Whether you’re traveling in a small group, as a couple, or whether you’re jetting off in a huge group of 10+ people: planning travel is never easy. Often, it’s the planning side of the trip that stresses us out more than any normal part of our jobs (the very thing we’re trying to escape from!) – so anything that streamlines and takes the agony out of our planning will add calmness to your day.
So here are some tips for a pain-free planning experience, which will not only ensure you get the holiday you want, but will ensure your blood pressure stays normal too! Because holidays shouldn’t make you more stressed… they should shed you of your worries!
- Sort out budget ASAP
- Utilize tools to streamline the process
- Nominate people in the group
- Look for flash sales
- Download a packing app
Budget is likely to be the biggest factor of stress, as money issues have a tendency of causing friction and disagreements within a group. Try and sort out your budget early on in the booking process so you know exactly what you can and cannot book. After all, there’s no point in looking at expensive hotels if you’re all on a budget. Remember too, to include add-ons such as food costs, entry costs for local attractions and even taxi costs once you arrive.
There are loads of tools out there to help you out with planning your travels, so finding one tailored to your needs is a great idea and could not only save you stress but also save you time, too. Hipmunk has a group flight booking tool that lets you coordinate your and other people’s flights and hotels. If the idea of mentally storing your schedule, your spouse’s schedule and the nanny’s schedule then downloading a tool to do all the hard work is definitely a must. This tool is typically used for executive assistants, but take a cue from the pros and use it as an individual if you are a frequent traveller!
Nominate people in your group to look after certain parts of the trip, let someone be in charge of organizing food and nights out, task someone else with collecting money, another with organizing schedules and another with organizing flights and accommodation. That way, no one person is holding everything on their own shoulders.
If you’re after cheap deals then why not check out some flash sales sites? You’ll get the luxury of full price 4* and 5* hotels but at a cut down price. If you’re willing to take a gamble though – as these deals often crop up for two or three days only. This works best for small groups and couples – but could seriously reduce the “budget stress” if you manage to grab a super cheap deal!
For me, I always find that a big part of planning and a big cause of stress is often the packing part. There are loads of apps out there which let you create a “packing check list” meaning you can be sure you’ve not only packed everything you need – but that you haven’t left anything behind on your way home. This app is great if you have kids too, as it saves the tears and tantrums when teddy isn’t accidentally left behind.
Adria Saracino is a marketer and blogger. When not wanderlusting and dreaming up her next vacation, you can find her writing about style on her personal fashion blog, The Emerald Closet.