The best vacation experiences are those that are planned, at least to an extent. Imagine the departure date arrives, you land at your new destination, and realize everything is too expensive, and to top it all off you do not have a place to sleep at night. This is a worst-case scenario but leaving things to the last minute can lead to these types of situations. The reality is, unexpected events can still arise while you are in a foreign place regardless of whether you planned your trip, and during these times you must go with the flow. After all, your flight could be delayed, you may lose your favorite shirt or who knows what else. However, you are in complete control of the tickets you purchase and activities you choose to participate in. Full details as to why you must always plan your trip ahead of time can be found below.

Your initial excitement

Planning your trip should be an exciting experience. After all, looking at the countless travel images you find online should be inspiring enough for you to want to start planning your stay there. Setting time aside each day after work to do a little bit of research is all part of the fun of planning your next vacation. Simply remember to take everything one day at time, as you do not want to overwhelm yourself with all the possibilities, either.

Booking tickets

The reality is, until you book your plane or train ticket, you are not going on vacation. Thus, the first matter of business is setting the groundwork for the plan. You will need to request time off from work and decide where it is you are going. Are you planning to sit on a beach and read? Or, are you planning a colder adventure up north to catch the northern lights, if timing permits? Moreover, ensure that everyone you are going with can take the exact same time off. Lastly, keep in mind that booking a ticket in advance will reduce the overall cost of your trip.

Accommodations

As soon as your travel ticket is booked, you must start looking into accommodations. You need a place to sleep at night, and you do not want it to be in the next city over if that was not your desired destination. You can even reduce the amount of time you spend on public transportation, getting from point A to point B if you choose a prime location. This, as always, means that you need to look weeks if not months in advance to find it.

Day-to-day activities

Even when you are not on vacation, you wake up in the morning knowing what you will do that day. Most of the time this involves going to work, but even on your days off you have a plan. Thus, what is your day to day look like while traveling? Chances are, you will want to see as much as you possibly can because you do not have an unlimited amount of time there. Moreover, if you plan what you want to see in advance, you can also set an appropriate amount of time aside for the various landmarks. Yet another good idea is to book tours that will organize everything for you. Why not go with a guide so that you can also learn the history behind the attraction? If you are going to Italy, for instance, the chances are that you will be visiting the Vatican, and your experience will be even better if you enjoy the company of a knowledgeable guide and like-minded people, you may even make a new friend in the process.

Save money

Even once everything is booked and you think you are all ready, you are not. The next step is saving money for your trip. Imagine that you arrive at your destination, only to find out that everything is out of your budget and you do not have the necessary money to do all the activities you wanted to. Nobody wants to experience this, as it can ruin your time there. That is why research is key, but so is setting a certain amount of money aside each month until your departure date. Plus, you will undoubtedly want to purchase a souvenir or two. It’s okay to treat yourself on vacation, but keep in mind to you must stay on budget and not break the bank because of a few days away. Life goes on once you come back from your trip, and you do not want to be stressed because you can’t properly pay your monthly bill on time in the following weeks.

Enjoy your time there

Given that you do not have that much time in your travel destination, you should not be spending countless hours researching what to do. Go with an existing plan and make a point of walking around to see more from one landmark to the next. Don’t forget to fully immerse yourself in! Eat food that is specific to that country or region and talk to some locals. You never know what gem someone who lives there will tell you about. If English isn’t the first language there, you can make a point of practicing a foreign language (and pull out Google translate, of course).

Peace of mind

As soon as you are on vacation, you should not have a single worry. The reason you have left in the first place is to experience a new culture and relax from your everyday routine. Travel is beneficial for people’s overall health, and you want to ensure that you experience complete peace of mind while there. Life will go on if you stop thinking about your everyday responsibilities for a little bit. It is time for you to disconnect, and you will find that you will be properly recharged when you go back.

How many of these tips are you already following when you plan vacation time? Keep in mind that the more you research, the better prepared you will be. Leave a little bit of room for spontaneous decisions, especially if a local tells you about their favorite spot in the city, but you will still need to have most of it planned for your peace of mind.