Technically, a vacation should be a time to rest, rejuvenate and return home feeling ready to take on the world.
In reality, though, vacations can be stressful. That’s because everything from planning the trip and getting to your destination in one piece, to feeling like you need another vacation just to recover, is often par for the course.
Looking to make your next vacation as enjoyable and easy as possible? Check out the following tips:
1. Planning Hacks
By the time you factor in airline flights, hotel reservations, meals and souvenirs, trips can be serious money pits. But according to finance guru Dave Ramsey, to avoid adding thousands of dollars to your Visa balance, start by setting a reasonable vacation budget well ahead of time.
As part of this process, you’ll want to determine how much you want to spend on each part of the trip, as this will help you hone in on specific deals when making reservations. Speaking of deals, if you can plan your vacation well in advance, you may be able to find some great prices.
For instance, visit the Princess website to see a detailed list of Alaskan cruise prices for 2019 and 2020. In most cases, the longer you wait to travel, the more money you’ll save on your package price. You can also look for additional deals by Googling a specific destination and adding the term “deals.”
Once you have a solid idea of how much you plan to spend, set aside a certain amount of money each month toward the trip, take on a side hustle to help fund it, or hold a garage sale to score some extra cash.
2. Tips on Taking Your Trip
If you’re traveling by plane, experts suggest wearing a jacket at the airport and on the plane to regulate your temperature; after all, even if you’re flying during the dog days of summer, planes can be notoriously cold. So, don’t fret if you find yourself feeling warm at 35,000 feet, as you can take off your jacket and use it as a pillow.
To save money on expensive bottled water at the airport, pack empty water bottles in your carry-on luggage and fill them at a water fountain once you pass security. Additionally, since you’re on vacation, you probably don’t want to eat what you could easily find at or near home. With that in mind, once you arrive at your destination, avoid chain restaurants to experience some more local flavor.
Instead, ask the hotel or cruise line staff where the locals like to go for meals, coffee and/or clothing and head there. In the end, you’ll look back fondly on memories spent at a mom and pop restaurant versus throwing back your usual cheeseburger and fries at a national chain.
3. How to Recover
One of the best ways to recover from your vacation is to adjust your expectations accordingly. Instead of expecting to arrive home relaxed and ready to go, realize you’ll probably need a few days to get back in the swing of things.
If you’re able, make your vacation one day shorter so you can have a full day at home to relax prior to heading back to work or school. This way, you can tackle some laundry, restock your fridge and enjoy a lazy afternoon getting over jet lag on your couch instead of behind your desk.
Enjoy Your Amazing Trip
If a vacation has ever taken over your finances and made you feel more tired than rejuvenated, then it’s high time to take back control. By setting a budget and looking for deals, finding simple but effective ways to reduce stress while traveling and being gentle on yourself upon returning, your next trip will most likely be truly carefree and enjoyable.