Vacation Planning Essentials

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There’s nothing better than a great vacation. Taking time away from your daily grind can leave you feeling more energized and optimistic—in fact, studies show that taking some time off can make you a better and more productive worker. So there’s no reason not to indulge yourself with a wonderful trip and a little time off. When you do, though, be sure that you plan it wisely.

As great as vacations can be, poorly planned ones can be miserable. A lousy vacation is a waste of money and time off, and a really bad one can even deliver you back to your daily routine even less rested and productive than you were before—which defeats the purpose of a vacation. You don’t want that to happen to you, which is why we’re here today to talk about the essential steps of vacation planning.

The Brainstorming Phase

There’s nothing wrong with a whirlwind vacation once in a while, but most great trips start with a bit of brainstorming rather than spur-of-the-moment decisions.

Take some time to consider your options. What’s your ideal perfect, peaceful vacation destination? Are you looking for a quiet beach to lay out on or a stunning natural vista in the mountains? Or would you rather head to Paris or Rome to take in a little history? There are no wrong answers at this point, so explore every possibility—including the unlikely and too-often-overlooked options.

With a big list of ideas from your brainstorming, start to narrow things down. Only you can decide what your dream vacation looks like.

Plan Early

Dreaming big is a lot of fun, but sooner or later you’re going to have to reach the planning stage. For your sake, try to make sure that it’s the “sooner” rather than the “later.”

In fact, planning early is an essential step in smart vacation planning. With an early start, you’ll be able to snag highly sought-after reservations and stake out key attractions for sales and promotions. Starting your planning early will also mean finishing early, which will give you more time to relax and dream about your upcoming vacation while eliminating those stressful last-minute planning sessions.

Pay attention to special needs

Planning your vacation means booking hotels, getting plane tickets, and reserving all of the other stuff you’ll need in order to enjoy yourself. Make sure that you don’t forget the daily essentials that are unique to you and your family.

Take strollers, for example. They’re not exactly a vacation staple, because not every vacationer has a baby or a toddler in tow. But if you’re a mom or dad on the go, your single stroller or double stroller is going to be a must-have. The locals can grab their stroller on their way out the door, but if you don’t show up ready for your own toddler, you’ll be in trouble — and taking a stroller on a plane can be a real pain. So what can you do to ensure that your little one rides in comfort? You could turn to a stroller rental service, suggest the experts at OrlandoStrollerRentals, a company that specializes in (you guessed it) Orlando stroller rentals.

There are other examples besides strollers, of course: Asthma inhalers and other medication, toys and travel-friendly gear for the kids, the shoes you wear when you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, and so on. These unique needs aren’t going to be on basic packing lists you find online, so make sure that you make your own list and avoid going without your stroller, medication, or other essential items on your next trip.

Staying Organized

Unless you’re using an all-in-one vacation package or a travel agent, planning your trip is going to mean bringing together reservations and information from all sorts of different sources. Make sure that you stay organized! Use one file for all of your confirmation numbers, addresses, and other key pieces of information. Organize a spreadsheet or a paper file so that you can find everything that you’re looking for quickly. Design an itinerary to keep you on schedule and checklists to make sure that you have everything that you need.

Get Insurance

Planning and booking a big trip can be expensive, but it’s all worth it when you get to enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

But what if you don’t?

There are a lot of ways for a vacation to be derailed. Sometimes, the fate of your vacation is beyond your control. And that’s when you’ll really, really want to have travel insurance. Travel insurance will cover your vacation for certain unlikely—but dangerous—possibilities, including medical emergencies and unforeseen delays. An affordable policy will give you peace of mind and free you to daydream about your upcoming vacation without fear.

Hopefully, you’ll never need to make use of your travel insurance policy. But if you do, you’ll be very glad that you put a little money into it in order to cover yourself. Making sure that your vacation is protected from disaster is an essential part of smart vacation planning.

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