Getting Ready for Vacation: 5 Tips to Enjoy a Perfect Summer Getaway!

Getting ready for vacation takes some planning, and summer vacations are just around the corner. During your vacation, you’ll probably want to rest and recover from work and the often hectic everyday life.

Regardless of whether you’re planning to take a road trip across the country or jet off to a faraway exotic destination, you want it to be great. That means you should plan ahead of time and use some clever ideas to maximize your summer getaway.

Follow this proven advice below to get the maximum benefit and pleasure from your vacation. If you do, you’ll have a better chance of enjoying a perfect summer getaway!

getting ready for vacation

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn easy tips for a getting ready for vacation. The steps for a better summer vacation include:

5 Tips for a Better Summer Vacation

1. Preparing for Vacation in Advance

Before you plan your vacation, you should envision what the vacation will look like. 

That way, you can maximize your summer getaway.

Which of these vacation ideas sound like the right fit for you? 

  • Take a small trip
  • Stay in the country or go abroad
  • Take it easy at home (staycation) 
  • Looking to party and attend music festivals? 

Once you’ve decided the type of experience you want to have, it’s a good idea to make sure everyone who’ll be part of the vacation is on board.

That may be your family members or friends who are joining you on the trip. 

You’ll want to decide on your travel dates, destination(s), budget, transportation, and packing list.

If it’s a family vacation, come up with a checklist of items to do and share the responsibilities with others traveling with you.

And if you’ll be traveling outside the country, make sure to check your passport’s condition and validity to ensure your travels run smoothly.

You also want to includes anyone you’ll visit in your travel plans.

Ideally, you’ll let them know you’ll be in the area well in advance. That way, they can plan your visit in their schedule and enjoy your company.

Taking Impromptu Trips

Or, you can make impromptu plans that don’t require a lot of planning.

For instance, say you live somewhere in California and you’re thinking about spending a couple of relaxing days in San Jose alone or with your significant other.

It’s easy enough to look for 1 bedroom apartments for rent in San Jose and book short trips.

Then, you can think about which beach to spend your day with a cocktail in your hand. 

Even when it comes to quick getaways though, the bottom line is that you should always prepare to some degree before going on vacation. 

Essentials to Plan Ahead When Getting Ready for Vacation

As the temperatures rise, the number of vacationers grows, too. Planning ahead of time is key if you want freedom of choice. 

That includes choosing your:

  • Destination(s)
  • Hotels
  • Airline seats
  • Rental Car
  • Tours, tour guides, and activities

You don’t want to find things booked up, or other unpleasant surprises at the last minute.

2. Transitioning to Vacation Mode

When most of the preparations are complete, you can start unwinding. At the same time, you’ll be ramping up your vacation nplanning.

Do this in the last weeks before your vacation. In fact, you may not even have to think about it – your mind might already start “checking out.” 

But if not, here are some helpful tips to plan a week or two before your trip:

  • Take things slow and try not to focus too much on the problems at work or at home.
  • If you usually stay past your work hours, begin leaving work on time — or even a few minutes early, if possible.
  • Delegate your work tasks and home responsibilities. This may include setting up a house sitter, pet sitter, security company, or other service providers.
  • Start thinking about how you want to spend your time on your vacation. 
  • Let a trusted neighbor and the post office know you’ll be away. You might leave your neighbor with a list of emergency numbers and house key, too. That way, they can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.
  • Tell credit card companies and cell phone provider you’ll be traveling, especially if it’s an international trip.
  • Check to make sure you’ll have enough prescription medication for the trip.
  • Purchase travel insurance so you don’t have to worry about cancelations.

The Last Minute Details

And then there’s the last-minute details you can do a few days before your travel. They include:

  • Draft up your packing checklist so you have time to add and subtract from it. Try to bring only the essential items, especially if your accommodations will have a washing machine you can use.
  • If you’re flying, print or download your boarding passes to easily get through check in and airport security
  • Get some good rest before hitting the road so you won’t be completely exhausted when the long-awaited vacation finally begins. 
  • Leave enough buffer time at departure for unexpected delays.

These tips will allow you to begin disengaging from your daily life and responsibilities.

Think of it as something of a warm-up exercise. And then, you can transition to the action items for planning your trip.

That way, you will enjoy everything to the fullest from day one of your vacation.

Related: Avoid making these common homeowner mistakes when you go on vacation.

3. Logging Out: The Digital Detox

plan a better vacation

Disconnecting from technology can be one of the most difficult things to do. But logging out is also one of the most important things you can do, especially during your vacation time.

You’ll want to log out for a digital detox by opting out of:

  • Social media
  • Work email
  • Phone calls
  • News

If you don’t unplug while you’re vacationing, the brain cannot unwind as it should. 

You may not want to log out completely, but set a reasonable goal and stick to it.

Decide when you can check social media and news and adhere to this rule.

You may even take the whole week without any technology to distract you. 

Yes, you can do it, and this will also teach and motivate your children to do the same.It may be hard the first few days, but after a while, you’ll stop thinking about it as much.

Doing so will allow you to be more present.

A good tip is to set up an away message on auto-reply so your email can send automatic out-of-office replies. Set up a similar message on your mobile phone. 

If you must be available for work or family, set a time when you are reachable and notify everyone who needs to know.

4. The Art of Being Social

Once you reduce the time you spend in front of the computer or on your mobile phone, you’ll want to socialize and hang out with loved ones in real life. 

When you think about it, you may not be as social with each other as you once were. Or, maybe you’re just getting to know each other on a couples vacation.

Either way, look to explore a mix of exciting and relaxing activities together as the best way to spend your vacation. If you need inspiration, try:

  • Reading magazines and books
  • Walking and being in nature
  • Relaxing by the pool or water
  • Hanging out with friends and family
  • Fishing together 
  • Playing games or beach activities
  • Working in the garden (on staycation)

These are just some of the activities that the brain and body perceive as de-stressing. 

Working with your hands does wonders for your mind and body, so if you like swimming, painting, doing exercise, or even cooking, do it–preferably together with others.

Related: Learn about the best travel hobbies you might take up.

5. Taking the Time to Reflect

reflecting on vacation

If possible, feel free to take a longer vacation so that you have time to unwind and self-reflect.

When you relax and have time to just be in the moment, you’ll find that’s when the best ideas and plans emerge.

You’ll discover new perspectives and develop new ideas. This is not otherwise possible if you’re always on the go at home!

Summer vacations are the perfect opportunity to think about preparing for the season ahead. If you expect a busy autumn, think about how you can practice better habits at work and in life.

That way, you can find new ways to feel better and reduce your stress.

Part of the benefit of vacation is not only the experiences, but the opportunities to take a reflective pause.

You might be amazed at the insights you’ll have when you have a quiet moment. 

Related: Journaling While on Vacation (99 vacation prompts)

Final Thoughts on Getting Ready for Vacation 

In no time at all, you’ll be ready to enjoy a better vacation.

With some careful planning when getting ready for vacation and a little inspiration, you’ll make the best of every moment away.

If nothing else, you’ll have peace of mind that you’ve covered all your bases and will have a great time.

In fact, you might come back ready to plan your next trip!

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Photo credits: Jump: Artem Beliaikin, Woman: Te lensFix, Beach: Daniel Nouri (Pexels)

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

20 thoughts on “Getting Ready for Vacation: 5 Tips to Enjoy a Perfect Summer Getaway!

  • July 21, 2022 at 11:23 am
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    Cool ideas! Unfortunately, some people don’t have an opportunity to go somewhere on a vacation, but it’s not as bad as it would seem, especially if they have a swimming pool and have fun and relax with the whole family just in the yard.

    Reply
    • July 21, 2022 at 12:37 pm
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      This is true, John. Read more about staycations here and also how to create a great backyard environment here!

      Reply
  • June 29, 2022 at 2:08 am
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    Great tips! To me the digital detox is especially important. I love to disconnect from the social media etc to fully enjoy my trip. 🙌

    Reply
    • June 29, 2022 at 9:54 am
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      It is! Disconnecting to truly be present when traveling is so overlooked. So glad you do that.

      Reply
  • April 30, 2022 at 3:26 pm
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    These are super handy tips. I always love to do planning before my trip. During my trips, I like to go slow. It’s very important to spend time with yourself and ur travel partners leaving aside your gadets. I generally avoid the phone when I am actually on vacation. Loved the post.

    Reply
    • May 1, 2022 at 4:33 pm
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      You make an excellent point, Parnashree! So often, people continue to rush while on vacation.

      Reply
  • April 29, 2022 at 5:25 am
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    That’s a long list of things that I often miss while going for a vacation and later I regret that oh I should have informed my neighbor or maybe told my credit card company, etc. Hope this will be helpful for me next time I go out.

    Reply
  • April 28, 2022 at 2:54 pm
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    These are very informative tips on getting ready for vacations. Especially last minute details before heading for a vacation and digital detox.

    Reply
  • April 27, 2022 at 11:08 am
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    We are retired and are always on vacation mode. But every winter we do one that is a true vacation. We spend 3 months in an all-inclusive resort in Mexico.

    Reply
    • April 28, 2022 at 11:12 am
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      That sounds amazing, Carol! Long-stay vacations are the best… and Mexico is a great place for them!

      Reply
  • April 26, 2022 at 4:12 am
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    I must admit that both my husband and I are planning geeks. So we put a lot of time and energy into planning. Even with impromptu trips we pull out our packing list 🙂 Good to have “transitioning” on your list of things to do. If you can forget about things at home as much as possible it makes your travel more enjoyable. The one I have trouble with most is disconnecting (she says as she types on vacation now!). As a hard over introvert, I do seek those times for quiet and to get away from the crowds. A good blog post for people to look at before they head off for vacation.

    Reply
    • April 26, 2022 at 7:00 am
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      Thanks, Linda! I am sure you’re not the only one who struggles to disconnect while on vacation – and especially appreciate your comment for that reason. Have a great trip!

      Reply
  • April 25, 2022 at 8:28 am
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    Such great advice to start winding down BEFORE vacation. I tend to wind up trying to get everything done at work and home before I go + all the travel plans. Then I’m exhausted and sometimes even get sick.

    Reply
    • April 25, 2022 at 7:38 pm
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      Thank you, Sherianne. Isn’t that the truth about the wind up before taking off? It definitely takes some doing to be intentional about the wind down before going – and so worth it! Be well!

      Reply
  • April 25, 2022 at 2:31 am
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    These are great tips Jackie. I am getting better at logging out and having a digital detox. It makes a big difference and I get to really enjoy the trip than think about social media. Walking in nature is really our thing!

    Reply
    • April 25, 2022 at 7:23 am
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      Great to hear you are finding ways to be in the moment, Lisa. I love the outdoors, too!

      Reply
  • April 24, 2022 at 9:09 pm
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    This is really a timely topic since vacation is coming soon for me! Tip number three is highly relevant. I also find it helpful to create a vision board for what I want my holiday to be like. This coincides with your first tip. With your advice, I’m confident I’ll have such a great vacation – thank you so much! I’m definitely pinning this for less stressful summer holidays.

    Reply
    • April 25, 2022 at 7:25 am
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      Thanks, Maria! I love your idea of a vision board! That way, you have a better chance of realizing the vacation you envision!

      Reply

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