Planning a vacation can be quite overwhelming. You’ve got to figure out where to go, outfits, activities, budgeting… I mean, where do you even start? This process should be fun and exciting, not stressful. So since our Nourage fam are quite the travelers, we’ve gathered all our tips and suggestions and broke it down step by step to help make your travel planning much easier.
Step 1: Deciding your destination
First things first, you’ve got to figure out where you’d like to spend your vacation, which all depends on your individual circumstances. You must ask yourself:
-How much time do I have?
-What is my budget?
-Do I want to fly somewhere or go on a road trip?
-Do I want a tropical getaway or winter wonderland?
Once you’ve answered these questions, we recommend you choose your top 3 locations and start doing some research. It's always nice to give yourself some options.
Step 2: Figure out when you want to go
Peak season usually means good weather, which is ideal for any vacation, but it all depends on what you want to do on your holiday (hiking, relaxing, shopping, etc). If you decide to spend your vacation during peak season, it typically means places will be overcrowded with other tourists and prices for activities/ stay are much higher. However, not all destinations are suitable for off-season travel (could you imagine Machu Picchu during rainy season? No thanks). So if you don't want to chance bad weather, have a flexible budget and don't mind crowds, this is the time for you.
This is good for those who are on a budget and absolutely cannot do crowds. Travel prices are typically lower and the best spots aren't overcrowded with tourists. Although this time of the season is known for unfortunate weather, some destinations have better weather than others. For example, if you are thinking of visiting South East Asia, the rain tends to fall heavy only for just a few hours at a predictable time each day (usually in the mornings and late night) leaving the rest of the day bright and beautiful with the most spectacular sunsets!
Shoulder season (our recommendation)
Being in a beautiful place overcrowded with people often takes away from the experience, which is nice that shoulder season is a good balance of everything. If you can, this is a great time to go. The weather is almost at it’s best, prices are quite low, and you won’t be around too many tourists.
Step 3: Planning activities
Now we get to the fun part, planning what do you actually want to do on your vacation. Start by making a list of all the possible activities you want to do so you have options, then research the best things to do at each destination – but don’t just search on google, go on youtube, find spots on Instagram, and ask for recommendations. As you do your research, it's helpful to note the rough cost of each activity and possible transportation details. This is will make your life much easier, especially if you’re on a budget.
Step 4: Finding the best place to stay
If you are traveling outside of the United States and don’t want to spend a lot of money, hostels are the way to go. They are typically located in prime locations and the best for those looking to socialize, party, and are willing to sleep in a bunk bed (ideal for those traveling alone). Hostels aren't for everyone though. The downside is you don’t have much privacy, beds aren't always the comfiest and you may not always get a hot shower.
If you are traveling with a big group of people, staying in a villa allows you to have a whole place to yourself! The perks of this it's much more private and you’ll definitely have no issues with hot water. Airbnb is a great site to find unique homes. If you are really trying to ball out, and don't plan to do much exploring, hotels and resorts may be the way to go.
Step 5: Itinerary
If you're on a tight schedule, you are definitely going to want to type up an itinerary. It can be as simple as writing out what you plan to do or where you plan to go. You can even go in more detail and write out your activities, it's pricing, hours, as well as useful tips. Writing out the useful tips you learn as you do research because its hard to remember everything. You can add notes on how to say basic phrases, how much you should expect to pay for things, recommendations, etc. Whether you’re going with the flow or on a tight schedule, you should have at least a rough outline or plan. Trust me, this will help make your trip go much smoother.