family walking hand in hand down beautiful beach while on their ultimate dream vacation.

Tips for the Ultimate Dream Vacation

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

After a lot of anticipation, it’s finally here — your dream vacation! But before you pack your bags and hit the road, study up on these 10 tips to make sure you get the most out of your travels.

Whether you’re hitting the beach, embarking on a cross-country road trip or backpacking through Europe, taking a dream vacation is something we all can relate to! And travel can be one of the most transformative and impactful experiences of your lifetime, so you’ll want to do it right.

Keep these ten tips in your back pocket and get the most out of your travel dreams — no matter where they take you.

Plan ahead. Although taking off without any real plans might feel adventurous, it’s not the best idea for everyone. Taking time now to research your destination, the culture, the top sites and the best transportation from point-A to point-B will allow you more time to actually enjoy your vacation and get the most out of each destination! Plus, planning ahead is half the fun, right?

Rest later. Unless you plan on lounging by a beach your entire vacation (power to you!), don’t bank on having a super relaxing time. Get out there and see anything and everything you can! You won’t regret the long days and action-packed evenings.

Don’t stress. On the flip side, don’t fill your days too much. See as much as you can, but keep in mind that you can’t see it all. All the more reason to come back some day!

Venture off. To really experience the culture, venture off the beaten path and hit up spots the locals frequent. How will you know where to go? Ask! Most people love sharing what makes their city unique with tourists who show a genuine interest.

Get a guide. If you’re looking to really understand a famous monument or a new city, it’s worth shelling out some cash for a good tour guide. You’d be surprised at how much they can teach you! The internet has nothing on a seasoned guide.

Choose travel companions carefully. No matter who you choose to venture with, it’s important to schedule some alone time to explore your unique interests. But, odds are you’ll be spending a lot of time with your chosen companion(s). So, make sure they are easy to get along with and understand your expectations of the trip — it’ll save you stress during your well-deserved time away!

Be present. A picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you should hide behind your camera or obsessively share your every stop on social media. Enjoy the moment! Take time to look around you and really experience your vacation. After all, what good is a picture or post when you have no real memories of being there?

Ignore work. Try not to think about what’s going on at the office or the responsibilities you’ve left at home. They’ll be there when you get back. You deserve this time to make memories and experience new things! Plus, using your vacation to really get away will help you return to your life refreshed and ready to take on your day-to-day.

Be generous with your budget. Nothing puts a damper on a trip like funds running dry. Make sure to save and budget ahead of time so you have the money needed to really enjoy your vacation — eat that pricy meal, go on that once-in-a-lifetime excursion, invest in that special memento — you deserve it!

Have fun! Last but not least, enjoy yourself! No matter how much planning you do and what you expect, it won’t go exactly as planned, and that’s ok! Got lost on your way to dinner? Use it as an excuse to try something completely new! Rain ruined your beach day? Spend the day at a local museum instead! No matter what, be flexible and try not to stress. Some of the best memories come from the most unexpected experiences.

There’s nothing like fulfilling your travel dreams. With these tips in your arsenal, you’ll become a pro vacationer in no time. Here’s to many more adventures to come!

Want more tips and motivation?Join the dream movement today — we’ve got just the resources to help support and guide you along any dream pursuit.

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