person leaving for vacation

Mental health and medical professionals would all agree that taking a vacation is essential to an individual’s health in many ways. However, just the process of planning your next vacation can be overwhelming for some people. The stress that can sometimes happen as a result of the planning process can significantly impact a person’s view or feeling about their trip. Let’s look at some tips for planning your next vacation that could relieve some of those stressors and make the process a lot easier for you this year.

1. Make a Checklist

person planning their vacationWith all of the planning that has to go into setting up a fun and exciting vacation, that often we either miss something, give up because there is just too much to do, or procrastinate due to struggling to figure out where to begin. Understanding where to start could take a significant amount of pressure off of you while planning your next vacation.  This checklist can be as detailed as you would like, or you could just be using it as a guide. Try things like listing what you would like to do on your trip, places you would like to visit, weather that would be most relaxing for you. By answering these questions, you can pick the right destination for you. For example, if you like beautiful scenery, relaxing soak in a natural hot spring, nature galore, and everything in between, you might decide that visiting Yellowstone Hot Springs is the right choice for you. Once your destination is chosen, then your checklist can move on to the steps you will need to take for travel, lodging, food, activities, etc. You might even request a travel guide from the location that you are considering visiting. Most states/welcome centers have guides for visitors that tell you all of the fun things to do while you are visiting. It all begins with the destination.

2. Taking Time Away

Planning your next vacation will also require you to designate time away from work. Too often we hesitate when it comes to taking time for ourselves and focus too much on the things that we still need to get done for work. Maybe your ability to take time away from work is impacted by how much leave time you have or maybe other people taking their vacation time. Determining how much time you have for your vacation and when you would be traveling will help lead you right into the next step.

saving money for vacation3. Preparing Your Budget

The only person who can do this part is you. This is a very personalized piece of planning your trip, and only you know how much you can afford to spend for your vacation. Maybe you can only take a weekend trip, or you might be able to take 10 days. This is entirely unique to your situation, and should be carefully considered when planning your next vacation. Research the area you are planning to visit (i.e. cost of lodging, food, transportation, etc.). Whatever expenses you might encounter on your vacation should be added in here for an approximate total cost.

It is worth noting that while planning your next vacation, you should always over budget for your trip as there could be expenses you did not account for in the planning process. This will help prevent you from finding yourself in a financial hardship because of possible surprise costs.

4. Stay Focused & Motivated

Sometimes when planning a vacation, the timeline is so distant that we lose focus. It is also possible that we do not feel supported by friends and family about our vacation destination choice. This can lead to diminished excitement about your trip or possible overspending instead of saving for your trip. Don’t let this derail your exciting vacation. Try doing things like making a “Vacation Tip Jar” where you designate a specific amount of money to put in the container weekly or you could put any loose change/paper money that you have at the end of the day into the “bank.” This way you can watch the money growing daily for your trip. You might be surprised how much adds up after just a few months of putting money into your “Vacation Tip Jar.”

man that overpacked for a trip5. Plan Ahead

Packing can be a struggle for any traveler, so plan ahead. “Overpacking is one of the biggest mistakes travelers make,” according to Greg Rodgers from He notes that people tend to go into a “survival mode” state of mind when they are planning a vacation. This filters over to their packing trends. Avoid going down the “what if” rabbit hole, and focus on what you will actually use while traveling. One recommendation is to only pack your bag half full. This will allow you space for anything you might purchase while traveling, dirty laundry, or possibly having to add your toiletries bag the morning you will be traveling. Remember the old saying, “Less is more?” This is true with travel as well. You can plan to do laundry while you are traveling, which would save even more space in your suitcase for your local retail therapy sessions…

friends laughing6. Most Important Tip When Planning Your Next Vacation!!!

Remember to have fun on your trip. Once you have planned everything to where you feel comfortable and confident about your trip, you have your bag packed, your travel in place, and your lodging set, don’t forget the whole reason you are going on vacation. Make sure you have not over booked yourself by turning your vacation into a stress ball of time constraints. Enjoy the location you have chosen. Combine relaxed sight seeing or nature days with some planned events sprinkled in. By making your trip less rigid, you will take the stress off of yourself of having to be specific places by exact times in a packed day. Go enjoy yourself.

Although planning your next vacation can be stressful, you can take several steps to decrease those worries. We have shared a few tips that we hope will help you in your planning process. We would love to see you here at Yellowstone Hot Springs for your next vacation. You even have your choice of lodging whether you want to try out one of our cozy cabins or rough it camping, we’ve got you covered. After a long day of sight-seeing, shopping, or nature walks, you can come relax in our geothermal natural hot springs before turning in for the night.

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