You’ve made the decision to go on that well-deserved vacation. You have a destination in mind. You have the finances. You even have that tacky floral shirt washed and ironed. Everything’s in place for a wonderful time without any hitches… more or less.
The key to a successful vacation is planning. The old college business program adage is as apropos today as it was years ago… “Plan your work… work your plan!”
Although, the ‘work’ of a vacation is the activities you wish to take part in – the tours for sightseeing, the leisure beach time, and whatever else you wish.
Here’s a 7-step plan of action for making your vacation enjoyable:
Plan Your Vacation Well in Advance
Planning as far ahead as you can reduces stress in your life. There’s none of that last-minute chaos of trying to get transportation booked, car rentals finalized, or your route mapped out if it’s a road trip.
Having a trip planned in advance means the time leading up to the trip is one of joyful anticipation, not fretful running around. A well thought out trip with all the particulars finalized and in place gives you the time to ease into your vacation. You can actually begin Day 1 of your vacation on a high note instead of bewildered and dizzy from the hectic days leading up to departure time.
Start Packing Early Using a List
This ties into the first point because it’s all about planning ahead again. Write down a list of all the things you’ll need for your vacation. Pack them as you can in the days leading up to departure. Cross these items off the list as you do. This helps make sure you don’t leave without those items important to you, such as that tacky floral shirt.
Arrive on Time to Get in Line
In fact, arrive early for that flight, train ride, boat cruise, or bus trip you’re taking. It’s all about those aforementioned stress levels. After all your planning, you don’t want your travel day to be one of migraine headaches and such because you’re on a last-second blitz to get to the departure area on time.
Have Your Travel Essentials Ready
For traveling day or days… have those essentials you need at hand. Of course, abide by the stipulations of the airline or other carrier you use. In your carry on bag, have the travel tickets, identification, passports, itinerary details, notes, personal items, medications, and more that you need to ensure a comfortable trip.
Have Maps and/or GPS at the Ready
Once your carrier gets you to where you should be, have a map or GPS on hand so you can get yourself the rest of the way. Take advantage of help from information booths, tour guides, assistance from local business people, and others to help you negotiate the highways and byways of the cities and towns you’re visiting.
An enjoyable vacation is a safe vacation. Be security conscious as you travel – always – without being paranoid. Be wise; be aware of where you are at all times. Be aware of who is in the vicinity at all times. Be aware of your belongings at all times. Know the fire escape rules of where you’re staying. Know emergency numbers for whatever place you’re visiting.
Plan Each Vacation Day
A great vacation is a vacation that has purpose… each day. You don’t have to get out a detailed planner and adhere to it minute-by-minute. You should have, however, an idea of what you want to do each day – at what times and where. In this way, you don’t waste your precious vacation time.