10 Vacation Planning Tips to Save You Time, Hassle And Aggravation

Whether you are planning a Disney vacation, a cruise vacation or a London vacation, vacation planning is absolutely essential to save you time and hassle later on. Here are my top 10 vacation planning tips to help you organise your holiday plans.

1. If you are travelling alone then it is your decision alone where you want to go for your vacation. But if you are planning a family vacation then it is wise for every member of the family to get involved and vote to decide on your holiday destination. You don't want to hear from any family member during the vacation that this is not their choice of holiday. This is a democratic decision so everybody has to accept it.

2. On the assumption that the family has decided that London is to be their vacation destination, then check if an entry visa to the UK is required. Check the passports of every family member to ensure of their validity. The rules are not clear on this matter so allow 6 months validity on the passports to be on the safe side.

Before you do your vacation planning, i.e. making reservations with the travel agents or booking your holidays online, check the dates of your vacation with your employers - just to make sure there isn't a clash of holiday dates with your colleagues.

3. Decide on your travel budget. Take into account the costs of:

- airline tickets,

- hotel accommodation,

- car hire

- entertainment / attractions / sightseeing (the cheapest way to do it is to buy a London Pass)

- theatre shows / concerts

- shopping

- eating out

There are many places in London you can visit for free. These include:

- museums

- parks

- window shopping

- sightseeing

- London walks

4. The next step is to go online or to your travel agents and see if there any speacial vacation packages to London on offer. If there are no any suitable packages on offer, then your vacation planning would require you to individually book your flights to London, hotels in London or hostels and car hire. There are good hotel deals in London and you can commence your Vacation planning for hotels in London here. If you are travelling on a budget, hostels in London are very popular and they are good value for money. They are also centrally located.

5. It is vital that you buy travel insurance to provide cover for yourself and your family for the entire vacation. Check with your travel insurance agents and tell them what activities you and your family plan to be doing during your vacation. It is an added cost to your vacation but it's better to be prudent than be sorry.

6. Your vacation planning will have to include what you are going to do for entertainment. There are many attractions in London that are free to visit as mentioned above. However, many visitors in London don't want to miss a theatre show in the West End.

Regents Park Entrance

Many visitors want to visit the London Zoo, the Tower of Lodon, Windsor Castle, or have a river cruise along the River Thames to have different views of famous London landscapes and many, many more attractions that do charge admission fees. They are costly if you pay for them individually. The cost-effective way to go sightseeing in London is to buy a London Pass where you pay a one-off price for the pass and you can visit any of the 55 attractions included in the London Pass. There are 4 duration passes (1 day, 2 days, 3 days and 6 days) to choose from and you can visit as many of the attractions as you like for no additional charge.

Leicester Square Eating Out

Gerrard Street Eating Out

7. Eating out in London is fun but can be expensive, especially if you have a few kids with you. However, with a bit of vacation planning you should be able to make considerable savings on your restaurant bills. Many restaurants in London have "buy 1 get 1 free" offers on production of the offer vouchers. You can get these vouchers on the internet and print them off before you take your flights to London. Just make sure that you only print those vouchers that are valid during your vacation in London.

8. Credit cards are the most convenient way of paying for your purchases. Although departmental stores in London will accept the Euros, US$ and several other major currencies, the conversion rates are very much in their favour. You have a rough idea from your vacation planning how much cash or travellers cheques you need. Many items of expenses would have already been paid for by credit card when you purchased them online. So do make sure that you have bought sufficient £ sterling to see you through your vacation. If you run out of sterling, then you can exchange your currency at Bureau de Change shops which can be found almost everywhere.

London Eye

9. Don't forget to check your travel accessories, like your cameras and camcorders, to make sure that they are in working worder. You don't want to arrrive at your destination to find that they not not functional. You need them to be working to capture the memories of your vacation and to share them with your friends and relatives when you get home. If you need to recharge the batteries of your appliances, you'll need to bring along a travel adaptor.

10. If you have daily deliveries of newspapers, milk, etc, make sure you cancel them before you leave for your vacation. You don't want to leave tell-tale signs to the neighbourhood burglars that you're away. Let your friendly neighbours or relatives know that you'll be away on vcation until xxxxx, and tell them that you'll appreciate it very much if they can keep a watch on your property while you are away. Don't forget to buy them a gift from London to show your appreciation.

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