You decided on your vacation destination and began to create a budget. Now what?
Activities and entertainment are the most important elements to a great travel experience and usually the last item in the budget. Making this mistake can be fatal to a well-deserved vacation!
I’ve witnessed many travelers (including myself) make the mistake of assuming adventure will just fall in their laps without any advance planning. Sure it’s cool to be spontaneous while vacationing, but not having any activities planned can spell disaster or boring trip… Who wants that?
I’ve also witnessed vacations when every minute was planned out and that can be just as horrific. I recall a vacation where we had an activity scheduled every morning, at the crack of dawn, and that was torture… NEVER AGAIN!
Can you relate?
I have found that a happy blend of excitement, spontaneity and relaxation will create an amazing travel experience.
Now the right combination of these three components really depends on the individual or family. One concept that remains true for most people is this….
The first outing sets the tone for your whole trip.
Ok, I know you may be quick to disagree with me and cite the need to recuperate from jet lag.
Rest may be needed for some people. And I agree, traveling to your destination can be exhausting (for this reason, I typically wait until the next day to schedule an activity unless the destination is only a couple of hours away). No matter when you schedule your first activity, the anticipation of it and how you feel afterwards will most often determine your attitude for the rest of your trip.
And remember attitude is everything!
When creating your vacation itinerary, create a rough schedule of your daily activities and research them ahead of time. Let the first activity be a “hello world” experience that invites the inner child to come out and play.
The activity can be anything that excites you from site seeing to shopping, recreational activities, lounging by the pool, you name it. The goal is to end the activity feeling excited and exhilarated.
The next tip is a no brainer and I’m sure you already do this, but just incase you need a reminder… add some free time to your itinerary.
Free time serves a variety of purposes. Of course, you want time to relax and to explore.
While touring Munich Germany with a group of students, we were given some free time in the middle of the day. We spent our time wandering around the city and I met a young family that was from Appleton Wisconsin. It was so hilarious and fun connecting with random people!
Do you remember a trip where you went off the beaten path and just explored? Wasn’t it fun?
Last but not least, try to purchase tickets for activities and event before you leave.
Often times you can find pre-packaged sight-seeing deals that can be purchased before you leave for vacation.
I always encourage my clients to purchase tickets ahead of time because it saves time, money, and it’s one less thing to buy while you’re on your trip. Using apps like Travel Advisor, Yelp, and even Groupon, are great resources to find discounts and ideas for activities.
Remember to schedule an awesome activity for your first outing if you want to plan the ultimate vacation. And don’t forget to add ample free time in your schedule. Now it’s your time to let the fun begin!!!
Please feel free to ask questions or make comments regarding How To Plan Stress Free Travel.
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