4 Things to Consider Before You Start Planning Your Vacation

Summer vacation is quite often an amazing experience. Summer vacation planning, on the other hand, is not. When you have so many options for how to spend those hard-earned days off, the pressure to plan the perfect vacation can be overwhelming. 

It’s no wonder why so many people settle for the same old plan every summer. However, getting organized can really help you hone in your vacations needs and wants — and, more importantly, take a lot of the stress out of planning. 

Before you go down an internet rabbit hole of vacation possibilities, think about these four considerations; after all, having a narrowed focus will get you on your way to choosing an ideal summer getaway.

1. Timeline

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Do you know how much time away your group can afford to be away from home or work? Time is money, and your vacation timeline will help narrow down (or open up) your possibilities. 

For example, a cross-country summer road trip is an iconic family vacation for a reason. But if you only have a week to get away, a coast-to-coast drive will feel like a sprint instead of a leisurely stroll. Then again, if you have two weeks of vacation time, planting yourselves at the beach for the full 14 days might get a little boring.

Be sure to factor in travel time, too, when considering your timeline. How much of your time off are you willing to spend en route to your destination?

2. Group Size

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Who will be joining you for this vacation? Is this a solo vacation? A family trip? A vacation with a large group of friends? Think about the day-to-day logistical needs of your group. Will you want options for differing interests and energy levels, or will your group be spending the majority of time as a unit?

Exploring New York City is perfect trip for an individual or small family, but would be a nightmare for all but the most organized and like-minded big group. Cruises, on the other hand, are ideal for groups, because there's often enough activities as well as built-in together time to keep everyone busy and happy.

Additionally, there are often discounted packages available for large groups traveling together, particularly on epic getaways like Alaska cruise vacations.

3. Budget

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You'll also want to set an overall budget for your vacation. This figure will be your all-in price for everything, including lodging, food, travel, trinkets, entertainment and more. 

After you’ve set your budget, think about your travel priorities. Do you dream of staying in a swanky hotel or would you rather spend your money on unique experiences? Are you fine with sticking to basic meals as long as you're in the perfect location?

Once you know what you and your group are able and willing to spend on the vacation and where your priorities lie, you will be able to focus in affordable options.

4. Vacation Goals

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When you think of your summer vacation, what comes to mind? Do you think of total relaxation, adventure, romance, fun? Some combination of all four?

Figuring out your vacation goals will help you to more easily choose different aspects of your vacation, from your destination to accommodations. From there, you'll be able to better answer questions like:

  • Are there specific experiences you’d like to try? 
  • Do you want to shut off your mind or learn something new? 
  • Do you want a totally different experience or something comforting and familiar?

All Things Considered: Make a Plan to Get the Most Out of Your Getaway

Narrowing down your focus — and taking the time to understand what you want and need out of a vacation — will make trip planning so much simpler and more enjoyable. In that vein, consider your timeline, group size, budget and vacation goals before you even start looking at options and you'll soon be on a getaway that will make you (and your vacation gang) happy and fulfilled.

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Collection of guest posts and pro-tips from globe trotters. First-hand account of travel bloggers from ...

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