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Plan Your 2020 Vacation Now

Planning your 2020 vacation should be stress-free. But the thing is, it can become burdensome and problematic if you have no idea how to plan a vacation trip in the first place. You can always hire someone to help you out, but where’s the fun in that? They will probably just pack you along with other travelers that you are not even familiar with. So if you want to plan an individualized itinerary for your vacation this 2020, you might want to start by breaking down every step. Here are nine major steps that you should take when it comes to planning your next vacation smoothly and efficiently.

1. Choose Your Vacation Destination

Before planning everything else, you will first need to decide where you want to go. This will be the basis of the rest of your moves for planning your vacation. Will it be just outside the town, out of the country, or just a staycation in a fancy hotel in your area? You will have to first decide where you are heading to get a better grasp of how much time you will need to prepare. If it’s just a staycation or an out of town trip, wherein you won’t have to complete any travel papers or buy plane tickets, then you will need at least a few weeks of advanced planning. On the other hand, if you are to fly outside the country, then you’d better start planning your vacation at least three months in advance.

2. Know How to Get There

Before you think about getting relaxed, you’d better prepare yourself for travel, especially if you are thinking about vacationing somewhere far. To help you have a better sense of the travel time you will need to set before you get to your destination. Simple internet research will help you know what to expect about the place. It’s important that you understand their culture, people, weather, currency, and exchange rate, as well as any health concerns or travel bans that you should be aware of. It’s also a good idea to find out how you can navigate around your destination. By doing this, you can better plan your travel itinerary and maximize your vacation time.

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3. Decide When to Go

Most of the time, vacations are planned around spring or summer vacations, as well as birthdays or anniversaries. Depending on what your plans or goals are for your vacation, you should think about the date and the length of your travel. When planning a vacation, you should also consider peak and off-peak seasons for hotels and airlines. If you decide to travel during peak seasons, then you’d better prepare a bigger budget as prices will definitely skyrocket during such times.

4. Plot Your Vacation Itinerary on a Kanban Board

Now that you know more about your destination, it’s time that you start getting into the details of planning your vacation. What you should know about planning a vacation is that it’s like managing a personal project. You will need to plot out everything. And to give you a better visual of your plans, it’s better that you use a Kanban board to help you organize everything. You can start by creating two separate card containers. The first one will contain your travel preparation cards and the next one will contain cards about the activities that you plan to embark on your vacation. Under the Travel Preps card container, create three new columns labeled “To Do”, “Doing” and “Done”. This is where you will keep track of all your preparation tasks such as booking tickets and hotels, conducting research on the places you’ll be visiting, sourcing out affordable rates for tours and activities, and more. By planning with Kanban, it will be easier for you to monitor everything that you need to accomplish and make sure that you will have a stress-free vacation. Don’t have time to build a board from scratch? Check out our Vacation Planning board template

travel kanban board for planning your vacation

For your other card container, you can add another three columns which you can label as “Activities”, “Places” and “Done”. This is where you can add Kanban cards containing trip inspirations, such as famous tourist spots, restaurants, activities, food, and other experiences that you might want to try once you get to your destination. A Kanban board is one of the best tools for planning a vacation as it will help you organize all your tasks, ideas and other information necessary for planning your vacation.

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5. Request Work Leave in Advance

Another step that you will want to do early is to file for leave at work. If you are a freelancer who is free to work anytime, anywhere, you can choose to bring your work with you. But if you want to get away from it all, ease your stress from work and just relax and unwind during your vacation, then make sure that you file for a vacation leave early. Inform your boss or your clients if you won’t be available. You can also choose to provide alternate contact information, especially if you are a business person, where they can reach out to you in case of emergencies.

6. Set Aside Extra Money for Your Trip

If you haven’t done so yet, you should start saving some vacation money as soon as possible. If you want to spend a more leisurely vacation, without having to worry about the price tags for everything, then it’s best that you save up a handsome amount of money. Others tend to save up a year in advance, depending on their financial situation.

If you are well-off financially or if you already have enough money set aside for your vacation, then you might want to consider setting up your other financial sources, such as your credit cards, in time for your travel. Keep in mind that credit card companies implement security measures in case a card is used in a different country. This is done for your own financial safety. So if you have any plans of using your credit card, then you should inform your credit card company in advance on when you will be traveling, for how long, and in what countries.

7. Book Flights and Accommodation in Advance

To help you save some money on travel fares and to make sure that you can guarantee a good accommodation choice for your vacation, it’s best that you book them as early as possible. Most airlines offer seasonal sales, especially for tickets that are booked in advance. So if you are planning to book a plane ticket for your vacation, it’s better that you subscribe for updates and newsletters from your preferred airlines so that you will know when the next ticket sales will be.

For your accommodation, take advantage of sales and promos. Depending on the inclusions, many hotels offer cheaper rates. If you want a more luxurious accommodation, then you should expect a steeper price tag. But if you are looking for a backpacker-style accommodation, depending on the location, you can expect a more affordable price.

Aside from your flights and accommodation, you might also want to check if you will need to rent any form of transportation in advance. Some countries are best enjoyed by driving around in a car or a motorcycle, while in other locations, you can also book a tourist guide who can also provide you with transportation and drive you around the area.

8. Tell Friends & Family Where You’re Going

Whether you are planning a vacation for yourself, with friends or with your family, it’s important that you notify the people closest to you about where you will be going and how long you will be gone. Some tend to disregard this step, but it is essential that you notify some people of your whereabouts. This way, in case an accident occurs or you need someone to help you out with anything, you will have some people you can rely on. 

9. Pack the Necessities

Another important step when planning your vacation is when you are packing your bags. To make it a more comfortable journey, you wouldn’t want to overpack or under pack, so it’s best that you stick to things that you will need. This is where your earlier research can also come in handy. You can decide on what type of clothes you need, what items you can’t bring into the country or on the plane, and other similar baggage concerns.

By being mindful of your packing, you get to make the most of every inch of space in your baggage. To help you make sure that you get to pack everything you need, you can use your travel Kanban board to create a packing list. Then you can simply tick off each item on your checklist as soon as you’ve put them in your suitcase.

Packing list when planning your vacation

In case you need some last-minute shopping for your travel needs, you can also use your vacation planning Kanban board to be reminded of all the tasks that you still have to do. If things are getting to overwhelming, focus on accomplishing at least one task at a time. Once each task is done, you can simply move their card to the Done column until you’ve cleaned up all cards from the To Do and Doing columns. Your goal is to complete each task before your vacation day arrives. Once you have everything prepared, you are all set for some much-needed R and R!

If you miss out on adding some important tasks on your board, try to not be too hard on yourself. Keep in mind that you are planning a vacation to de-stress and relax. There is no one fool-proof way on how to organize a vacation, so try to instead enjoy the process of preparing for your travel and learn from the whole planning experience. Just remember that the most important steps on how to plan a family vacation, a solo trip or a couple’s getaway include organization, preparation, and research. And to help you make sure that you have everything organized and taken care of before you fly off to Vacationville, jot down your to-do lists and ideas using Kanban Zone. This visual project management tool will surely take the stress away as you start planning your vacation for 2020.

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Once you start visualizing your work in Kanban Zone, you will be surprised how much faster it gets done!

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About the Author: Christine Joy Leal

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Christine Joy Leal is an experienced freelance writer and content manager, a happy wife and a mother to two daughters, two dogs and two cats. She loves keeping things in order and enjoys using the Kanban and Agile methodologies to manage all her writing projects, daily tasks, and other personal matters that require efficient organization. Apart from managing her busy content writing career, she also enjoys board and online games, movies, TV shows, and crocheting. She also maintains a blog about her work as a freelance content writer.