• Jessica White

How to Plan Your Next Vacation: A Step-by-Step Guide

The holiday season is upon us – and ‘tis the season for vacation planning!

As the year comes to a close, it is the perfect time to think about plans and goals for the next year. It also happens to be a time when family members gather, and travel tends to be a popular topic of conversation.

It is a big world with infinite travel possibilities and it can be really difficult to nail down a plan, so I have created a step-by-step guide to start the trip planning process.

Read on and you are one step closer to your 2020 getaway…

Step 1: Why are you going?

Few might say this is the first step in planning a vacation, but I find it so important to start with the why. Get out a piece of paper and write down why you want (or need) to go on a vacation. Whether it is to explore a new place, reconnect or celebrate with loved ones, or to take time to relax and rejuvenate, knowing WHY you are looking to get away is an essential starting place.

Step 2: Who is coming?

Identify your travel companions. Is this next trip a family adventure, solo trip, or a romantic couples’ getaway? Knowing who is coming makes everything easier from coordinating schedules to deciding where to go to meet everyone’s needs.

Step 3: When can you go?

What dates can you travel? Sometimes this is limited to school schedules, paid time off, or slow seasons at work. Find the dates that work for you.

Step 4: What do you want to do?

What experiences are you looking to have? What style of vacation? Are you looking to relax on the beach, be very active, or see a specific natural wonder or attraction? Planning out what is important to you makes the next step much easier: where to go.

Step 5: Where to go?

Time to pick a destination! Many might say this is the first step, but I find it so much easier once you have thought about all the factors in steps 1 – 4. If you have a group going, it can be helpful to have everyone write down their top destinations individually and compare notes. It is a great excuse for a fun family activity!

If you have a few top choices, a travel advisor can be helpful in narrowing down which destinations might be best for your dates and travel style.

Step 6: How to make it happen?

Now that you have a clearer idea of who, what, when, where and why… the question is HOW.

First set a budget. This can be a price per night you feel comfortable spending or a range if you do not have an exact number.

After that, next is researching and mapping out the details to create the actual itinerary of the trip, then of course booking it! This is where a travel advisor can really come in handy. All these elements take hours of planning, attention to detail, and project management skills, so a travel professional can help navigate so it is a stress-free process from start to finish.

Interested in chatting to transform your vacation on paper into reality? Let’s do it. You can reach out to me to get started at

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Jessica White Travel is an independent affiliate of Brownell Travel, a Virtuoso Member.
©2018 by Jessica White Travel.