The amount of vacation time you have plays a big roll in deciding where you travel. With a traditional job in the US with just two or three weeks vacation, or even another country that allows for four to six weeks vacation, you have a limited amount of time to spend on travel. Here are a few simple things to think about when determining how much time you have.
Time for travel
You might have a certain amount of vacation days each year you always use to visit family for the holidays. Or maybe you know you’ll want a random day off in the middle of the year to just relax at home. How much time do you have leftover that you are willing to use for your vacation?
Determining how much you have left to use is the first step in deciding where you can travel. If you only have a week leftover, a trip to New Zealand (if you live in the US or Europe) might be tricky considering how long it takes to get there and the drastic time zone change.
Time equals distance
The longer you have for your vacation, the farther away you can go. Sounds logical, right? But just how far can you go?
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Start looking at how long it takes to get from your home to the destination you’re thinking of. If you live in the eastern US, a nonstop flight to western Europe will probably take eight to 10 hours. If you live in the middle or western part of the country, it’ll take longer and you might not even get a nonstop flight. Looking at eastern Europe or a city or island that doesn’t have a major international airport? Tack on a few more hours. Any standard flight booking site will be able to show you what the flight times look like.
Also take into account that the more time zones you travel through, the more likely you are to suffer some jet lag. You will probably need to take it easy that first day, so you won’t fit in as much sightseeing. It’s a good idea to not even count that day as one of the days you have to spend in your destination since you won’t have much energy.
Time to Relax
If you are the type of traveler who wants to lounge on the beach for a week, making sure you have enough time to relax probably won’t be a problem. But if you’re the type to pack in as many activities as possible, you will need time to relax. Leave yourself a day here and there to just enjoy where you are. Don’t plan so many activities that you don’t have any down time.
I’ve planned trips before where I went from city to city at such a fast pace that I had a meltdown once I got to the fourth city in five days. Don’t let this happen to you. Give yourself a little wiggle room. If you think you need three days, plan four instead. An extra day can give you time to do something you didn’t discover until you arrived. Or just relax at a cafe and soak up the atmosphere.
Planning out the amount of time you have for your vacation is just one step in the planning process, but it’s an important one. Don’t stretch yourself too thin, and make sure you plan enough time to see what you really want to see. Following these simple steps will go a long way towards helping you have an easier and more enjoyable vacation.
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