Planning a Holiday – The Essentials


A great holiday isn’t just thrown together on a whim, but is instead put together carefully and, dare I say, lovingly? The hallmark of a fantastic vacation is a focus on the little things that take a bit of time to find the best low cost travel deals that hit all the spots and events you long to experience. You can have the same vacation and spend half the time planning, but it will be the same in destination only – all other aspects will be sacrificed. Is this really something you want?

Here is a list of a few of the essential aspects of travel planning that I cannot express enough their importance. I’ve come across these after a few dozen of my own holidays over the years; regardless of length, budget and destination, they all require the same attention to detail. The free spirited impulsive types may laugh at the notion of intense planning but in the end, I’m the one with the better holiday!

Be sure you get the vehicle you want and can afford!

I really can’t stress this enough when it comes to planning a holiday. Realistically you should start planning as soon as you decide you’re going away to ensure it is not only possible to go there but that you can book whatever you need to in order to make it happen. This means making sure you get the time off work, looking into flights (and booking if you find a good rate – sometimes you can wait, but at least have an idea what the going price is), reading hotel reviews and everything else in between. Need a rental car for five adults? Make sure it’s available or risk being uncomfortable or ripped off.

A weekend away takes less planning than a three week overseas odyssey but the earlier you start, the sooner you can start dreaming!

Know Your Route Inside and Out

Years ago I took a trip to New Zealand and did the road trip thing and I have to say that before I arrived, I knew the route inside and out. Part of this was because I was on a tight schedule and needed to be sure I fit everything in; part of this was because I knew the weather could be touchy (it was winter time), but mostly it was because I was just so darn excited and this was my way of not going insane with wait. It paid off because on this trip, and on future trips, I knew the little town names I was to look for in case I got lost and could plan alternate routes if construction reared its ugly head.

Set a Budget but be Okay With Going Over

I don’t care how great you are with planning for a holiday financially, you’ll always run a bit over. Whether it’s a meal out here, a tour you didn’t intend on taking but couldn’t pass up, differences in currency or you just went a little overboard – you’re going to go over budget. This is why I find it helpful to plan for a certain amount but know in your head it’s going to be more and have the necessary funds available. If you really can’t afford any additional spending, find a cheaper holiday or wait until you can! There’s nothing worse than having something you’ve been planning for and looking forward to be a source of stress the entire time because of money.

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