Most of us think of paradise when we dream of the perfect getaway. We imagine ourselves relishing among the palm trees, sandy beaches, and calm, clear oceans. If you’ve chosen to make your dream a reality and are thinking of planning your getaway, then there are several steps you should take to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. Whether you’ve found a vacation package in Saint Lucia, or you still haven’t decided on a destination, planning is key to making sure your idyllic vacation is one to remember.
Researching your destination is paramount when planning your trip. It is especially important if you want to be sure that the budget you designate will cover everything on the vacation. When choosing a destination, you need to think about how much you are likely to spend throughout the duration of the trip to avoid any unexpected expenses. Doing your research beforehand also allows you to understand the culture, customs, and anything you’ll need to be aware of before visiting. You should familiarise yourself with the local laws, traditions, and expectations of tourists to avoid offending anybody or breaking any laws.
2. Identify Excursions and Activities
Excursions and activities can make up a large part of your trip unless you plan to spend all your time lying in the sun. Most vacation destinations have an array of activities available for tourists to partake in, but it’s always best to plan, be aware of costs and find out which activities are available to you. You may decide you want to go scuba diving, hire jet skis or explore with a tour guide. Activities can be costly, so you must plan what you want to do and know the cost beforehand to budget effectively.
3. Plan Your Dining
Planning what you’ll eat and drink throughout your entire trip can take away the excitement of exploring the local cuisine. However, it’s always best to consider the average price of a meal at a restaurant, street food, and groceries. You don’t need to plan what you’ll eat or drink all the time but being aware of average costs will help you create a food and drink budget. A quick search online is all it takes to get an idea of what you can expect to pay.
4. Book Accommodation and Travel
Accommodation costs can differ depending on location. It’s best to book your accommodation before you arrive to avoid paying extra. Although it can be fun to walk around looking for hotels or hostels, you’ll likely pay more if you don’t pre-book. Many websites offer discounted rates to those that book ahead. Looking online beforehand will also allow you to compare the different accommodations, the facilities that they offer, and read reviews. The same applies to flights. Book ahead and you’ll likely save a lot.
5. Factor in Additional Costs
When planning your budget, think about any additional costs associated with your trip. These may include baggage costs and any reservation costs. You should also factor in smaller travel costs, for bus and taxi fares or any other forms of transport that you may use.
6. Think About Daily Spending
On your trip, you’ll likely spend money on day-to-day expenses that you won’t have planned for. After all, most people like to have a little spontaneity when they’re on vacation. Just factor this into your budget and allow yourself a certain amount of money to cover unplanned expenses that crop up along the way. Usually, you’ll end up coming back from your trip with money left over, but it’s good to allocate it in case it’s needed.
7. Create a Saving Plan
A saving plan will allow your trip of a lifetime to happen and ensure that you have enough to cover your budget. Planning how much you’ll save and how long you’ll save is essential. You don’t want to get close to your vacation and realize that you cannot fund it how you’d planned. It’s a good idea to identify how much the trip will cost you and then calculate how much you’ll need to put aside each week or month. Remember that certain expenses, such as accommodation and flights, can increase in price, so if you can afford to book these first, this is advisable.
8. Pack and Get Ready to Go
Once you’ve planned, created a budget, and saved enough to cover your trip to paradise, you can think about packing. Make a list of things to pack and categorize these to make it easier. Be sure to keep your baggage within the weight limit that the airline allows or within the amount you’ve paid extra for. Take your packing list with you. You won’t want to create another when it’s time to go home.
Finally, always remember when you’re away to keep your home secure. You don’t want to worry about your home security when you’re in paradise.