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8 Planning Tips Essential for a Perfect Vacation


June 22, 2023

Vacations are supposed to be idyllic getaways that transport you to a place of relaxation and tranquillity. However, when you forget to research and plan for certain things, that tranquillity can slip through your fingers faster than you can imagine, leaving you scrambling all over the place at the last minute because you forgot to pack certain things or plan ahead for others. To avoid this mishap and to ensure that you embark on the vacation of your dreams, here are 8 planning tips guaranteed to elevate your travel experience to the next level!

1. Pack for the occasion:

It goes without saying, but the smartest planning tip to ensure you are truly equipped for every situation(and I mean every), is to pack smartly, and for the place you are travelling to. Don't overload your suitcase with crop tops if you are flying to a primarily cold destination-Instead stock up on sweaters and pants. Similarly, if you are flying to a tropical destination, you should have an array of T-shirts and shorts.

Of course, you should always pack clothes you feel the most comfortable in, but in the case of cultural norms or places with intense weather, it's always best to pack according to what the locals wear on a daily. Another thing I would recommend packing is an excess of innerwear in case of an emergency, and at least 1 spare pair of shoes and an outfit, as well as a sweater for the airport and your flight!

2. Research the travel options available:

Another extremely important factor in your trip (and one that should be a top priority), is the travel accommodations available at your particular destination. Look up taxi/bus fares and arrive, all the way from your airport to other destinations you plan to explore. Check to see if local bike rides are available for you so that you can explore the scenery, or if Ubers are available post 1 am if you plan to party the night away.

3. Make sure to carry a lot of sunscreen and mosquito repellent with you:

Wherever you plan to travel, carrying sunscreen is a simple must, however the weather conditions look like. The same goes for mosquito repellents. You simply cannot be too safe in unknown territory. Since you can never be too safe, especially with preventive measures regarding health and safety, I would highly recommend investing in sunscreen and repellent, as well as carrying some medicine with you (prescribed course), just in case something happens.

4. Make sure to divide your money with you and invest in a good wallet:

This is a tip my mother taught me in 5th grade and it's a tip I always utilise while travelling. Store your money in different places so that there is less chance of it getting misplaced or stolen.

Countries that have a significant activity of pickpocketing will likely target areas where you keep your money (pockets or wallets), and so, by dividing your money into different places, whether leaving some in a hotel or storing it in different wallets, you can reduce the chance of someone taking it from you. Thus, I would also recommend investing in a good and durable wallet or air tagging your wallet in case of a robbery.

5. Make note of the weather, culture and customs you need to know:

An extremely important factor in your travel experience is undoubtedly the weather, and doing research ahead of time can save you both fashionable and practical disasters. Looking up the general weather can help you pack the types of clothing, and indicate what skincare items you should carry based on the moisture and humidity of the country (eg: if it is a cold place, then carrying hyaluronic acid serums or thick moisturizer is recommended as they provide moisture to your skin and rehydrate it).

Looking up the weather forecast for the duration of your trip also helps you to plan which activity you can do and when so that the weather is not a hindrance and you are prepared for all situations. I would also highly recommend looking up the culture and customs of your destination, so as to pack outfits and food accordingly, and to also make your experience a little smoother.

6. Make sure to research food options available:

Emphasising the culture and customs, I would also highly recommend looking at various food options available, especially if you are vegan or a picky eater. This not only helps you gain more knowledge about the local food and culture of your destination but can also help you find alternatives to food for your preferred diet faster. Look up the local food the place is known for, and markets where you are sure to get that food at a great price. Also, look up fast food places in case of a quick bite, and make sure to pack snacks accordingly for your trip!

7. Make a bucket list for yourself of things you want to do and their prices:

Of course, this goes without saying yet again, but having a bucket list ensures that you don't waste time scoping out activities at the last second. A great way to do this is to google your preferred tourist area on Pinterest and Trivago and find out the true hidden gems of your destination. Reading blog posts of experienced travellers also provides raw insight into how those places may be, which can aid you in making your decision.

I also recommend balancing out your bucket list, such as having an equal number of touristy destinations as destinations where you can let loose and have fun. Once you have made your preferred list of activities, look at the prices (eg entry fee, travel fee, food etc), and also look up tourist companies that offer these services to you. Once you have noted down the prices for each activity and where they are located, you can further allocate your budget accordingly to food, shopping and other fun things you want to experience!

8. Make sure to educate yourself on safety tips:

This is perhaps the most important tip I could give, especially if you are a first-time or solo traveller. It is extremely important to scope out the hotel's area and neighbourhood, as well as the destinations you plan on travelling to. If it is your first time travelling to this particular country, I would highly recommend carrying pepper spray on your outings in case you land in any unsafe part of the city, as well as carrying the local police and hotel number in case you find yourself lost or stranded.

Another thing you could do if you want to avoid being alone is to book group tours, as you will be assisted by a guide who knows the ins and outs of a city. Plus, being in a big group also reduces the risk of something bad happening. Also make sure to note things like pickpocketing or robbery, especially in crowded markets or tourist destinations.

If you liked reading this article and enjoy articles delving into all things activity, fitness and travel, then consider subscribing to our activities newsletter! To do this, simply go to email preferences and tick the"activities" section to automatically be subscribed to articles talking about your favourite things! I hope that these 8 tips help you with organising and strategizing your vacation so that you can have the most relaxed one ahead!

Which tip was your favourite and which did I miss out? Let me know in the comments!

Jiya Chhugera
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Jiya Chhugera is a 12th-grade IBDP student who is extremely passionate about advocating for women's Reproductive/menstrual rights, gender equality, and equal access to education globally. The Vice president of her school MUN as well as managing editor of her school magazine, the DP Herald, she enjoys creating literary works and articles talking about pop culture and socio-economic issues that prevail in our society to this day.