At some point, we all have to plan a vacation. Travel planning can be frustrating and time-consuming especially if you are traveling with children, So we created this planning guide is for you!
If you are lucky you will know exactly where you want to go. Unfortunately, not all of us are that fortunate. If you need help in deciding where to go, ask yourself these questions:
What type of weather are you hoping to experience?
What experiences do you want?
How long can I go for?
How much money can I budget for this vacation?
Once you have answered these questions you can then narrow it down and do research for your perfect vacation destination. Some places on the web to help with your research are TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Planavacation.
A big factor in planning a vacation is the cost. It is difficult to determine the cost if you do not know the length of the vacation, likewise, the cost may be a factor in the length of your vacation. To help with this, take your destination and pick the amount of time you would like to go. Once you have this you can proceed, if the cost becomes too much you can always revisit this step.
Now that you know the destination and length of vacation, its time to figure out how much it will cost. The cost will include transportation, lodging, food, attractions, and casual spending money.
To determine the cost of the transportation, assuming it is not a road trip, many airlines and travel sites have online quoting systems that will give you the exact price. Through these sites, you can book flights, hotel, and even rental cars. Booking these items in a bundle can save you money, but figure the price out separately as well so you know for sure.
If your vacation is out of Canada, then a Passport is required. If you do not have a passport and need to get one, it takes at least 6 weeks from the day you apply for one. Passports expire, so check the expiration date if you already have one. One important thing to know is that most countries require that your passport be valid for six months beyond your arrival date in that country.
Some countries require a visa to enter, even if you have a passport. Check out Project Visa to find out if the country you are going to requires a visa. Make sure you do this with plenty of time before your vacation as some countries take time to issue visas.
Now that you have all of your paperwork in order to travel to another country, it is safe to book your flights. Remember to check to see if you purchase together with your accommodations if you get any savings.
Some mistakes that many people make when booking a flight include:
Forgetting about an alternate airport – some major cities have more than one airport. If you check for a flight at only one, you may be missing out on some deals.
Booking on days that are more expensive – booking flights on the weekends has a tendency to have higher costs. Farecompare.com has found that Tuesdays after 3 pm eastern is the best time to book flights.
Don’t fly on Friday or Sunday – airlines raise the prices on these days as they are the most traveled.
Forgetting to check multiple websites – there are many websites to check, do not accept the first quote.
Depending on your itinerary, where you may be staying in one place the whole vacation, you will find that booking your accommodations early will have cost savings. If you are going for a very large vacation and will need to determine if booking your entire trips accommodations is the right decision. You may want to have the flexibility to change your plan and therefore booking the entire trip’s accommodations before you leave.
You are not going to spend the entire vacation in your hotel, you will want to experience the area. Research the activities and excursions where you are going and make a list of the ones you wish to do when you are there. There is the option to book them before you go but we have found that they are cheaper when you are there. You also may run into guests at the hotel that has done what you are planning, and things you did not plan, and the feedback they give may change your plans.
Time to pack for your trip! Here’s a suggested packing list to help you take just the right amount of stuff and avoid overpacking. While what you pack will depend on where you are going, remember that you don’t need to pack everything you own.
Not having travel insurance on an overseas trip (or domestic) is not worth the risk. Anything can, will, and sometimes goes wrong. If it does and you are not insured, you can be up for a lot of money AND inconvenience.
When you are planning a trip, don’t shrug off this step. It’s one of the most important vacation planning tips!
What happens if:
Travel insurance is designed to cover unexpected medical emergencies and events such as trip cancellation, your personal effects, lost, stolen or damaged luggage by an airline, and other related losses incurred while traveling.