08 Feb 10 steps to planning you dream vacation
Where do you want to go? I mean really, where would be your dream vacation? The only way to get there is to start planning! Even if you are planning a year ahead, at least you are accomplishing a lifelong dream! That’s worth it’s weight in gold!
Here are 10 easy steps to start planning your dream vacation:
1- Where to?
Find out where you want to go. You probably don’t have to do very much research to find out where you want to go. Chances are, you’ve been dreaming about this for a while!
Once you have decided where you wanted to go, now do a little research on the area. Find out what time of year is peak tourist season, try to avoid that time. We suggest you stick to the months just before or after peak season (it will save you money! 🙂 ). Find out where in that area you should stay, what to visit, what attractions are important to you and what you can do without! All the Lonely Planet books are amazing tools, they have a book on your destination guaranteed!
3- For how long?:
Richard and I are lucky to have jobs where we can arrange our schedule around for pretty much any vacation. Now, you have to figure out how long you can be away for!
4- Your budget:
If you are a spontaneous traveller, you probably have a hidden travel cash stash! If not, figure out how much you will need, or how much you have to spend. If you are planning ahead of time, set up a saving plan until your departure. Our advice is to set up an automatic withdraw from your account to a savings account. There’s nothing quite satisfying than knowing you can afford to pretty much go anywhere.
5- Book Flights:
The very first step after you have figured out the logistics is to book your flight! Once you know where you want to stay, how long you are going to be away and how much money you have…it’s time to commit! Don’t be afraid, and book it! Once it is booked you will automatically feel the excitement and anticipation!
6- What kind of vacation do you want?:
How do you picture your dream trip? Sitting on a warm sunny beach, drink in hand surrounded by elephants in Thailand? Hiking Machu pichu? Kayaking in the grand canyon? Eating pastries at a caffe in Paris? Backpacking? Organized tour? It’s yours to figure out! Make it your own, it’s your dream after all!
Accommodations are often a big part of your budget. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can use Hostelworld.com, on this website you can find a cheap hostel virtually anywhere in the world. From private rooms to bunk beds. From 2$ per night to upwards of 100$. It’s worth a look!
Not the Hostel type? Check out Airbnb.ca , (use this link to get 25$ off you first rental) this is probably my favourite way to travel! You can rent a fully furnished apartment for the same price or often less than a hotel. It is a safe website with lots of options. Ranging from house boats, tree houses, caves, mansions, houses, apartments and much more! You must try it out!
Once over there, will you need transportation from one city to the other? With a little research you will find out witch method of transportation is best for you! Trains, ferries, rental car, bicycle?
Or maybe a public transportation pass? Look up the cities websites and you will probably find a museum and public transportation pass. Most cities in Europe and some highly touristy areas offer good deals!
Stay organized! If you are planning a multi-city trip with multiple transfers between cities, you may want to make yourself an itinerary. Type up a Word document including your accommodation confirmations, flight and transportation conformation numbers and schedule, checkin and check out times of all accommodations. Print it out and give a copy to someone back home, and keep one with yourself!
10- Accessories & packing:
If you are backpacking, check out these gadgets, they might come in handy! As far as packing, wether you are backpacking or planning on carrying luggage, make sure you pack light. Heavy luggage is hard to carry around in most European cities because of all the cobble stone roads. Hostels are generally speaking not the best place to leave belongings behind, keep that in mind! If you are planning on doing lots of local flight or intercity trains, they will charge you extra to check luggage, in that case maybe a carry-on backpack would be a better choice.
If you are going to a beach vacation or are planning on staying in the same hotel for your whole trip, them a suitcase will suit you perfectly.
We hope to inspire you to follow your dreams! Please share with us where your dream vacation would be?