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7 Tips to Plan Your Dream Vacation

7 Tips to Plan Your Dream Vacation

Vacation season is almost upon us, and chances are you’re already looking forward to your family’s trip this year. Even though vacations are supposed to be relaxing, sometimes it’s so difficult to balance scheduling, accommodations, financing and more, that your dream vacation can turn into a real downer.

Don’t let that happen to you! With a little preparation, you can have the perfect vacation you’ve always wanted. Read these 7 tips to get started planning your relaxation destination today!

Tip #1: Location

Okay, the first step is choosing the location of your family vacation. To do this, take the following into consideration:

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  • Budget: How far you can go and how long you can stay all depend on your budget. Long, extravagant trips are great, but it’s better to be financially responsible! More than this, if you’re traveling internationally, research the exchange rates between countries. Smart travelers stretch their dollar by going to international destinations where the exchange rates favor them.
  • Weather: Not all paradise locations have ideal weather all year long. Be sure to check the weather patterns of your chosen destination, making sure there aren’t expected natural disasters like droughts or hurricanes.
  • Language Barriers: Going off the beaten path for an adventurous vacation in an exotic location sounds amazing, but make sure you can communicate with the locals before you go, whether it be in broken phrases you learn yourself (better than nothing) or through a translator (best option).

Tip #2: Occupy the Kids

Everyone adores their children, but they can be a tricky challenge on vacation. Many parents have found themselves babysitting their child’s vacation experience instead of having their own. To avoid this, plan ahead to include plenty of child-friendly activities and especially anything supervised that you may be able to leave them for a few hours.

One of the worst mistakes you can make is showing up to the hotel room without an exciting schedule already planned for the kids, with some alone-time written in for you.

Tip #3: Skip the Season

If you’re anything like us, crowded beaches and streets flooded with tourists are a real turn off on vacation. As hypocritical as it sounds, it’s just easier to enjoy your time without so many other travelers in the way. To avoid tourist traffic and even snag better prices on travel and accommodations, consider traveling in the off-season.

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The off-season is based on the country you’re going to, not your own, though travel prices differ on both sides. Be sure to research why that area is in an off-season, as it can sometimes be an indication of poor weather or some other deterrent.

Tip #4: Pack Smart

The less you bring, the less likely you are to lose something in transit. Plus, nothing is worse than having to lug around huge suitcases and tote bags everywhere they go. Smart packing includes preparing for the local weather at your vacation destination, as well as bringing emergency items like extra cell-phone batteries. Don’t bring anything disposable that you can get where you’re going

Tip #5: Unplug. Seriously.

Vacations are a chance for you to forget everything about daily life, including your responsibilities and current events. Make a strong appeal to yourself and your family to unplug from mobile devices and computers on the trip. Any time you feel the urge to post a picture from the beach or check your email, remember the reason you planned this trip to begin with and put the phone back down.

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Tip #6: Set a Goal

This may seem to cross the line of relaxing vacation with militancy, but hear us out. Setting a goal for your vacation is the perfect way to give you and your family wants as a collective unit, without depending on rigid schedules or tour-by-number experiences. With a goal in mind beforehand, you’ll find yourself more open to spontaneous adventures, and your family working together to achieve a common bond.

A problem families often face, where everyone has their own idea about what the vacation should be, results from not setting goals. You end up going in different directions or some people not being able to enjoy vacation. Discussing everyone’s expectations beforehand will go a long way.

Tip #7: Double-Check Everything!

There’s a lot of paperwork involved with planning a vacation, even if you do it all online. Double-check everything, including:

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  • Passports, licenses and registrations. You want all personal documentation in a safe, dry place that’s not accessible to thieves.
  • Call to check on your reservations before you go, including those to events.
  • Double- and triple-check with those who are taking care of your home or pets while you’re gone. Leave a detailed schedule and list for them to help things run smoothly.

Have an awesome vacation!

Whether your vacation is to the next county over, or all the way across the world, we’re sure you’re going to have a great time. Make sure you’re well prepared now so you can enjoy some real relaxation when you’re finally there!

Featured photo credit: Take Vacations via lifehack.org

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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