Vacation planning shouldn’t be stressful. After all, the whole point of a vacation is to enjoy down time and get away from everyday life. If you don’t take trips often, you may feel overwhelmed at the thought of vacation planning. Well, don’t be. These simple guidelines can show you how to plan the perfect vacation and get you on the road to your next getaway!

  1. Choose a Destination

The best part of planning a vacation is choosing a great destination. Start with the big picture: Is your trip meant to be a quick weekend getaway or a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Then, focus on a specific destination.

Are you looking for a romantic couples getaway to an all-inclusive resort in Fiji? Saving for a family vacation to Disney? Ready to explore and have great outdoor adventures? If your dream is to see as many national parks as possible, for example, consider a location like Utah where you can knock out The Mighty Five in one visit. A side trip to the Grand Canyon completes a grand national parks tour.

  1. Decide How Long You’ll Stay

For travelers with limited vacation time, getting the most out of your getaway is essential. More time isn’t necessarily better than time well spent. Plan enough time for both the actual travel and to enjoy everything you want to do at your destination.

  1. Set a Vacation Budget

Accommodations, transportation, meals, recreation and even souvenirs should all be factored in to your vacation budget. Even the little things add up. Sharing a vacation home rental with family and friends can be as economical as a hotel room, with the added bonus of amenities like a full kitchen, private bedrooms and room to spread out. Guided adventures bring some added expense but also can provide greater experiences.

  1. Make Travel Arrangements

Arrange well in advance for passports and visas if you’re traveling internationally. It’s possible to get last-minute airfare deals but nailing down travel arrangements ahead of time can reduce the stress of vacation planning. Road trippers may find a little more flexibility. If you’re traveling with kids, look for fun things to do along the way, like zip lining or seeing unusual roadside attractions. For trips that require a combination of air travel and driving, such as a visit a Utah national parks tour, book flights into airports like Salt Lake City or Las Vegas that are serviced by a number of airlines and rental car companies.

  1. Plan Ahead

A successful vacation is all in the details. Whether you’re winging a weekend getaway or advance planning the annual family vacation, nailing down the practicalities can make or break a trip. Be flexible when you have to, but have the big-ticket items like lodging and guided adventures already in place.

  1. Plan Activities

No one wants to show up on a dream vacation only to find out character meal reservations or guided adventures are sold out. Plan ahead by making advance reservations for things like sightseeing, meals, Jeep tours, canyoneering and horseback riding adventures.

  1. Book Lodging

Lodging options are no longer limited to basic hotels and motels. These days you can find everything a range of accommodations including glamping, vacation homes, cabins, campgrounds, and even unique lodging like covered wagons. Decide whether you want to sleep under a different roof each night or unpack once and stay awhile. Vacation rentals offer the benefit of multiple bedrooms and space to spread out, especially for large groups. Glamping, a glamorous version of tent camping, is one of the big recent travel trends.

  1. It’s All In The Details

Basic vacation rentals you’ll find on sites like airbnb will help you find a place to lay your head at night, but it will still be up to you to plan activities, meals and entertainment. Resorts that offer on-property recreation and guided tours can help you make the most of your vacation.

Don’t forget to factor in the little things that are most important to you, whether that’s a pool and hot tub, on-property dining, or guided adventures. The right amenities can turn even the most budget-friendly getaway into the perfect vacation experience.

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