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Think, Plan, Travel and Vacation Intelligently

© Donald Reinhardt, June 1, 2011 

A good vacation is still possible for vacationers who are on limited and tight budgets and faced with rising costs. Here are a dozen useful ideas to review for your vacation plans and planning.
Vacations are good. Winery Tour Site, Oregon. Photo Credit: Government of Grants Pass, Oregon

Vacations – Think and Plan Well and You Should Do Well

If given a choice between a planned and an unplanned vacation, the best choice is some reasonable good planning and management of a vacation. Here are twelve ideas that help toward that goal.

1. Vacations – Where to go and how much to spend or budget are the two primary, major decisions for any vacation.

Plan a vacation to a place you know you would like to visit. It may be completely new or it might be a place that is a common ritual of yearly travel. It could be relatively close or quite far, but make sure it fits your budget. Often the vacation place that is chosen dictates the actual and real vacation budget. Therefore, since the vacation place is a big factor for your budget, think well and long about that place. Make a list of possibilities and list in two columns the pros and cons of each possible vacation place.

2. A Realistic Vacation Budget you can live with is important. Make room for an overage error of 10 to 20 % based on unknown or unexpected expenses.

3. Choose only a place or places that fit your budget and which are clean and comfortable. Sometimes a penny-pinched budget leads to uncomfortable or unpleasant homes away from home. Sometimes a few dollars more gets you a much better place to stay. Pay attention to customer reviews and read as many as are needed. If there are no reviews of the vacation spot, be wary. A dozen different vacationer evaluations is a good number to have and consider for any intended location or stay.

3. If driving to your vacation place make sure the oil, tires and car fluids are all checked and up to standards.

4. Make a list of everything you will need for your vacation, and be realistic so that you are not trying to carry half the contents of your home with you. If there are washer and dryer facilities available, less clothes makes for easier and less bulky travel.

5. Plan your dates and route(s) carefully. Travel at the lower rates and times is helpful. Remember thaw travel errors can be costly in terms of time and money, so avoid mistakes by planning well. Even a GPS can lead a driver astray so use everything wisely and alertly. Obtain good, updated maps at Welcome Centers when traveling from city to city, state to state (or country to country if that is the case).

6. List the important must do things for you: rest for two full days, hike, bike, walk, swim, sightsee, visit museums, go to theatre, etc. Good sunscreen protection is a must for most vacationers planning many outside, sun-exposed activities. Don’t forget sunscreen so that you can avoid sunburn and protect and maintain skin health.

7. Be prepared to alter your plans when necessary and make sure you dialogue with everyone in the family who is going on the trip as to what some plans are. Get everyone’s input to share the interest and enthusiasm for the trip.

8. When traveling by car pack some snacks and drinks and items to freshen up and stay alert. If driving long distances, recommended are stops of 10 minutes for every two hours of driving or 100 miles. These stops refresh, maintain good and necessary blood circulation and muscle tone and help maintain mental alertness. In a recent 12-hr drive of 612 miles we did 6 stops that were all worthwhile and although we arrived tired but not exhausted.

9. Remember to secure your valuables and monitor everything well. Traveler’s checks in $50 dollar amounts are very good, whereas $20 checks are cumbersome to write up initially. Consider using your credit card often for security and to monitor your expenses as long as you are not overextended on the credit side of your ledger. Travel with the bare minimum of jewelry or fancy watches, cameras or computers. If these are carried along make sure they are secured and protected.

10. Make sure you have cell phone cords and chargers and that you do not leave them behind at motels or rest stops along the vacation way.

11. If driving, have lively music on hand to keep you alert as a driver and focus your attention to the road at all times. A few seconds of daydreaming can spell disaster so, be an alert driver always.

12. Remember to tip fairly and adequately for good service and minimally for poorer service. Reward excellence just as you would expect to be rewarded. Good reward for good service should be an important part of your vacation and life. 


Enjoy you trip, travels and vacations. Today’s travels and memories are tomorrow’s memories, stories and tales of leisure and adventure. Remember that travel does broaden the mind and improper eating can broaden the body. So, keep everything you do in proper balance and perspective and have a great trip and vacation as you think well and live well