I’m planning a mammoth holiday at the moment – taking a whole month off to do some serious exploring, serious relaxing and serious creative reawakening!
As exciting as taking a whole month off is, it’s also been a bit daunting. Taking a whole month off, using up all those annual leave days, means that I want to make sure I get the most out of the time! And being the planning fanatic that I am, I bought some of those huge post it notes and started a count down calendar of epic proportions!
While flip chart pens and post it notes might not be your ideal, the thought of planning a holiday can sometimes be so overwhelming that it’s easier not to take a holiday, rather than go through the pain of planning it!
And whilst in most cases I would agree that pain should be avoided at all costs… in the case of holiday planning I have to respectfully disagree! Approaching holiday planning with a few simple steps can take a whole lot of the sting out…
1. Get inspired
What do you love doing on a break away? Are you a bushwalker, surfer, laze-around-the-pooler? Whatever your holiday preference – start reading reviews from other travelers (perhaps other Owners via the Champion Forum), create a Pinterest Board and pin your favourite ideas. Virtually scrap book to your hearts content – think big, creative and expansive. Create your holiday ‘dream board’!
How to make those dreams come true! Work out how long you can take, when’s best and work backward from those dates to work out how many weeks or months you have ahead of you. Then create a saving’s/budget plan.
For me, our saving strategies for our holiday have been three-fold;
- We worked out how much we were spending on coffee/takeout/luxuries each week and decided to set up a savings account and automatically transfer this amount each week
- This year we decided all our tax return would go directly to the ‘live life’ holiday fund
- A few years ago a friend shared a great idea – don’t spend anything gold. Instead, whenever you receive a gold coin as change, keep it and create a specific money box (or in our case an old coffee tin with a hole in the top!), keep it somewhere easily accessible. Come home, drop your gold shrapnel into the tin and forget about it until a few weeks out from your holiday. This has been one of the funnest ways we have saved money for our holiday ‘splurges’.
Working out how much you can save, gives you a good picture of what your budget could be – then it’s a matter of sticking to your plan and keeping your dream holiday in focus!
3. Do some research.
Notice I said ‘some’ not ‘a whole lot’ or ‘extensive amounts of research that takes up whole note books’ or ‘all the storage space on your computer’. In my experience – research the key things, the things you don’t want to miss, the big attractions, but leave room for the local hints, or self guided mystery tours (…what others call ‘taking a wrong turn’) – the stuff you can only find out when you are at your destination. Keeping your ‘have to’s’ to just the priorities allows you flexibility to explore when you reach your destination and discover new things off the beaten track.
4. Have some contingencies
Keep your mind at ease – if travelling overseas, leave copies of everything important with family or friends. If travelling locally, and perhaps ‘road tripping’, have some ‘good places to stop’ in mind – just in case of car sickness, warring backseaters or lunch breaks.
Having some ‘backstops’, even if they are never used, helps keep me relaxed – so I can enjoy the journey just as much as the destination.
Holiday planning can be part of the fun – so take your time and give yourself permission to take it easy!
Happy holidays from me to you!
*** Selah ***