Plan your next vacation with no; well less stress.

When I start thinking about traveling, I have a habit of overthinking everything; from what to wear, transportation, weather, eat, do, and of course, accommodations. I could start planning months in advance and still feel unprepared the week before. 

With all this on my mind, I try to break my planning into different sections. Breaking down planning makes things seem like it is not as big of a project.

Start at the beginning; the essential part of a vacation is the question.

“How are we getting there?” 

Plane/Train/Automobile? I find that making this decision first makes everything else fall in place. (assuming you have already picked your destination). And if you haven’t, this choice may help you narrow down your choices. 

Transportation while on vacation?

Depending on where and what you are doing on your vacation can be a deciding factor in answering this question.

A cruise that’s easy; you need to figure out how you are getting to and from the ship. Or at least it should be!

On our 1st cruise out of San Diego, we planned to take the hotel shuttle to the hotel after our flight. Everything that could go wrong did, and we ended up late, missed the last shuttle, and there were no accessible taxis available.

While I was contemplating walking to the hotel (not the best idea, I admit), an excellent officer started talking to my son and husband. We explained what was happening, and he did not like my idea of walking. The next thing I know, a group of officers and a pickup pulls up and puts my son in the front seat, wheelchair in the back of the truck, and off we went. Once at the hotel, the same thing happened in reverse.

We could not have been more grateful to those officers. 


Suppose you stay in the city, taxi, public transportation, or rideshare. These seem to be the best methods. When staying in the town many times, we will walk; this is my favorite way to see, feel, and enjoy a new place.

If you are heading outside of the town or making lots of day trips, renting a car might be your best bet.



Hotel, Air B&B, Motel, Timeshare, cruise, or staying with friends and family

Where to stay is a big decision and can affect the rest of your choices. 

Start with looking at your budget.

Think about how you like to vacation; by this, I mean eating habits cooking/eating out, doing laundry on vacation yes/no, whole travel party in one room or house, etc.

And don’t forget to take into account the travel limitations that are in effect right now with the pandemic. Go with what will work for you and your family’s needs.


(One of my favorite subjects) Depending on where you are staying or how you are vacationing will help decide this.

Cruise; well, then you are set! I have never gone on a cruise and thought, “There’s nothing to eat.” you will not have to worry about eating.

If you booked a location where you have a kitchen, you could make your own decisions on if you want to cook and eat in or out. Having a kitchen is my favorite way to vacation, if not on a cruise. It makes our budget stretch a bit further.

No kitchen? Then it would help if you looked at restaurants nearby, whether the hotel offers breakfast, and whether we have a microwave/fridge for snacks and drinks. 

My family has a thing for hotdogs, and we have found that whether it is within the states or another country, everywhere has its version of a hotdog. Finding hotdogs has become our little food safari.

Branson, Missouri

What are you going to do?

There are so many choices of fun things that you can do while on vacation. Look at what your travel party likes to do while on vacation. My family we are not big on doing typical tourist things. We enjoy going off the beaten path, trying local foods, heading behind the curtain, if you will. 

When I booked our Off-Road tour in Iceland, the tour guide asked what we wanted to see. I told him that we didn’t want to see a single tourist for the day. He laughed and made that happen as much as he could.


Once all of these decisions are set, you can move on to the final last-minute plans.

Such as what do I need to pack? 

Waiting to pack is hard for me, and I have been known to pack and unpack multiple times as plans change. But the one thing that you need to consider is the weather. Log in to the local weather stations and look at the 10-day forecast, ask the locals if you know any, follow the location on social media (what are they wearing?)

We got caught in a rainstorm, and I quickly learned that wearing the cute “rain jacket” was not the right decision. Stick to the clothes, you know; lesson learned.

Then you can pack for your trip! 

But make sure that you keep in mind what you are doing and where you might be eating while on your trip. Is there a dress code at a restaurant, will you be swimming, do I need hiking boots, etc. On our Iceland trip, someone told me to make sure that we pack shoes that I could throw out if required. There is red mud that can stain your shoes and melt your soles. We did not have this issue, but it was nice to know we prepared.


Everyone said that it would be cool and wet on our trip to Northern Europe. It was record highs while we were there, and I was so happy that I packed a sundress and tank tops just in case. Layers can be your best friend while traveling.

Hopefully,  breaking down your plans will make you feel more prepared for your trip. But remember, this is a vacation, and things happen; always remember to take a minute breath and go with the flow. Besides, those OMG moments are the ones you will remember years from now and laugh at. 

And if you still feel stressed, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, and we will work together to plan your ultimate vacation together.  

Hats! They are a must in Hawaii.

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