How to plan your dream vacation

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Here's how to plan your dream vacation in a few simple steps

Planning any old vacation is beyond overwhelming. With that being said, planning the vacation of your dreams must be nearly impossible, right? Wrong.

Planning a dream vacation can be simple and exciting if you save money, come up with a realistic budget, pick the right destination, go with the right people, and organize an itinerary.

Here's how to plan your dream vacation:

Save, Save, Save

You don't have to be filthy rich to plan a dream vacation. However, you should save up enough money to take a trip from ordinary to extraordinary. Saving money could be the difference between going on one tour to three tours. It could determine whether you eat from the dollar menu at some fast food chain or spend a little bit of extra cash on decent food.

With that being said, spend six months to a year putting 10-20% of your paycheck towards savings for your dream vacation. That extra cash will do wonders.

Make a Realistic Budget

Not everyone can afford to stay at hotel that costs $1,000 a night, and that's okay. Yes, you should splurge on a dream vacation, but you don't want to end up in a mountain of debt over it.

Therefore, come up with a budget. Look up the exchange rates for foreign countries. Make sacrifices. For example, if your dream vacation includes a far away place that costs thousands of dollars to get there and back, maybe spend a little less money on the hotel. If a fabulous hotel with tons of amenities is more important, then go to a magnificent destination close by.

The main goal of budgeting is to not leave you feeling stressed and regretful about the amount of money spent once the trip is over.

Pick the Right Destination

This is where a bit of research will do some good. If winter is the only time you're free to take a vacation but you hate the cold, look up how cold your destination actually gets during that time. You may be surprised by the results and end up picking another dream spot.

More importantly, dive into what's going on at your dream spot during different seasons. The last thing you want to do is find yourself stuck in some dull destination because you decided to visit at the wrong time of year. Research when different cultural festivals, concerts, etc. go on.

Remember, your dream vacation shouldn't be mediocre; it should be life changing.

Go with the Right People

Who you take on a trip can determine the success of it. Really think of who you do and don't want to accompany you. Are you married with children, but really want to go on a romantic getaway with your significant other? Get someone to watch the kids this time around. There will be other opportunities to take a family vacation. Are you single and wanting to explore your dream spot without the company of friends? Go for it! It's called your dream vacation for a reason. Don't let anyone get in the way of it.

Organize an Itinerary

This is the most essential thing to do when planning your trip.

Don't spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to get to your destination just to do nothing when there. Plan a good two or three things to do each day, whether it's checking out a cool restaurant, visiting a historic site, or going on an eye opening tour. More importantly, write these plans down! It's not necessary to plan your trip down to the last second; spontaneity is key every once in a while. Just make sure that your written itinerary is able to fill up your trip even without those spur-of-the-moment activities.

A vacation can truly be one of your dreams if you jump over the hurdles of saving up money, planning a budget, picking the right destination, deciding which people to go with, and organizing an itinerary. Do all of these things in full and you'll have memories that last a lifetime!

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