To say it’s been a rough couple of years would be a colossal understatement, and many of us have been struggling to function as we did before as things begin to reopen. The pandemic and the ensuing months-long quarantine period, which forced many of us to stay inside the bounds of our homes and closed many of the establishments we frequented to get away, has worn down on all of us collectively, leaving many feeling depressed and stir-crazy even in the midst of a government-mandated return to normal. If you’re tired of seeing the same four walls, but the thought of going to see your old friends and coworkers in person makes you tremble, you may need to get yourself out of your typical environment, shuck your cares, and have fun relaxing in a different locale.
While that may not be the wisest course of action for the unvaccinated, the widespread proliferation of vaccinations and, now, immunization boosters has brought with it a way to enjoy the things we loved pre-pandemic. While you may still be struggling with a fair amount of pandemic anxiety, it is now safer than it has been in almost two years out there; and for you, a vacation is likely well overdue. With that being said, planning a vacation can be an arduous task; one that has not been made easier in a post-pandemic world. Even so, thinking about and taking care of travel essentials beforehand will make your life much, much easier.
Here are a few things you’ll want to think about as you’re planning your post-pandemic getaway.
What Do You Want to Do?
While this may seem like kind of a no-brainer, knowing what kinds of activities you want to pursue on your vacation is the first thing you should decide on, as it will likely influence every other factor in your vacation planning. Do you want to spend your time hitting theme parks and riding rides with your family, or do you want more of a solitary, outdoor vacation, camping and fishing at popular campgrounds? Do you want to stay within your comfort zone here in the US, or go abroad and experience a different culture, visiting national landmarks and blowing your palette with various culinary delights?
Before you set anything in stone, discuss your plans with your family or whoever else may be going; good vacations are a team effort, and coming to a common understanding of your plans will make it less likely that your vacation will turn sour later.
Housing is Paramount: Know Where You’ll Be Staying
Whether you’re staying here in the States, crossing the pond to stay in the United Kingdom or France, or going even further abroad to nations like Japan and Russia, planning out where you’ll be staying (and in what conditions you’ll be staying in) is of paramount importance, and should be taken care of as soon as possible.
If you’re flying out to another state or territory, you’ll want to evaluate whether staying in a hotel is financially doable or if you’ll want to consider other, possibly more economical options long term, like purchasing a vacation rental home. Should you go with the latter, you’ll be able to rent out your property when you aren’t using it, making a nice bit of extra cash on the side, and there are lenders that specialize in vacation rental properties that will make the process of acquiring one easy for you.
You’ll also want to carefully research the area you’ll be staying in; As a stranger in a strange land, you likely won’t know which areas are safe and which aren’t at first. Make sure your hotel or vacation home is in a safe area, and make sure you know which areas of town you shouldn’t go walking in at night.
Budget Accordingly: Plan for the Unexpected
When planning a trip, you should set aside money for all the following categories: plane tickets (or gas money, should you be driving), funds for rent at a hotel or vacation home, food (plan on spending an average of $15 per meal; it’s likely more than you’ll need, but that will serve you in the long run), money for planned activities, and souvenirs. While you can probably cut a category or two from that list if need be, you should expect to spend some money in each category.
Getting Away From the Mundane
Whether your planned vacation lasts as long as a month or as little as a few days, getting away from the horrors of our day-to-day life will no doubt reinvigorate you and your family. Take some time to have some fun; After the last couple of years, we’ve all earned it.