While a spontaneous road trip is a lot of fun, most vacations require a bit of planning. In fact, many desirable destinations are so popular that you need to make your reservations a year in advance. Therefore, it is a good idea to sit down once a year and talk about your plans for the upcoming year.
There is no right or wrong time to plan your vacations, but there are a few “natural” windows. One is at the turn of the calendar year, and the other is at the end of the summer. Both of these are times when planning tends to be top of mind.
If you have a spouse or partner, begin with just the two of you. Map out what you generally have in mind. Remember to consider the school calendar, work commitments, holidays, family obligations, etc. Next, loop in older children, parents, grandparents, or anyone else who needs to be involved in the planning.
Finally, make a list of the tasks that need to be accomplished to secure the vacation, such as “research venues,” “make reservations,” “purchase tickets,” “put down a deposit,” and the like. Decide who will be responsible for which task, and schedule a follow-up meeting to add in a bit of accountability.
Vacations are important for bonding, refreshment, and perspective, so make this an annual priority. Once the big decisions are made, you will feel less stressed as the year unfolds.
Do you map out your vacations a year in advance?