The idea of vacationing can sound like so much fun until you have to think about planning a getaway. From plane tickets and hotels to things to do and places to stay, it’s easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed.
You may even need a vacation from planning your vacation! Fear not—here are some tips on how to find the best vacation and make planning your next trip hassle-free.
Phone a Friend
First and foremost, ask a friend for tips. Everyone loves talking about their past excursions. Get a friend to spill, and before you know it, they’ve planned your trip for you! A friend can tell you where to stay, which airport to fly to, and even what they’d do again if they went back.
Friends are great for helping with the little things too. They can tell you where to get the best coffee, how long the car rental line at the airport is going to be, and how early you have to be at a tourist attraction to beat the crowd. Plus, since your friend will be so invested in your trip, you’ve got someone who is going to want to hear about your vacation when you get back.
Use Trusted Traveler Sites
If you’re going somewhere that no friends have visited recently, try trusted travel sites for recommendations from real people. Reading online discussion boards can give you a lot of insight into the best places to visit and stay.
Pay attention to online reviews as well. Many sites and apps have reviewers rate everything from cleanliness to how helpful the host or staff was. Look for the little things, like making sure your rented room will include plates, pots, and pans if you’re planning to cook during your stay.
All-Inclusive Means Less Planning
If you don’t want to have to worry about cooking or where to eat at all, try looking for all-inclusive trips. Check for cruise deals for an easy and luxurious all-inclusive option. Cruising means visiting many destinations and you only have to unpack once! Plus, you always know where you’re going for dinner and you’re guaranteed a delicious meal.
Cruises also offer great evening entertainment, as well as off-ship excursions. This means you know you’ll have fun and convenient entertainment options at your fingertips.
Many resorts and spas offer all-inclusive deals as well. Some even have packages that include airfare. This can be great for cost savings and saves you a lot of stress in planning. If you’re looking for a stress-free, luxury experience on a beach, this is the way to go.
Double check any deal you find though. Look for reviews from those who have stayed in the past, and remember if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Hire a Travel Advisor
If your perfect vacation isn’t a cookie-cutter package that’s offered at an all-inclusive rate, don’t be afraid to reach out to a travel agent. Travel advisors may seem like a thing of the past, but today they are still saving travelers money and a lot of the hassle of planning. Because travel is the travel advisor’s business, they’re going to know more than the average vacationer.
They’re going to know the best spots to eat in any given location and the best places to shop. They’re also better connected, which means better deals for you, even after adding on their fee. Plus, if something goes wrong, you’ve got a safety net, because a travel agent can help you sort out the details and make a contingency plan quickly.
Use a Travel Planning Website
If you’re in the mood to be your travel agent, try searching sites that look at multiple deals at once. Many sites let you search for flights from multiple airlines, hotels from multiple groups, and car rentals from multiple agencies.
Not only does this take a lot of the dirty work out of comparing prices, but typically, prices are lower than if you were to search the service providers’ sites directly. Be sure you read the fine print with anything you select from these sites though. You don’t want to get saddled with a nonrefundable bill at a hotel that looks a lot better online than it does in person.
Similar to online power-search sites, many travel apps will benefit you as you try to find a good deal on your next vacation. Aside from those for booking, apps like AllTrails will allow you to see nature trails to explore nearby, no matter where you’re going. AllTrails lets users rate their experience and leave comments so others know what to expect as well.
CultureTrip is another great app that will help you along with any vacation you plan. CultureTrip will help you find fun cultural experiences, no matter where you’re visiting. This can be hugely beneficial if you’re not sure how to spend a day while on vacation.
Planning can be a lot of work, but once you’re on the trip of your dreams, it should all be worth it!