Holidays can feel like they’re built for staying at home, but every once in a great while we get to explore a little bit of the world on our favorite holidays. The key with a holiday getaway, as with any trip, is to lock everything in early and make sure that all parties involved are on the same page. It’s like a good holiday party – if everyone knows their part, the whole thing can (for the most part) fall in place pretty easily. Here are some suggestions for planning that holiday party out in advance.
Avoid Conflicts (and Conflict!)
Communicating with your family and friend groups can be daunting, especially if you’re dealing with a large travel group. Settle on your destination or destinations early, so that no one is surprised and so that if there are any drop-outs (it’s going to happen) can happen before too much money has been spent on their part. One really helpful way to make sure there’s less conflict for large holiday trips is to assign a leader for every few groups of people – one person in each family or small friend group – that person can communicate with their segment and make the planning that much easier.
Compare Prices and Set Alerts
You might even find yourself speaking to a travel agent if the trip is complicated enough, but if you’re doing it all yourself, one big key to making sure you get the best deal is to set travel alerts on Google or your preferred service. This will let you know when the lowest travel prices are so that you can lock the cheapest prices in early.
Get Your Presents in Advance
If the trip itself isn’t the gift, or if you simply want to do more, get everything in advance, and have it shipped to your destination if possible. You may hold onto it and mail it off just before you leave. You may even want to find a subscription box themed to your holiday adventures – maybe you went to Japan and want to send people Japanese snacks every month for a year, or maybe you toured the distilleries off the coast of Scotland and want to send out a new scotch each month – find something to bring back the fond memories.
Schedule Out Your Housesitting
Pets, plants, lights and cameras are all critical, and you may need more than a few hands (and copies of keys!) involved. Make sure everyone knows the schedules for feeding and walking pets, and make sure someone can monitor and keep active any security systems.
Create a Checklist You Can Update
If your holiday trips are going to become a new holiday tradition, they need to go off without a hitch, or with as few hitches as possible. Creating shared checklists, like in Google Docs or another notetaking/list making app, will allow everyone to suggest packing lists and keep everyone on the same page. It is especially helpful if you’ve divided the group up into smaller ones.