The winter can get long. Day after day of gloomy weather, cold and snow is hard. After the holidays are over, there is nothing to look forward to and the winter can really get you down. In Wisconsin, the cold and snow can last for months with no spring in sight. Get out of the winter blues and consider planning a trip to brighten your future. A trip to look forward to helps me get through the tough winter!
I love going on trips – who doesn’t right? A time away from everyday life to relax, explore and rejuvenate with those you enjoy most. When I think about planning a trip, I will close my eyes and envision myself at our destination enjoying every minute.
Although it can be overwhelming, time consuming and scary, I love planning a trip. There is so much to consider when planning a trip. Where should we go? When should we go? How much will it cost?
5 Things to Consider When Planning a Trip
These are all valid questions and can deter people from planning a trip. If you want to go on vacation, but struggle with details and want planning assistance click here. Read on for more items to consider when planning a trip and get ready for a fun get away.
1. What is Your Budget?
The first thing you should do when considering planning a trip is set your total trip budget. How much can you afford or want to spend on this trip? For tips on how to plan a trip on a budget click here.
It is important to set your overall budget number from the start. This will help determine where you can go, what you can do and what you want to spend your money on. Do you want to spend more on the hotel, activities at your destination, food and drink, or flights for prime timing and comfort. What are your priorities on this vacation?
Always leave a line in your budget for trip emergencies. An unforeseen doctor visit, car repairs or higher food expense can easily happen and you want to make sure you have the money.
2. Consider Where You Want to Go
There are endless options when deciding where to go on a trip. Asking yourself the following questions can help you narrow down your search.
- Do you want to relax or explore?
- Will you go somewhere new or where you have been before?
- Are you driving or flying?
- Will you need a passport?
3. Timing of the Trip
How Long Do You Want to Go?
This goes hand in hand with #1 and there can be different factors. If you only will go away for 3 days you might not be able to travel far depending on flights or distance.
For example, when planning our 10 year anniversary trip we originally wanted to go to San Francisco and Wine Country. However we only had 3.5 days away and there were no direct flights. Plus the flight times were not ideal. So we would spend 2 days of traveling for only 2 days of sightseeing. Not to mention the flights were so expensive. So we concluded this was not worth the money and that we needed more time there. Instead we decided to travel to Washington DC. It was a shorter, cheaper and direct flight so we had 3.5 days there.
When Does It Work to Go?
What time of year do you want to go on a trip? Or what time of year do you want to visit the location you selected? For example, visiting New York City is very different in the summer vs. Christmas time. A specific location can be very different and offer different adventures depending on the time of year you visit.
Then, sometimes we would love to take a trip, but the timing of trying to figure out when to go or if it is possible to go can be difficult. Can you take off work? Some jobs are better than others for getting time off to go on a trip.
Certain jobs will have black out dates that you may not take off, or have busy seasons where you can’t get away for a few days. I work in the school system so trying to take off while school is in session is nearly impossible unless it is a shorter trip. Typically, I have to plan my trips during breaks or the summer.
One last thing to consider is if you are gone an extended period of time you may need someone to come check on your house and mail or stop your mail.
4. Who Is Coming on the Trip?
When planning a trip consider who is going along with you. Will it just be your partner or will your kids come too? Will it be adults only, extended family or a friends trip? If it is adults only will someone be able to watch your kid(s)?
If it is you and a partner you may go somewhere different than if your kids were along. With having young children this definitely comes into play. There are lots of places I would not want to travel with my kids for my own sanity. Not to mention trips are not cheap and to pay for kids when they cannot fully enjoy or moreover hinder my fun is a waste of money.
With young children we found going to waterpark resorts for a couple nights was a hit. We have a bunch within a couple hours of us so it is easy travel and can stay at the resort which is nice.
If You Are Leaving Kids or Pets Behind
If you are planning a trip with just your partner or adults then you will need someone to watch your kids. Sometimes this is easier than others depending on if you live near family and friends and the age of your kids. If you are traveling with family it can be difficult to find someone else to stay with your kids.
Besides kids, leaving pets or finding care can be difficult as well. Sometimes a pet can travel with you depending on where you go and what you are doing. However, most often they have to stay behind. I know a family that hasn’t traveled in years because they have too many pets and no where to bring them for an extended period of time.
5. What Do You Want to Do on the Trip?
Lastly, what kind of trip will this be – what do you want to do? Do you want to kick back and relax, or have an exciting adventure seeing many different sights and experiences? You could also do some of both.
There are many different kinds of trips to take with a wide variety of stuff to do. You can pick and choose how adventurous or relaxing you want to make your trip and what is best for the people going.
Also, your trip budget may help determine what you do. You may have to prioritize your trip excursions in case you run out of time or money.
Final Thoughts on Things to Consider When Planning a trip
As much as I enjoy planning a trip, it can get stressful and overwhelming. All 5 of these considerations above intermingle with each other and work together when planning a trip. There are lots of moving pieces that need to come together.
If you do not want to tackle planning a trip by yourself click here for virtual personal planning services. Another option is to have your trip planned for you and use a full trip planning service like Travel Advantage.
Charlotte Fleet says
My two sisters and I want to go on a trip with our husbands this fall and we need to choose the perfect destination. I appreciate your suggestion to consider if you want to explore or relax on the trip to pick the right destination. Since we want to do a little bit of both, we will have to find a vacation rental that will allow us to, like a cabin.
You are welcome! I enjoy doing both on vacations too:) Good luck on your destination and have fun!