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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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