As I get older I’ve found that the one of the best things you can spend money on is experiences, and what better way to broaden yours then through a fabulous vacation?
Vacation planning can be both exciting and hectic. There are so many amazing places to visit in the world, but at the same time, you need to consider your budget and the logistics like mode of transportation and hotels. As someone who loves traveling and has done quite a bit, here are my 5 tips on how to plan the perfect vacation:
1| Travel during off seasons
Not only will you get better prices for airfares and and hotels, you don’t need to deal with lines and crowds at the major tourist spots! Peak seasons vary by destination so it’s always a good idea to research the months beforehand. If you are limited on when you can travel (eg. only during school holidays), try looking for places that are quieter during those months.
2| Book everything early!
Not just your airfare and hotels, but also admission for any sights you like to visit or local tours you want to do. Many popular attractions like the Eiffel Tower and large museums actually have entrance time slots you need to reserve in advance. If you wait too long, you might miss out on the attraction completely!
Train tickets are another thing you should definitely book early. Not only will you get better time slots, the tickets will be significantly cheaper too!
3| Weigh the pros and cons day passes
A lot of tourist destinations now offer day passes that grants you admission to many their popular sites at a discounted rate. This seems like an amazing deal at first, but make sure you study the list of attractions these passes cover. How many of these places do you actually want to visit and how many are you feasibly able to visit during your trip? Also not all attractions are included. For example, while the Paris Museum Pass includes all their major museums, it doesn’t include the Eiffel Tower which must be booked separately.
Buying these passes blindly without doing your homework can actually cost you more money in the long run!
4| Google Maps is your friend
Did you know you can create your own travel itinerary right within Google Maps? Lifehackers has detailed step by step on how you can create your own custom travel itinerary, and here’s how I typically like to use it:
- Saving all the attractions and restaurants I want to visit
- Mapping the best routes to visit each of the above places
- Selecting which hotel to book so I’m close to all the major attractions
In case you don’t have data while traveling abroad, you can still download a copy of your custom map so it’s viewable offline!
5| When in doubt, book a vacation package
Even with the above tips, trip planning takes effort and time, and sometimes it’s nice to just outsource all that to a travel agency. A good vacation package should take care of travel, lodging, and most of the major attractions with ample free time for you to do your own thing. It’s also a good idea to look up reviews and make sure the agency is reputable! Personally I’ve had great luck with Costco’s vacation packages!
Hope you found these tips helpful, and happy travels!