In times of COVID-19, your focus may not be on vacation planning. But you can improve your sanity by working toward a goal and by having a goal to look forward to. Below we have provided a comprehensive vacation planning checklist. Use it to literally tick all the boxes when timing the vacation of a lifetime.
For more detailed information, see the holiday resources we offer in ourCreate your own itinerarybook page.
1. RESEARCH: START EARLY AND THINK CLOSELY
A good rule of thumb for planning a major vacation is to take at least six months off.
___Take the time to think carefully about the places you've always wanted to visit.
___Imagine what kind of vacation you want; For example, do you want to be out and exploring or on the beach and in the lounge?
___Research online to better understand which places fit your vacation vision.
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2. DECIDE: TAKE A BIG LEAP TO MAKE IT REAL
the lazy onesIdeaof a holiday can linger in your head for months, even years.
How to make a decision.
___Narrow down your choices to two or three based on your research.
___Make a list of the pros and cons of each.
___Choose the one that works best for you, then set.
3. FILL IN THE REQUIRED HOLIDAY DETAILS
Your choice of destination determines all subsequent planning details. Take the time to discover the following four pillars of your holiday:
___Your travel plan
___Your transport plans
___Your daily itinerary
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4. ORDER YOUR DOCUMENTS
If you are planning a holiday abroad, you will need a valid passport. Identify below which category you fit into and follow the suggestions.
___You have a valid passport.Be sure to pay attention to when it expires and if theSix-month passport validity ruleIt won't slow down your journey. HeMinistry of Foreign Affairsto be able to help.
___You have an expired passport.Start the renewal process at least two months before your departure date. start with theMinistry of Foreign Affairs.
___You need a first passport.Begin the process at least three months before your departure dateConditionDepartmentand have the following:
___A physical birth certificate or other form of proof of citizenship.
___An acceptable form of identification, e.g. B. a valid driving license.
___An acceptable photograph for use in your passport.
___A check for the amount owed.
___Find a government agency to help you submit your passport application. Don't forget thatUS Postal Serviceand often your town clerk's office can handle a variety of passport-related services.
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___ Clarify visa requirements and approval before travel.
___In particular for trips outside of Europe, find out about the visa requirements of the countries with whichMinistry of Foreign Affairs.
___If you are traveling to Europe, consult theEuropean Travel Information and Authorization Systemto a new requirement from 2022.
Also bring the following with you on your trip:
___Copies of your passport and travel documents
___Copies of all prescriptions (medication, glasses or medical supplies)
___Health insurance card and documents
___Contact card with the addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of family members or close contacts in the United States.
___Contact information for home care providers
___Names and addresses of accommodation during your trip
___Hospitals or clinics (including emergency services) at your destination
___US. Embassy or consulate in the destination country or countries
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5. CHECK YOUR GROUP'S TRAVEL COMPATIBILITY (TO PLAN TRAVEL WITH FRIENDS)
If you have friends, and possibly friends of friends, that you want to travel with, here's how:
___Get together to talk, even if it's a web conference, and find out what everyone wants out of the journey.
___Tackle budget issues head-on.
___Departure and return dates
___Discuss possible daily routes to find out, for example, who are the late risers and who are the adventurers.
___ Don't risk valuable vacation time if you think your group dynamic will create conflict and frustration.
___Assign a lead organizer if appropriate.
VerHow to plan a tripfor more details.
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6. KNOW ABOUT HEALTH RISKS AND BE PREPARED
For health questions and concerns about your travel destination, please follow these steps.
___Start with himhealth of travelersCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites that listEvery countryin the world and informed about vaccines,DISEASE OUTBREAKSand other health information.
___If necessary, get vaccinated at least one month before departure.
___Check out helpful information from the CDCFAQ-Sevenfor people traveling abroad.
___Take precautions for COVID-19. (This article byUnited States todayto be able to help).
___Put together a travel safety kit like the one suggested byCenters for Disease Control and Prevention.
7. BUILD SECURITY AND PROTECTION INTO YOUR PLANS
Your safety should be a priority wherever you travel, but this is especially true when you travel to another country.
___Research to stay in safer hotels and neighborhoods.
___Choose busier and more popular areas for your stay.
___Use travel guides, online reviews, and other traveler resources to ensure you're staying at reputable establishments that aren't known for safety issues.
___Get safety information for your travel destination by registering with the Ministry of Foreign AffairsSmart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
___Prepare a travel safety kit as recommended byCenters for Disease Control and Prevention.
___Consider downloadingtravel appsthat can increase your security.
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8. PLAN HOW YOU WILL TRAVEL WHEN YOU ARE THERE
You need to know how you will move on your vacation.
___Remember that taxis or Ubering can be very convenient but also expensive, especially for singles and couples.
___Opt for alternatives such as the local bus systems and subway, but consider using them before you get there.
___If it is safe and practical, plan to walk whenever possible.
___Consider flying from one city or country to another for travel to multiple destinations when time is of the essence and cost is less of an issue.
___Take advantage of rail transport in regions like Europe and evaluate the advantages of ticket packages asEurailto permit.
___If you are happy with that, rent a car.
___Bring a valid driver's license with you.
___Carry an international driving license.
___Confirm in advance if you need to purchase rental car insurance.
___Look at the State DepartmentDriving and traffic safety abroad.
___Check overWhat happens if I have an accident with my rental car?
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9. PLAN YOUR ROUTE IF YOU ARE ON A ROAD TRIP
Maybe you're staying in the United States and planning a road trip. The following will help.
___Identify a destination you've always wanted to see.
___Start with simple web searches like "drive from [your location] to [selected destination]," then click.
___Create a plan around that goal by addressing the following:
___Where to stop along the way
___Where can you go while you're there?
___Where to stop on the way back
___Plan your route with usGoogle Maps,Wanderer, or any other online mapping application.
___Add planned stops to have fun, break the monotony, build anticipation, and create memories.
___Prepare your road trip by car.
___Take a safety kit with you for car trips.
___Bring a first aid kit for car trips.
Make sure you have the following when you head out:
___Valid driving licenses for all drivers
___Number plates and vehicle registration up to date
___Copy of car insurance policy and contact information
___Contact details for roadside assistance
___Online links to planned routes and offline maps, downloaded to your smartphone if possible
___Copies of all prescriptions (medication, glasses or medical supplies)
___Health insurance cards and documents
___Contact card with addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of family members or close contacts
If you rent a mobile home:
___Check which motorhome is right for you.
___Make sure you can drive comfortably.
___Plan an RV-friendly route.
___Check whether you need motorhome insurance.
VerHow to plan a road tripjHow to plan a trip with Google Mapsfor more information.
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10. PACK WITH A PLAN
What you wear can play a crucial role in your comfort, safety, and security. Pack properly by doing the following:
___Learn about typical weather patterns for your destination and check the forecast.
___Inquire about local customs and dress codes, especially when visiting religious or sacred sites abroad.
___Try to dress conservatively and do your best to conform.
___On travel days, wear comfortable workout clothes (but not the skin-tight ones) with zip pockets.
___Choose a color palette that allows you to mix and match items.
___Minimize pants/bottoms by picking a few that can anchor your wardrobe for almost any situation.
Be careful with shoes:
___Men should bring a pair of good walking shoes that go well with the trousers mentioned above, as well as a pair of trainers for ultra-casual situations.
___The same goes for women, although adding a pair of low boots or sandals might be a good idea, but leave it at that.
___To be more thorough, use a packaging app likestyle book, which provides a feature to create a packing list and organize that list into sets.
___Be careful not to pack any prohibited items; Visit the State DepartmentCustoms and Import RestrictionsWebsite.
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11. MAKE SURE YOU CAN USE YOUR SMARTPHONE WITHOUT PROBLEMS
Follow the steps below when using your smartphone.
___Please contact your provider to confirm what coverage you will have.
___Tell your carrier where you're going and when.
___Check if you need to take any special steps or set up a temporary plan to ensure you can use your phone without unexpected problems or charges.
12. WARNING YOUR BANKS AND CREDIT CARD COMPANIES
Using your credit card or withdrawing money from an ATM thousands of miles away may seem like suspicious activity. Please do the following to make sure you don't have any problems.
___Let your bank or credit union know when and where you are going on vacation and confirm what credit/debit cards you may be using.
___Indicate which credit cards you absolutely have to take with you and inform the relevant credit companies about your vacation.
___Check out these additional travel tips related to credit cardsnerd wallet.
13. LET CLOSE FRIENDS AND FAMILY KNOW YOUR PLANS
Please inform selected people about the following details and do not spread your holiday via social media.
___When do you go away and when do you return?
___What is your round trip itinerary?
___Do you have a daily itinerary? If so, share that too.
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14. Prepare your house before you leave
Before you leave, secure your home and take steps like the ones below. Please note that not all of them may apply to you and your household.
___Make sure your invoices are set to pay automatically.
___Stop your mail, newspapers and other regular deliveries.
___Let a neighbor know what you're doing and ask them to watch your home and pick up any packages.
___Secure valuables in a hidden or external safe, e.g. B. a safe deposit box at your bank.
___Lock doors and windows of all types on every floor.
___Also, put away any extra keys, especially the ones you've "hid" outside of your home.
___Make sure your alarm system is operational.
___Confirm your security lights/motion detection lights are working.
___Make sure your CCTV is working, capable of storing images, and working if you want to access it over the internet while you're away.
15. CONSIDER TRAVEL INSURANCE
Does the saying sound familiar to you?Better safe than sorry, Good? As you prepare for your trip, wherever you are, travel insurance doesn't seem to be the most exciting topic.
However, it might be one of the most important.
For more information, seeWhat is travel insurance?