Are you wondering how you can be sure you’re planning the best summer vacation? Are you not sure how to go about planning for your vacation this summer? Depending on your circumstances and experience, planning a vacation can seem daunting. And a poorly-planned trip can be more of a headache than a relaxing vacation. Here are some tips to help you plan and get the most out of your summer vacation this year.

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1. Flexibility
It may seem contradictory, but part of good planning is being flexible. If you expect every detail of your plan to play out exactly as it is on paper, you’re likely to end up frustrated. Some things are just not in your control. For instance, heavy traffic, flight delays, and weather can all affect your travel time. So it’s a good idea to allow some extra time for these unpredictable things, and to have a back-up plan (more on that below).

Flexibility also allows for sight-seeing and other diversions. Unplanned stops can make for great memories and experiences.

2. Back-up Plans
It’s not a bad idea to have a back-up plan in case of unforeseen events. For instance, even if you leave early and allow time for a traffic jam, circumstances could come together in such a way that you have to spend the night somewhere before reaching your destination. Before leaving, scope out hotels that are along your route, and bring their information with you.

3. Food
It can cost valuable time if you have to hunt down a restaurant for every meal on travel day. Like the hotels, look ahead to find out where restaurants are located en route. Plan your travel time so that restaurant stops will hit close to meal times.

Also on the topic of food – it’s a good idea to bring snacks, drinks, and non-perishables (like granola bars and tuna packets). This gives you an option if you run out of time and can’t stop for a meal, or it prevents having to find a place to pull off and buy a snack.

4. Pack Light, but be Prepared
It can be a little tricky to be prepared while still keeping your packing light. The key is knowing what to be prepared for. For instance, you can’t be prepared for absolutely everything (or else you’ll end up taking the entire contents of your home along with you!); but you can prepare for some basic things. For instance, prepare for various weather events by packing outfits that can be layered (you can add or remove layers according to the weather). This saves space by not packing different outfits for each possible weather scenario, but it still keeps you covered.

A basic first-aid kit is also a good use of your packing space. It doesn’t have to be big, but it can make all the difference.