Planning a Vacation and Getting the Most

August 22nd, 2014

You Need a Vacation!

Here in the United States, people are overworked and overwhelmed by their day to day lives. It's harder to get away from work and keep your mind off of work. People are taking less time off each year and find it hard to unwind.

Plan Your Vacation

With less time being spent away from work and relaxing, it is best to make the most of what little time you do have. I've been on vacations with practically nothing planned and flew by the seat of my pants. This worked out okay, but my best vacations were planned. This does not mean I was always on a strict itinerary or any itinerary at all, but having at least an idea of what you want to do and where you want to eat makes your time much more enjoyable.

What to Pack

Not matter how much you plan, you will always forget something. That doesn't mean you shouldn't plan what you need to pack, otherwise you will end up spending extra money on things you already have at home when that extra dough could be spent on activities or food and drink. I have downloaded simple note / task applications on my mobile device to help keep me organized. I make checklists divided into categories and then add items to it. I will make lists for toiletries, clothing, electronics, entertainment and various other categories. Think about what you use day to day, travel entertainment and what you might have to use in your vacation environment. These lists are also great to make sure that you haven't left anything behind. It can be expensive to ship something back to your home. While on your trip and you do forget something, add it to your checklist. The next time you travel, you won't forget it. One thing I always pack is my GearPower Battery Pack. It's great for charging our phones, camera, tablet, and my electronic cigarette. When you are out and about, your phone is the first thing to die and it's the worst thing to be without power when you are in an area new to you.

Where to Go and What to See

Before you leave for your trip, you should survey the area for entertainment. Find the POI from a tourist perspective and check out the hotspots locals recommend. Read reviews and see what the prices are so you can budget accordingly. There is so much information on the internet these days, it's hard not find something great to do and even on a budget. Scout out the best local eateries. You can now view pictures of restaurants, plates, and even street views. Pick a couple top places you want to have a great meal at. Traveling is not just about the things you do, but the great food and drinks you have. Ask your friends and family. They know you best and can offer their experience in locations. Social media is a great place to ask questions and collaborate. The Google maps app now lets you save locations to your profile. Mark out your entertainment, food and drink, bus and train stations, historical locations and picture perfect spots. When you're not on a strict itinerary, it's great to be able to find locations around you that you've already saved and done research on. When you are ready for the next fun item on your list or that great place to eat, pull up your Google Maps and you'll already have your preferred list.

Find the Best Deals

Now that you've found your top picks, search online for the best deals. With so many hotel comparison websites, Groupon sites and the like, there is always a deal to save some cash. Doing the leg work before you go leaves you extra money for the things you just didn't have the money to do.

Don't Forget Gifts

Most people don't budget for gifts before they go. If you are going to an iconic location, set a budget so you don't over spend. See if there are any swap meets or flea markets around. Depending on the location, you might be able to find some great local gifts and great deals here than you would at the overpriced and cheap quality tourist gift shops.

About the Author

Brandon Orth

Brandon Orth

Brandon is a web developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, Javascript, and jQuery and has been developing since 2005. Brandon has been with IOGEAR since 2010. He is recently married with one kid, a Chihuahua, name Cisco (he was adopted with that name). Brandon enjoys playing golf, baseball, programming, science, technology, movies, music, and much more. Always make a side dish without onions and cilantro; he's allergic. Isn't that weird?