Tips for Planning Your Big Trip

April 29, 2019

So you’re getting out of town — good for you! A vacation is just the thing for shedding stress and improving your mood. When you return from your big trip, experts say, you’re likely to be more productive and motivated than when you left.

Unless, of course, your trip itself is a source of stress — which is, unfortunately, a possibility. There are times when going on a trip will actually increase your stress levels, experts say, and you don’t want that.

So how can you avoid it? With great planning.


Start your planning now

The most important planning tip is also the simplest one: Start now!

The sooner you start planning your trip, the more time you’ll have to make decisions. You’ll also be less likely to miss out on popular attractions that require tickets and reservations. Some of the best activities and sights will require you to book ahead, advice the experts who run the Manatee Queen, a popular boat cruise in Florida. You may or may not get in last-minute, but you can be sure to enjoy these sorts of things if you plan well ahead and lock down your reservation.

Plus, you might find that booking early gives you time to look out for early-bird savings opportunities. When you’re booking stuff last-minute, you have no leverage and no time to spare, and may end up agreeing to pay more than you’d hoped for things like accommodations and event tickets.

When to plan nothing

Planning and scheduling your trip will keep you organized and reduce your stress levels when you’re actually traveling — you’ll know where to be and when to be there to get the most out of your vacation. But take care not to overplan. If you book up your whole trip, you’ll always be hustling around from attraction to attraction and may miss out on the relaxing fun that you’d hoped to have.

Schedule more time than you think that you’ll need to get from place to place, and schedule blocks of unstructured time so that you can take a breather and just relax. You may later decide to do something spontaneous with that unscheduled chunk of your trip, or you may just decide to lounge on the beach and sip a cocktail. You’ll have the choice as long as you remember that not every hour of your vacation needs to have a scheduled commitment.

How are you getting there?

Your travel destination requires, of course, travel. And how you choose to make your way will have an impact on your finances, our planet, and your schedule for your vacation. The time to think about this stuff is now.

Are you considering driving to your destination? You should get your car checked out now, suggest experts who offer automotive, diesel and collision repair academic programs. Long car trips mean more chances for things to go wrong that could delay your trip.

You may also want to think about renting a car. Putting a whole lot of miles on your vehicle in a short period of time is a fast track to depreciation. Sure, the rental car is a short-term expense, but don’t forget about the value of your vehicle — years from now, your investment could come back to you in the form of a higher resale or trade-in value.

If you’re flying or taking the train, book tickets ahead of time and keep an eye on sites that offer discounts and help you find the best times to book travel. And remember that traveling on mass transit will reduce your environmental impact, helping our planet. It’s nice to do the world a bit of good as you enjoy your time off!