Preparing for a vacation is usually quite a long process. From dreaming about it and imagining a perfect location, to saving up enough money to book it and then actually packing up for the holiday, there are a lot of steps. And if you truly want to have an amazing vacation then you need to pay close attention to each of these steps and make sure you are setting yourself up for success. So let’s see what the things you should pay attention to when you are looking to get away are:

Learn why you are going

There are a million and one reasons you might want to go away for a while. You might not particularly like the climate of the place you live and you want to spend some time with different weather. Perhaps you just need some time for yourself, and you want to take a lonely vacation where you will be at peace and have time to think. Or maybe you want to see more of the world, learn about new cultures and explore the things there are to see. All of these reasons are valid, but it’s important that you pinpoint what you want to do, because if you book ten days of lying on a beach in Hawaii and what you actually want to do is explore cities, you’re not going to have the best time. Sometimes, to fulfill the need that you have, a staycation (stay-at-home vacation) might be enough. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself what you really want to do. Remembering previous vacations and thinking about which one made you happiest can help you figure out what you enjoy most.

Set a budget

We can all dream big, but nobody really wants to wait for years to go on their desired vacation. Don’t worry, you can have an amazing vacation on a tight budget, you just have to be a bit flexible and compromise. Decide what the most important things for you are: can you stand a 10-hour layover or do you want to travel comfortably? Are you okay with staying in a hostel dorm, or is a private room with room service a must? Are you completely set on your destination or will any sunny beach do? Most importantly – how flexible are you with your dates? All of these things can help shave zeroes off your budget and it’s up to you to decide how much you want to spend. Remember that activities can often cost money and if you’re set on going to a certain museum or amusement park, you need to check the fees and calculate them in.

Book everything in advance

You really don’t want to be stuck in a foreign city with no accommodation because there’s a manifestation you didn’t know about and all rooms are booked, or at the airport hoping to get home with no available seats in the next three days, or with three days left reserved for activities only to learn that they need to be booked two weeks in advance. Well, to make sure your vacation doesn’t end up like this, you need to do your research and book things in advance. Your room and tickets come first, and since that’s usually the highest cost, you will get it out of the way and know exactly how much spending money you have left. Other major activities like motorbike rental in Vietnam, snorkeling in the continental drift in Iceland, renting a car in Tenerife or tickets to Disneyland should be booked in advance.

Check any requirements

Yes, every planning sequence has a part that isn’t fun and this is it for travel. It’s time to do some research about the destination you’re going to visit and find out what you need to do in preparation. Some countries might require you to get a visa in advance, and this is a process that can take up to several months, so make sure this is the first thing you look at. Next, you want to check if there are any immunizations you should get before setting off. Being exposed to a completely different environment than where you’re from can cause medical issues, so make sure you take all the necessary precautions. Ask around if there are any special documents that you might need when you are there, and keep in mind that you might want to take something like a student ID card to get discounts on your travels.

A vacation is something that everyone enjoys and it’s truly a time to take a look inside and ask yourself what it is you enjoy the most in life. A vacation can also be volunteering somewhere abroad, visiting a new place while working on something you love or visiting friends and family. As long as you prepare well – you’ll have a good time.