Taking time off to travel means a lot to most people fortunate enough to do it. However, assuming they are pushing 50-60 hours a week in between vacations, it can be hard to properly plan for time-off. People look forward all year to the one or two weeks they get to go explore a little piece of the world, only to fail to adequately prepare. The result – more times than not – is a less-than-ideal vacation experience particularly if you’re stressed and preoccupied with unresolved work issues.
The truth is it doesn’t have to be this way. The following are a few key way to prepare for an upcoming vacation that even the busiest of people can make time for in the months and weeks leading up to departure.
Choose a destination
There’s nothing wrong with revisiting the same destinations year after year, but going someplace new is certainly something to consider. It can be easy for busy people to return to places they’ve already been – you know the lay of the land, have your favorite spots, and can easily relax. Although this makes planning quick and easy, you may be missing another great destination. If you’re strapped for time, break up the research instead of trying to do it all at once and look for local tour operators to help. Researching different destinations to visit doesn’t have to take much more than 10-20 minutes a night for a few nights a week. Once you have a destination selected, turn to the experts to help you choose the activities. For example, if you’re planning on visiting Southern California, explore the iconic cities through a local tour or fun activity. In San Diego, browse the different activities and San Diego tours to find something for everyone and enjoy a worry free trip.
Set realistic weight loss goals
Most of us want to look our best on vacation (and in general) but our busy schedules can make it difficult to commit to diet and exercise. Rather than waiting until the last minute to try and lose weight for your vacation, set realistic weight loss goals several months in advance. You’ll feel great on your trip and adopt healthier habits before the trip you can continue after it’s over.
Depending on your destination, reservations for transportation, lodging, restaurants, and events may need to be made several months in advance. In some extreme cases, such as trying to book a hotel in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, reservations may need to be made over a year in advance. Make sure to research how far ahead you should be making any reservations and plan accordingly.
Give your manager as much notice as possible
Most companies require vacation time to be cleared by upper management, which usually means notifying your employer about vacation plans several months in advance. Keep in mind requesting time off this far ahead does not guarantee it will be approved. Make sure you have accrued the proper amount of time off, and that you aren’t planning a trip during a time of the year which is particularly busy or otherwise hectic for your employer. For instance, if you worked in customer service for a major online retailer, you probably shouldn’t be trying to go on a vacation during December.
Underestimating the total cost of a vacation is one of the most common mistakes attributed to lack of preparation. While no amount of planning can predict extreme circumstances which may dramatically alter the price of a trip, research and old fashion price checking can usually get your estimated cost within a range of a few hundred dollars. This is important in order to prevent accumulating credit card debt during vacation as well as avoiding feeling stressed while on vacation.
Prep your home
Make sure everything is situated at home before taking off for your trip. This includes keeping your residence appearing occupied even though you are away, prepping any plumbing or electrical systems which have the potential to malfunction while you’re gone, and throwing away trash to prevent coming home to the smell of rotting waste.
Time off for travel is good for busy people. However, it’s important to prepare for your vacation in order to get the most out of it. You’ve waited all year for this, so make sure it’s the best trip possible with a little bit of preparation.