5 Steps to Planning for a Holiday Trip

You have decided to do something different this holiday season: you want to take a trip. Before you hop on a plane, here are a few steps to have a stress free vacation.

Step 1: Pick a Location

Host a meeting for you and your family or friends to determine the vacation destination. Discuss how much each person can afford, and if they have any other potential restrictions, such as allergies or preference for a tropical trip location. Let everyone suggest at least one place that falls within the group budget. Narrow the potential locations to two or three choices.

Keep everything fair by conducting an anonymous vote.  Count the votes, and then reveal the winner.

Step 2: Plan Ahead

Plane ticket and hotel prices skyrocket during winter holidays. Therefore, you want to book as far in advance as possible. Try to book a hotel or flight at least six months to a year ahead of your trip. Check travel discount sites, such as Travelocity and Expedia, for the most competitive packages and deals.

Get all required vaccines when traveling abroad. Before your trip, check your passport to ensure that it hasn’t expired, and retrieve all other important documents.

Alert your bank and credit card companies about your plans to travel. This will stop them from freezing your account if they suspect fraud. Arrange for someone to pet or house sit while you’re away. Find a sitter as soon as possible because the holidays make it very hard to find someone at the last minute.

Step 3: Pack Accordingly

Check several trusted weather sites and apps. Read the weather report a week prior to your trip, and then check it again a few days before for any new developments. Pack weather appropriate clothing and accessories. Even if you’re expecting sunny weather all vacation, bring an umbrella if you’re traveling to an area known  for heavy, continuous rain.

Pack the necessities, and nothing more. A few extra items might make your luggage costs increase. Use a digital luggage scale to keep your bags under the weight limit.

Step 4: Monitor Deal Sites

Sign up to join the email listing of several important daily deal sites, such Groupon. Use these sites to help stay on budget when buying items for your trip. Focus on finding luggage deals, winterwear, and vacation activity discounts. Additionally, follow these sites to get savings on your friends and family’s presents.

Since you’ll be spending a large amount of money on your trip, you may not have a huge budget to spend on presents. However, you can still give out great gifts by using these sites to solve the small budget, but still wants to buy great things dilemma.

Step 5: Celebrate Early

Since you’ll be gone for the holidays, you won’t be around to partake in holiday events, such as parties and present exchanges. Make up for your absence by handing out gifts and hosting early holiday parties.

Prearrange gift deliveries: they’ll arrive to the intended recipient while you’re gone. For example, use an Edible Arrangements coupon to get a deal on a fruit basket for your mother, which you can schedule to reach her by Christmas.