As Acapulco gets closer, I find myself planning the steps that I’ll take to ensure that my vacation runs smoothly. To prepare I generally follow this list:
Set a $$$ Goal
Set a goal for how much money you want to have saved before your trip. I always plan on bringing much more than I think I will need, if that makes any sense. So for example, if I you do your research and find that the average daily cost of stay for travelers is $50 and they’re staying for 10 days then that equates to $500 for the total trip. I would bring double that. You want to be able to enjoy your vacation and not have to worry about running out of money. The sooner you start planning, the longer you have to save.
Set a budget
Now that you’ve got some money saved up, its time to budget out that money for each day so you can track your spending and know exactly where you stand at any given point during your vacation. Plan for transportation, food & beverages, entertainment, and spending money for each day. This may require you to plan out activities in advance. I also try to prepay for as much as I possibly can so that I don’t have to worry about spending that money while on vacation.
I make sure to print out all my travel vouchers and confirmations prior to my trip. I like having electronic copies on my phone as backup but I always have hardcopies to travel with. This is a no-brainer but if you’re traveling outside of the country you will need a valid passport to do so.
In order to travel lightly you’ll need to put together multiple outfits using only a handful of garments. For example, 3 tops, three bottoms, and 3 accessories will make 9 outfits. You’ll have to pick garments that can be mixed and matched into various styles and looks to keep you looking fresh even though you’re going to be re-wearing clothes. Come on, it’s vacation, everyone does it. For my 10 day trip to Acapulco, I’ll bring 4 shirts, 4 bottoms, and 4 accessories to make 12 daily outfits. Ill also bring 2 dresses for going out and 4 bathing suits. Now if you’re a mathematician you’ll know that you can get way more than 12 outfits with this amount (more like 64) but this will give you many more options than you need.
Plan for Packing
Now it’s time to put all these together and pack your bags for the trip. Aside from the cash you’ll take, travel documents, and clothing you’ll take, you’ll need to pack toiletries and a carry on. When it comes to toiletries I go to the dollar section at Target and load up on travel sized shampoos, conditioners, lotions, face wash, razors, shaving cream, deodorant, and anything else travel size. I bring everything travel size even though I check my bag because it takes up less space than bringing my large bath products and it means that I don’t have to use the ones in the hotel or buy products once I’m there if they aren’y provided in my hotel. My carry on is my lifeline. I always have a backpack loaded with all my gadgets/electronics and things to keep me entertained during the flights. In my carry on I always pack my passport, a wireless charger for my phone, my camera, my laptop, chargers for all those, a journal to take notes of daily activities, a pen, headphones, and a small blanket for sleeping in the airport. I always have my neck pillow attached to the handle of my backpack, which is crucial for inflight comfort.
Now this is just my general list of planning steps to take before you leave for you trip. Again, the sooner you start planning, the more prepared you’ll be.