standard Tips for Planning a Summer Vacation

Summer is a time for relaxation, days playing in the sun, and family vacations. Whether you are planning a vacation for a big family reunion or figuring out your solo summer road trip plans, organizing all the details that go into a summer vacation can be stressful. Here are a few tips to make planning this summer’s vacation much easier.

Pick a Place

First things first, you need to decided where to go for your summer vacation. The options are endless and there are a lot of things to consider before you head out.

Consider Off-Season Locations

If you are hoping to plan a unique and affordable summer vacation, choosing an off-season destination can be a great option. The Rocky Mountain slopes are nice for winter skiing but offer great summer activities too. You can score discounted rooms, enjoy pristine mountain beauty, and avoid crowds. If you can handle the heat, the southwest United States is also a nice off-season destination for summer. When the temperatures rise, the hotel prices drop and with the extra money you save, you can splurge on a day at the waterparks.

Get the Whole Family’s Input

If you are planning a trip for the whole family, you might want to take some time to make sure everyone is onboard with the destination. All the planning in the world won’t help if you have a grumpy teenager, upset that you are in Yosemite instead of Las Vegas. Even if the destination isn’t up for discussion, make planning a family affair by assigning specific days or tasks to different family members. Having everyone contribute can help avoid problems and will save you time in planning everything yourself.

Plan Ahead

Any good trip planner knows this rule and understands the value of planning ahead. Summer is a hot travel season and planning ahead is vital to make sure you don’t spend more than you need to, don’t miss out on anything, and don’t run into serious problems.

Research, Research, Research

Some destinations make it easy to just show up and figure things out when you get there. Other places take serious planning. Either way, researching your destination and the highlights of a vacation there beforehand is important, especially during the summer. After months of planning a NYC trip you don’t want to get there and realize that Statue of Liberty tickets often sell out weeks in advance. If you don’t do research on your Washington DC trip, you might not know that you have to get very advanced tickets for White House Tours, which you have to request from your state senator or representative.

Book Everything Ahead of Time

Spontaneity might work in the other seasons, but with the summer crowds, booking everything from your hotel room to tours ahead of time is a good idea. Things book up in summer early, especially in summer vacation hotspots. You probably already know that booking your flights early can save you serious money but consider where else you can book and plan ahead. Have a particular restaurant you are interested in? Make a reservation a few days or weeks in advance. Want tickets to a particular show or event? Grab them now before you are stuck at the front gate buying scalped tickets.

Sign Up For Deal Sites

Planning ahead can also give you a chance to score deals on really interesting activities and tours. Once you have your destination picked out, sign up for emails from the top deals sites – like Groupon and Living Social – in that city. In the slower months many companies, from restaurants to tour companies, offer deals at 50% off or more. These coupons usually come with a full year or 6 month validity which means you can still use them come your summer vacation.

Photo Credit: Giovanni ‘jjjohn’ Orlando via photopin cc

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