Your Complete Online Guide to Preparing for Your Next Holiday


Planning a holiday is exciting as you begin preparing for the things you want to do the most. As the countdown begins, the stress can rise parallel to the excitement, though. From booking your hotel and flight to exchanging money, the checklist of things to do seems like it is never ending.

As the questions arise, such as, “Should I book traveler’s insurance? Should we schedule a tour group or go it alone?” you may feel more pressure than enthusiasm and anticipation.  Instead of letting the holiday planning list get you wishing you hadn’t bothered making travel plans, use this complete online guide to prepare for your upcoming vacation.

Planning Your Holiday in 7 Easy Steps

There is an often overwhelming amount of information on the web that claims to prepare you for your trip. With so much at your fingertips, it can be challenging to weed out the important and necessary steps from the trivial ones.

With these 7 easy steps to planning your holiday, you can worry less about covering all of the crucial bases and focus more on the fun you are about to have!

  1. Choose your destination. Often, the obvious step is the hardest one to get through. Getting everyone to agree on where they want to go isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Making the decision on whether to stay local to save on travel expenses, to go across border lines, or even head overseas is a tough choice, but then you add in the options of a beach trip, a focus on culture or history, or an exciting shopping excursion, and everyone has strong opinions.

Logistics play a big role in the final choice of holiday destinations. Not every location is suitable for every duration of your vacation time. If you only have a few days’ breaks, you should avoid long travel times. Stick to a local or across the border (if it’s within a few hours) holiday trip. If you have an extended period of time, picking a solitary place without a lot to do may make some people feel boxed in and bored.

In addition to the length of time you have to go anywhere, funds are a typical obstacle to the trip of your dreams. If airfare will cut into your budget and keep you from having a good time when you get there, you may prefer to put that money into renting a car, taking a train, or just driving. But once you choose your destination, it’s time to set a plan in motion for everyone!

  1. Plan for the costs of your trip. Pinpointing where you are going lets you get more detailed on what you will want to do when you get there. Guidebooks are simple and inexpensive to purchase online and often come with priceless tidbits of information from previous tourists and residents.

As you research all of the opportunities you will have wherever you are going, make a list of the must do’s and their costs for your whole family. On the same sheet, make a column for things you would like to do but may not have the time or resources. Once you have a solid list of places you want to visit, total up the cost.

Add in food, beverages, and spending money per person, per day. This is an average, as some days you’ll spend more and others less. If budgeting is important, it may be a cost-effective option to look for an Air B&B or other residences for your lodging so that you can cook and save on eating out expenses.

Even if you don’t plan on purchasing your tickets or lodging right away, do a Google search for how much those flights or train tickets are going for currently if you are going the long distance or how much rental cars are if you are renting.

If you are driving, add in the price of gas, whether you are renting or taking your own vehicle. Then do the same thing for hotels or other lodgings in the area you want to stay in and total up all of these costs.

  1. Make a plan to save for your trip in advance. Looking at the costs of your holiday, you’ll quickly see if it is something that you can reasonably do on short notice or if you need to plan ahead to save financially. Planning an overseas trip, for instance, not only is going to be pricey but on short notice, the flights will be more expensive and you may not have time to get a passport if you don’t have one already.
  2. Research healthcare if you are going into a new country. Accidents happen and people get sick, even on vacation. When you are in a foreign country, you don’t want to wait until it’s an emergency to learn where to go and what to do to get medical help.

Check with your health insurance, too, to make sure you are covered wherever you are going. The healthcare industry is always making modifications. One of the most significant reforms currently is the European Health Insurance Card. It is valid in the European Union but is going through a lot of changes, so if you are traveling in Europe as a British citizen, you will want to know how these reforms affect you and your travel plans. 

Don’t wait until the last minute to try to get healthcare coverage for your trip. It can take weeks or even months for approval, depending on your situation and the coverage.

  1. Check off the little details. Sometimes the little details, if they are forgotten, can cause huge headaches on your vacation. Many banks have security defaults in place to detect and deter fraudulent use on your account.

It’s great in theory, but if you forget to tell your bank you are going on vacation and they get an attempted transaction when you are at dinner or a shop in another country, they may automatically deny it and stop your card. This can cause you a lot of stress trying to get your card to work again.

If you are going to be gone more than a few days, you should put a hold on your mail, too. Some postal workers will see mail piled up in a mailbox and stop delivering it. When you get back, you’ll have vacation letdown on top of the stress of tracking down your mail.

One more little detail you don’t want to forget is to make sure your currency is valid wherever you are going. The exchange rate is the same wherever you go, but if you plan before you leave you can shop around to get lower fees with your transactions.

  1. Pack carefully. The time is almost here for the vacation of your dreams, and you need to start packing. First, determine how much room you have in your vehicle for luggage if you will be driving and let each person know exactly how many suitcases of what size they are allowed to bring.

If you are flying, find out how much the luggage costs to check and carry on. Many people don’t realize there is also a per person limit of checked bags. Verify your airline’s policies if this may be a concern, as excess baggage is often subject to fees of $200 or more per bag.

Flying also subjects you to limitations on what you can carry on or put in your checked baggage. Check with the Transportation Security Administration to ensure your baggage meets their rules.

  1. You’re almost there – make that checklist! One of the main problems that people going on a big trip have is that they try to do everything from memory. Especially when you are going on a long holiday with multiple people, this is a no-no.

Create a checklist for each adult or older child so they are responsible for their own luggage packing. Delegating this job is a task that not only will help your stress, but it teaches younger children an important skill. Yes, you can go behind and make sure they followed through, but this will take you less time than doing it yourself.

This delegation frees you up to focus on the essential parts, such as checking in for your trip or rental car, ensuring you have all of your cards, IDs, and money, and all of the other critical aspects, as well as your own packing.

It’s Time for Fun!

Now that you’ve made it through the 7 steps of preparing for your next holiday, all you have to do now is juggle those family dynamics and enjoy your trip! While we can’t help you make everyone get along, we can make the actual planning and preparation the part of your trip that was the least stressful.

Now go have fun and enjoy the holiday you worked so hard to prepare!

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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