Vacations are a fun way-to getaway. But they come with their own set of stressors. It’s worthwhile to plan as much of your vacation ahead of time such as researching hotels, rental cars, restaurants, and activities. While your vacation should be a leisurely one, and you shouldn’t feel the need to abide by a strict schedule, having certain places you want to go and activities you want to do before you leave will give you a more satisfied than if you scramble to research once you’re there.

1. Pick your destination

Step 1 is to pick your destination. You have an idea of the places you want to visit, and why you want to visit them. Be sure to check things like hotel rates, laws and regulations, and required vaccines. Also, track the weather for the time of year you’re going. This will determine what you pack. If you know you’re going to be traveling abroad make sure you have the correct currency and forms of payment on-hand. Of course, you’ll need to make sure your passports, and other necessary paperwork; medical record, marriage status, are up to date should you run into an emergency while abroad!

This all may seem drab and a boring way to start a vacation, but planning ahead will save you a lot of stress later on.

Planning your vacation, how and where to trave
Planning your vacation, how and where to travel

2. Set a budget

The next step (and this one might be boring too, sorry), is to set a budget. Research the place you’re going, find out how many restaurant meals cost, the hotel room, and stores. If where you’re going has a beach make sure you’re aware of any fees that may be involved. You don’t want to be traveling abroad and be strapped for cash or run out of funds in your account. Yikes! So determine your budget, and do your best to respect that budget. Be sure to give yourself a little wiggle room though, in case of emergencies. It’s wise to have an additional credit or debit card, prepaid visa, or traveler’s checks handy should you need the extra money.

3. Research hotel and flight deals

Now that you’ve chosen your vacation destination and you’ve set aside your budget, it’s time to start spending! Booking the best deal (often package deals) for flights and hotels is a savvy travel move. Expedia is a great site to get you started as they have package hotel and flight deals. They have many options for worldwide travel and stay, plus rental car options. Travelocity is another site with the same basic concepts.

Be sure to look at hotel star ratings. While you may not want to overspend, you should also be aware of the area you’ll be staying in and what other users have to say about it.

4.  Plan activities

Now comes the fun part! You aren’t just going on vacation to spend money, you’re going there to have fun! I personally research restaurants in the area I know I’ll be staying in, because I love eating but have certain dietary restrictions. If you can relate, be sure to research the local eateries. If there are certain museums, shows, exhibits or performances you wish to see, make sure you know the times and days they’re scheduled, and if tickets are avaialb.e Keep that information handy. And if there are certain types of shops you’re hoping to visit while on vay-cay research them too.

Biking in NYC
Biking in NYC

Where is your next vacation going to take you? If it’s in New York City we have plenty of tours to make your trip a memorable one. And for more helpful travel tips check out 6 Essential Travel Tips for LGBT Travelers

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