Lifestyle: The Ultimate Holiday Planning Checklist

Deciding to go on a holiday is a decision made in the pursuit of relaxation, exploration and adventure. However, the logistics of planning a holiday can be stressful. If the holiday is not properly planned, the time spent traveling and finding accommodations can also be frustrating. This takes away from the overall holiday experience and can result in returning with more stress than you left with. However, properly planning your holiday in advance can reduce this stress. Below is a checklist that will help you make sure your holiday stays as relaxing as possible.

Saving and Budgeting

One unavoidable fact about taking a holiday is that it will cost money. While it can be done frugally, it will still require a certain amount of funds. Once you’ve decided to take a holiday, begin saving. Consider having a portion of every paycheck automatically deducted and placed into a savings account.

As you decide on the location and length of your holiday, begin to create a budget for your trip. The below factors should be taken into account:

  • Transportation (flights, car rentals or train tickets)
  • Accommodations (hotels at every place you’ll visit)
  • Activities (entry fees as well as transit to them)
  • Supplies (additional luggage, visas and passports)
  • Any miscellaneous expenses that may be unique to your destination

Do some preliminary research to decide on an overall budget for your holiday. This will help you adjust the amount that you save for you trip.

At this stage, if this is an international holiday, begin to prepare your passport and any required visas. Passports and visas can take time to be processed and approved, so it’s wise to do this in advance to avoid any future complications.

Travel and Accommodations

As your holiday approaches, you will need to begin making reservations for travel and accommodations. Make the following reservations:

  • Planes Will you be flying to your destination? If so, book a flight several months in advance to get the best price on airfare. If you are traveling to multiple destinations, purchase all of your tickets at the same time.
  • Trains Are there any trains on your route? Purchase your tickets in advance to secure your spot on the train.
  • Automobiles Will you be driving to your destination? Consider renting a car to avoid putting miles on your own vehicle. Alternatively, you may fly to your destination and then rent a car to help you get around town.

After you have made your travel arrangements, you will then need to reserve your accommodations. Book your reservations at each location as far in advance as possible. This way, you will likely get the best rates.

Thoroughly Pack Your Bags

Now you’ve ensured that you have a way to get there and a place to stay, it’s time to start packing. Before you start actually doing so, here are some suggestions:

  • Check that your luggage meets any size and weight restrictions your airline may have.
  • Verify that your carry-on is the proper size.
  • Mark your luggage with your contact information such as your name, address, phone number and email address.

Once the above is verified, it’s time to pack for your holiday. Be as comprehensive as possible. Below is a suggested packing list:

  • Two pieces of identification and all debit/credit cards.
  • Clothing that is right for the destination’s climate. Do not pack too much clothing; a few items for each type of clothing will be sufficient.
  • All electronics and their chargers, such as phones, laptops and cameras. Consider the voltage/outlet of your destination and purchase appropriate converters.
  • Any medication you require.
  • A day bag for exploring your destination.
  • A small first aid kit.
  • All hygiene-related equipment (deodorant, etc.)
  • Anything else that you may need for your destination.

Plan as Much as Possible

Preparing for your holiday is crucially important; there is no such thing as planning too much. Consider every step of your transit journey as well as how it will transpire. Also, consider activities that you would like to enjoy once at your destination. With dedicated saving and budgeting, you’ll be ready to have a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.

Author: Robert Melendez is a contributing writer and travel agent based out of Manchester. Whenever a customer comes to him, he does more than help them find a flight and hotel. He ensures that his customers are well-equipped for every element of traveling, both internationally and domestically.


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  • Dave January 15, 2013 6:11 pm

    This is a helpful article for planning any sort of holiday. A lot of these things, I fear, get overlooked in the whole excitement to travel.

    • Kimberly January 15, 2013 6:22 pm

      I totally agree! I know I for one sometimes overlook the details.

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