination that fits your available resources. Available resources include not only your travel budget but also things like how many vacation days you have or how close you must be to a client’s office. It’s tempting to go above and beyond when planning your dream trip, but you’ll have the most success if you pick a destination where you have the time and money for fun once you get there.
- If, for example, you want to take an international trip to Paris but you only have 2 vacation days, Paris probably isn’t the right destination at this time. You can always choose to wait until you have more vacation saved up or choose a destination that doesn’t require such a large time commitment for both transit and tourism.
- Likewise, if you are meeting a client with offices downtown, don’t stay in a far-off suburb to avoid the city noise. It can often take a lot of valuable time to commute in the morning — and that’s time you could be using to prepare for your meeting.
4 Pick a vacation destination that you will enjoy. If you’re traveling for pleasure, look for a destination that will be enjoyable for everyone going. Think about your interests and the interests of the people traveling with you, and consider destinations that work for everyone.
- Consider the age groups traveling with you. If you’re bringing kids, look for a destination that has kid-friendly activities. If, for example, your child loves dinosaurs, check a destination’s natural history museum to see if it has an interactive exhibit on the subject.
- If you and your travel companions like outdoor activities, check the predicted forecast for your destination well in advance to make sure you can participate in the activities you enjoy. Most weather websites and almanacs provide seasonal weather trend information.
- Consider the physical abilities of yourself and your travel companions, too. Your aging parent may want to see the history in Philadelphia, for example, but if they have limited mobility, the relative lack of things like elevators and escalators might make it difficult to visit popular destinations.
5 Obtain a visa for international destinations if necessary. If you’re going abroad, you may be required to get a passport, visa, get certain immunizations, or provide fingerprints before you depart. Check the website of your intended country’s consulate or embassy to see what is required for you to enter the country. Visas may take weeks or even months to finalize, so check early in the planning process.
- Different countries may have different entry requirements. That’s why it’s important to look for your destination country’s embassy for your home country. This will give you information relevant to you.
- Even if no immunizations are required for entry, it may be advisable to get them if you are traveling to a high-risk area. Check with your country’s department of public health or disease control to see what immunizations they recommend for your intended destination.
6 Book babysitters, house sitters, and pet sitters, if applicable. If you have kids or large pets like dogs and cats that aren’t coming with you when you travel, find someone to watch them before you book your plans. Whether you have your kids stay with their grandparents for a weekend or drop off your dog with a friend, booking early ensures that you won’t have to change your plans if you can’t find the help you need.
- Even if you don’t need full-time care for kids or pets, it may be worthwhile to book a house sitter. This person can check your mail, water your plants, and generally just make sure that your home is in order while you’re away.
- For small pets like rodents and fish, you may be able to ask your house sitter to feed them and clean their bowl or cage while you’re gone. These pets don’t necessarily need to stay with someone full-time while you’re away.