Travelers Digest

Illustrated By Jacqueline Davis Moranti

Many Americans spend all year saving to go on a vacation, counting down the days until you can pack the suitcase and jet off to sunnier climates. For most of us, it’s a real high-point of the year where we can indulge, have fun and relax. Any chances to forget about work and disconnect, for most of us, especially myself, is quite a rare treat! So it makes sense that when you are away you would make the absolute most of your time at your destination. While sometimes it’s good to relax, don’t worry about making plans and take it as it comes- if you’re spending a lot of money on the trip you might prefer to cram in as much as possible. Here are some of the ways you can make the very best of your travel.

Do Your Research
My personal favorite way to discover my destination is by researching it ahead of time. By spending some time researching you mentally create an itinerary for yourself to go by. Are there particular restaurants you like the look of, attractions you want to visit, parks you want to walk through or escorted tours you want to go on? Always avoid the tourist traps, look for more secluded and interesting places too. I once fell for a tourist trap in Madrid and it cost me $200+! Try making a list of all of the things you want to do, their locations, prices and everything else. That way once you arrive you're not wasting time because you already know where everything is that interests you.

Make a Plan

You've already figured out where you want to go and discover, the next step is to create a plan for your trip. It can be as structured or flexible as you like, but it also gives you the chance to organize all of the activities you’ve picked out in your research. Keep some activities as backup plans (for example, indoor activities in case the weather is bad) and it’s advisable to keep some time free. This gives you a chance to relax and enjoy the hotel or resort, and not feel too rushed off your feet.

Book Tickets In Advance
Once you know for sure what you want to visit and the dates you plan on going, you could should most definitely book the tickets in advance. Some attractions are mandatory for you to have to do this, so make sure you get it done to avoid disappointment. This will also allow you to budget your holiday spending money more effectively, as once you arrive at your destination you don’t have to worry about hidden fees, higher at door prices or anything else. If you want your plan to have some flexibility, see if you can purchase tickets that can be used any time over a few days. That way you can move things around at the last minute if need be.

As someone who's currently planning her own vacation, going by these tips helps me greatly. Dear readers, how do you make sure you get the most out of your vacations?

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Thanks for the sweet whispers! XO