As young adults, travel is a major part of many of our lives. We want to go on an amazing vacation to see a new area of the world and learn about other people. From destination bachelorette parties to spring break to backpacking trips after graduation, there are so many opportunities to travel. There is no time like the present to see all the fantastic sights the world has to offer. But what if you're horrible at vacation planning?
When you are a spontaneous or unorganized person, the idea of sitting down and planning out all the little details of a trip probably makes your eyes glaze over. You could always just buy a plane ticket and see what happens, but if you don't have unlimited money, that may not work for you.
In this post, I've got a handful of ways that you can plan the vacation of your dreams without pulling your hair out. Figure out which of my travel planning tips is the best fit for you and start putting those travel plans together!
Use A Travel Agent
The easiest way to plan an awesome vacation when you are unorganized is to pass off the work to a pro. Travel agents might seem old-fashioned in the age of technology, but they can really help!
First and most importantly, travel agents save your sanity. They plan every aspect of your vacation, so you don't have to stress about it. All you do is go to their office, tell them about the type of trip you want to take, and they do the rest. When you don't have time to scour travel websites to plan your itinerary and find the cheapest hotel and airfare, using a travel agent is pretty much a no-brainer. It's perfect for busy ladies!
In the same vein, travel agents know their field inside and out. They can plan an amazing vacation that's personally tailored to you! If you want an LGBTQ+ inclusive resort, a handicap-friendly hotel, or a destination wedding location suggestion, they can help.
Travel agents also save you money. This statement might sound counterintuitive, but it's true! The pros have access to discounts and deals that the rest of us can't get. Even though travel agents usually charge a small fee for their time, the cash you save from their discounts typically more than makes up for it.
It gets better.
Nobody likes being a pain in the butt, but sometimes it's necessary when you travel. You might need to let your resort know about your food allergies. Or perhaps your flight got canceled, and it messed up your entire vacation. Travel agents take care of that kind of stuff, too! They will advocate on your behalf when something goes wrong. Your trip will be custom-made for you with all the I's dotted and T's crossed.
Have you ever been worried about getting scammed while traveling? It can happen to the best of us. Booking your trip through a travel agent helps reduce your risk. No more having to worry that your hotel will magically be full when you arrive or that your guided tour (that you paid for in advance) is a fake. They also offer travel insurance that covers everything from medical emergencies to lost luggage.
Finally, travel agents are there to help you 24/7. No matter what the time of day, you can call for assistance if something went haywire on your travels. If you book through a travel site or directly with airlines or hotels, you might get stuck on hold for hours. But your travel agent can answer your questions anytime from the start of the booking process until after you return home.
Work Together With A Friend
Sometimes using a travel agent just isn't in the cards. Maybe they are a little out of your price range. Maybe you want to leave for your trip in only a few days or weeks, which is not enough time for a professional to plan for you. Maybe you would rather just DIY your plans to ensure they are just right.
Whatever the reason, planning a trip on your own when you are not the most organized person can be overwhelming. That's why you should enlist a friend! If you are planning to travel with a pal, aim to work together. This way, you will both have equal input as well as an equal amount of work and stress.
Sharing the workload with a friend is one of my favorite vacation planning tips because it has the same benefits as collaborating anywhere else. You can swap itinerary ideas and may end up seeing some sights you would never have thought of on your own! Your pal might have heard of a cool restaurant or museum to try in your destination city that you never knew existed.
Planning an amazing vacation with a friend is also a great way to bond. Traveling with someone can make or break a relationship, but I have a feeling it will bring you and your girl closer together! You will share amazing memories that no one else quite understands, which will bond you for life. Plus, spending hours chatting about all the cool places you will go during the planning process is fun in and of itself.
What's the bottom line?
When you plan a vacation with your BFF, you get to share the work of putting together the ultimate trip. Nobody will get burnt out by the planning process, and you ensure that both of your voices are heard. Putting your heads together makes planning way easier and 100 percent more fun!
Book A Group Tour
Are you an adventurous lady who loves to travel alone? Or maybe you like the idea of solo travel but are too nervous about planning a trip by yourself. That's where guided group tours are the perfect solution.
Group tours are an excellent way to see the world your way without worrying about planning, safety, or finding a travel companion. Simply sign up for a spot on a tour and pay one price for everything you will need. From lodging to activities to transportation to food, packages are usually all-inclusive. No more taking hours and hours to schedule and plan all the different aspects of your vacation!
Another remarkable benefit of group tours is that the organizers find the coolest stuff for you to see and do. If you are like me, you spend tons of time scouring Yelp and TripAdvisor to see what attractions are must-dos wherever I plan on visiting. With a guided tour, they are experts, taking you to both the touristy areas and hidden gems.
Wanna know the best part?
Besides making tons of lifelong memories, you'll also get to meet lots of cool, like-minded people on your tour. Hello, new besties! While you can go on a tour like this with your partner or a friend, there's no need. You definitely won't feel lonely with your wonderful group surrounding you! Plus, having someone to snap your Insta pics makes this a step up from traveling solo.
One of the best tour companies out there for young adults is Contiki. Designed specifically for travelers ages 18 to 35, they offer trips for every travel style. Whether you want a road trip through the American South, a foodie tour of Asia, or a ski trip to the Alps, they have you covered.
A super cool aspect of Contiki's website is the vast array of ways to search for your ideal tour. You can choose based on trip length, destination continent, travel dates, and price. They also sort their tours into travel styles so you can find the trip that is perfect for the way you like to travel.
For instance, Iconic Essentials tours help you see the highlights of your destination without too many bells and whistles. This service is ideal for gals on a budget or those who prefer to stay on the beaten path. Discoverer tours, on the other hand, help you get the most out of your vacation by offering a wide range of experiences.
Tours marked “In-Depth Explorer” let you see your destination like a local and focus on delving deep into their food and culture. Contiki also offers cruises, camping trips, ski trips, and tours centered around festivals and events.
Go With The Flow!
If all else fails and you just can't get your shit together when it comes to vacation planning, go with the flow! Sometimes the best trips are those that don't have a by-the-minute itinerary. If you have a job that allows you to be flexible with dates and enough money, let your vacation take you where it will!
One major benefit of a more impromptu travel style is that you may end up doing things you never dreamed of. You could meet a new friend, explore a city you've never heard of, or experience an aspect of local culture that tourists do not usually see. Sometimes the best vacation memories are those you don't plan on!
Not the spontaneous type?
Even if you don't want to be totally spontaneous, you can always decide to plan your activities once you arrive at your destination. You may find that your must-see attractions take longer or shorter to see that you thought. Or your cab driver gave you a cool suggestion for a dinner spot. Make a list of the highlights for your trip before you depart, then fill in the gaps as you go.
This method is actually how my husband and I approached a lot of our road trip honeymoon through California, and it was so fun! We planned stops on the trip and pretty much winged it once there. It's a lot more fun to discover places on your own than relying solely on review sites to tell you where to eat and what to see.
When traveling without a concrete plan, remember to keep a close eye on your bank account. You definitely do NOT want to get stuck somewhere with no way to get back home! Exchanging currency, booking transportation, and changing lodging often can add up quickly, even if the prices seem cheap.
Need some more tips for organizing your trip? Check out the video below!
In the video below, Aileen Xu, the blogger behind the gorgeous lifestyle blog Lavendaire, explains how to plan out your travel with ease. She covers every step of the process, from budgeting to booking flights. She might even remind you about planning steps you forgot about. Even if you are absolutely horrible at vacation planning, you can follow this video! I love to plan vacations, and her trip planning tips helped me out, too.
It's Time To Get Planning, Girl!
There are two types of people in this world: those who live for planning and organizing and those who hate it. If you're in the second group, the idea of putting together a vacation sounds way too hard. You might even skip out on traveling because you feel too overwhelmed by the idea of planning it.
Don't let the stress of creating travel plans make you miss out on seeing the world! With my tips above, you can plan the trip of your dreams without having a mental breakdown. Whether you recruit a friend, hire a travel agent, or book a group tour, you are sure to have the time of your life!
Do you plan vacations down to the minute, or are you more spontaneous? Which of these methods sounds most fun to you? What are your tips for taking trips when you are horrible at vacation planning? Let us know in the comments below!