Trivial as it may sound, planning a vacation is one of the reasons many people are not able to have one. From choice destination, to travel dates, to financing, these are some of the few things that cause confusion in your head when planning a vacation. It can be overwhelming and if you’re not careful, it could sweep you off your feet and leave you exhausted.
But it doesn’t have to be so, we have put together a guide that will help you plan your next vacation, by simply marking the checklists below.
PICK A DESTINATION
One of the things that will keep your enthusiasm high throughout your planning phase, is the destination you’re planning on visiting. The success of your vacation greatly depends on where you choose to visit. While picking a destination, it is important to keep an open mind. Let your mind lust after where ever it pleases, maintain no bias.
You may want to reduce the stress of searching, by asking a friend, remember that colleague that is always on the plane? It’s time to ask for their recommendations. The internet is definitely your friend.
Also, do not underestimate social media, take to Pinterest or Instagram or YouTube. Look up for nice places and listen, read or watch people’s experiences. This exercise will position your mind for the kind of experience you are about to have. The zest you constellate from this exercise should be enough to keep you charged up through the period of planning. Once you see a location that tickles your fancy, it is now left for you to fuel your aspiration by setting a time and date for your visit.
CHOOSE THE CONVENIENT TIME
According to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, having a plan without timelines is just a dream. Putting a timeline into your plan helps you maintain an optimistic mindset towards the project. You can begin to imagine when will be the most convenient time for you to be away from the office or when will be most suited for a particular experience you are looking out for in your choice destination.
However, it is very important to stay flexible at this point, compare dates, seasons, peak and off-peak seasons. Consider times when the fare will be high versus times when you will get cheaper flights. The right timing can save you some good money in air ticket and accommodation.
APPLY FOR A WORK LEAVE
It’s time to make your dream vacation official. If you are a business person, you can start planning successions and handing over tasks to other members of your team. If you are employed, you should make your leave notice early enough so that your employer can adequately plan on how to allocate tasks when you are away.
Depending on where you work, you should send in this notice at last a month ahead so that your absence does not cause a chaos. Another reason why this early notice is also paramount is because you don’t want to face the disappointment of a leave disapproval.
START SORTING AFFORDABLE FLIGHTS
One of the most common misconceptions people have is that flying especially to international locations has to be expensive. We all have our opinions about this, but honestly, if you know where to look, how to use the right tools, and you clock in at the right time, flying can be the cheapest part of your vacation.
A simple google search for keywords like “cheap flights from Nigeria” will give you over 9,720 results of cheap flight offers and how to book, plus best times to book. Sites like cheapflights will show you the flight estimates for different destinations.
SECURE YOUR ACCOMMODATION
Finding a great place to stay that doesn’t break the bank sometimes seems impossible. However, finding a great deal on accommodations is simple IF you’re willing to break the mold. Along with hostels, you can also find great, affordable places to stay through home sharing sites like Airbnb or Couchsurfing.
The goal is to get comfort, somewhere that gives you that touch of home, somewhere that helps you relax and enjoy your stay away from home -at the most affordable price.
Use the tools below to find some cool places to stay abroad:
Airbnb: More than just renting spare bedrooms, you can find some really cool places at a relatively low cost if you are diligent in your search (you can even stay in a freaking castle!).
hotels: They’ve aggregated accommodations ranging from uber-luxury hotels to small mom-and-pop bed and breakfasts. Also, they’ll kick back a free night in a hotel for frequent users. Awesome.
i-escape: Though a bit more limited in selection, i-escape gives travelers only the best accommodations at the best prices.
HostelBookers: With over 35,000 hostels in over 170 countries, HostelBookers should be your first stop when trying to find a good hostel. You’ll have no trouble finding an awesome (yet budget-friendly) option here.
Of course, there are other great tools, these are just my personal handpick.
HAVE A BUDGET
After choosing your destination and sorting out flight, accommodation and meals issues, it’s time to put some figures into perspective. Make a list of all the items you have gathered alongside their prices, have a comprehensive list that tells you exactly how much you can expect to spend when you embark on the trip
This step is really important because it puts you in perspective, financially. When you consider how much is reasonable to spend for the vacation, then it’s time to go find the money.
TALK TO A FINANCIAL PARTNER
Except you are in a senior management role in a big organization, you will have to foot the bills of your vacation. Now that is not something that is very easy to accomplish, considering the myriad of bills that often demand the salary you earn monthly. It becomes expedient to have an emergency financial partner who will help you with emergency funds to meet your other very important obligations to yourself – like a vacation.
Yes, it’s time to pack your bag and zoom off.
Remember to stay safe.
How do you plan for your trip ahead?