What is your idea of a perfect vacation getaway?
A great getaway is one that truly helps you unwind and reset your chaotic mind, irrespective of the place or activity you choose. The key is to do things or visit places that make you happy.
Some people prefer the peace and quiet of nature, while some love to immerse themselves in new cultures with new people they have not met before. The core idea of an ideal vacation getaway is to ensure you feel de-stressed and emotionally fulfilled.
However, no matter what you decide to do or where you plan to go, it must be hassle-free! Ever heard of planning anxiety ruining your vacation? Yes, it happens, and we do not want that! If you want to escape the daily grind and effortlessly take great memories home that last for a lifetime, this is your go-to guide to the perfect vacation getaway.
What is an Ideal Getaway?
The agenda for every vacation you plan can also vary with moods and weather. You might want to swim and soak up the sun in one season. The other season, you just want to try out different cuisines of a particular place or hike breathtaking mountainous terrains.
Remember chef Keith Sarasin’s food tours of India purely to dive deeper into the diverse local cuisine? That is his kind of getaway! What will be yours will depend on you.
However, one thing remains constant irrespective of the type of vacation you take. You do not want to explore things in a hurry; you want to kick back and take it all in, one at a time.
Also, you want your vacation to be a good blend of both physically and emotionally stimulating experiences. For an ideal holiday like this, meticulous planning with a detailed, well-researched itinerary takes top priority.
So, let us get to it so you can plan yours to perfection!
Comprehensive Guide to Planning the Perfect Vacation
Here’s how you can plan a perfect vacation, follow along:
#1 Create a Budget and Stick to It
It all begins with your net income if you want to plan a decent vacation getaway sustainably. This, by all means, should be a bit flexible to accommodate last-minute requirements.
For starters, your holiday stay bookings in advance will need some budget estimation beforehand. Let us be honest: no matter how outgoing you are, you do not want to be stranded in an uncharted territory full of strangers.
Safety and hygiene cannot be compromised, and they are non-negotiable. This also includes your food bills, as you do not want to fall sick in the middle of your trip or after you come back home. So, a little bit of budget planning will go a long way before you start your exciting journey.
Technically, your budget also depends on how much time you want to spend away from home. Work-from-home professionals might have an edge here. But if you belong to the work-from-office or a hybrid working set-up, you have to limit your vacation days, which also alters your budget. So, we would recommend applying for leave or absence from work in advance. Even if there is no such rule at your workplace, just do it to avoid uncalled-for meetings ruining your holidays.
#2 Pick a place based on the local weather
Now that you are clear about how much you will be spending, you make a tentative mental list of all the vacation places that fit your budget. You can expand or narrow this list down if your budget allows.
You are planning a vacation to get away from the weather conditions existing at your place. So, for some respite, your dream destination must have better weather to start with. You will not be able to explore much in extreme climates.
Therefore, for an adventure-based trip with moderate to high-intensity activities, regions or places with pleasant weather conditions are the ideal spots. For example, you harbor this dream of exploring Ladakh in India. However, unfortunately, you cannot visit the place in the extreme winter months from November to mid-May. It is completely shut down for tourists due to significant snowfall.
So, it is advisable to research off seasons and peak seasons of the places you have on your mind. Avoid visiting in both of these seasons if possible. Off-season visits will limit your exploration as a better part of the region would be blocked off from tourists/travelers, and peak-season trips will ruin your experience – thanks to the crowd.
Sicily is great and absolutely scenic during spring. However, the huge swarm of travelers during this peak season can make your getaway unbearable and costly, too. So, it is ideal to ditch the summer season and choose the months of February and March. This way, you can peacefully explore all the best places in Sicily at much lower prices and temperatures, minus the crowd. Yay!
#3 Have a list of backup vacation spots
You cannot stop having fun, so we always recommend having a plan B if plan A fails for some reason. This is why any getaway place you choose must have a better or equivalent alternative. There are many if you look for them!
It goes without saying that your destination dupe has to be the most feasible option to avoid a costly trip. It is easier to execute plan B if both destinations are nearby or if there are enough cheap traveling modes available. So, Google or a good tour operator or both will be your best friends in this case.
Also, avoid following other tourist herds and let your research guide you to the right path. It is advisable to have backup destinations that are relatively less crowded and popular. For example, visit Gokarna instead of Goa, explore Raja Ampat, and ditch Bali or swap Thailand with Sri Lanka.
#4 Do not ignore the reviews
How do you know which region or holiday spot to avoid while narrowing down your bucket list? It is by reading genuine customer reviews!! Before you spend your hard-earned money on your next vacation getaway, make sure to extensively screen all the reviews of the place you plan to explore.
Once the ship has sailed, there is no coming back! So, take these reviews very seriously and get all the information you need before you start making your hotel bookings. Scanning tourist reviews will also help you learn from other people’s experiences and book the right accommodation.
Budget travelers can go to hostels or Airbnb. If it is not the peak season, you may even get great hotel accommodation deals. However, first try booking rooms from the official website as much as possible to avoid being shafted. You may get some hidden deals directly from the hotel, such as a few extra dollars of dining credits or an upgrade post-check-in. Ask your trusted tour operator or check reliable websites such as Booking.com, Trivago, or Kayak as a last resort!
Also, be aware that the virtual space is infested by scammers. So, it should be your mandatory everyday drill to scour the internet for unpaid reviews before you pay for any service offered online. Another must-do is to talk to your friends and family members who have already visited your destination before so you know the dos and don’ts well in advance. This should be done for weeks leading up to your actual journey date to avoid being overcharged or scammed.
If you pay more, you stress more, and you do not want to be distressed on your vacation. So, read the verified reviews and take enough time to make a decision.
#5 Factor in local costs
The fares in tourist spots are generally inflated, so make sure to verify the costs of food and non-public transport. If you are visiting a completely different country, changing your cellphone SIM card also becomes mandatory.
A lot of places offer a one-time traveling pass to encourage using public transport, especially in places such as Europe and Singapore. If you prefer to drive on your own and have an international driving license, you can even hire a car to follow your vacation itinerary at your own pace and convenience. Just familiarize yourself with the local driving rules and take off!
On an adventure getaway, activities such as paragliding, snorkeling, skydiving, river rafting, or parasailing also have inflated costs in touristy places. Before you jump on the bandwagon, make sure to review the safety equipment and previous safety records of locals offering these services.
Food is love, right? Now, as a foodie, you might want to taste local cuisines but do not expect that you would like everything you eat. There is something called an acquired taste, which will develop with time. We had some friends who initially complained about French food due to its high cost, but the more they had it, the more they appreciated the flavors.
If the food is too expensive or does not suit your taste preferences and you are on a budget, we would advise packing some ready-to-eat food and instant ramen from home. Also, buy some local groceries such as eggs, milk, and veggies if you have an induction or cooking facility at your hostel/hotel. This is purely from a budget traveler’s perspective!
Nevertheless, the food aspect is extremely subjective. So, there is no compulsion to try every dish of the local cuisine unless food exploration is your main agenda.
This is a beautiful planet of ours, and we are blessed to be living on it. Perhaps your entire lifetime may still not be enough for you to explore the best places we have. It is never enough anyway because there are just too many epic spots in the world.
However, we would like to suggest a few of them that you must visit if you get a chance. These are the Cheonjiyeon Falls, South Korea, Wisteria Flower Tunnel, Japan, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, the Caribbean Islands, and more.
If you are in the US, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, and Yellowstone National Park are some really amazing picks. We also have a comprehensive 7-day Yellowstone Grand Teton Glacier National Parks itinerary if you are planning a wonderful getaway!
So, are you ready for your dream vacation? I hope you are now that you have your perfect be-all-end-all guide.