How to Get Ready for a Winter Vacation

How to Get Ready for a Winter Vacation
  • Opening Intro -

    Summer vacations are a big deal for families, an opportunity for parents, children and extended family members to get away for a week or two at the beach, the lake or in the mountains.


Winter vacations have been coming on strong in recent years as people want to enjoy more time away from the routines of life, with trips to the ski slopes or the tropics planned.

If you are planning a trip this January, February or March, there are some things you can do to ensure that your time away is fun, relaxing and affordable.

1. Make a plan. Where do you want to go and how long do you want to stay? Will you be traveling by aircraft, car, train or bus? Early planning can yield significant savings, especially if you bundle your trip. You can reduce the cost of your vacation by booking your travel arrangements — airfare, hotel stay and car rental — at the same time. Look for hot deals to help you save money.

2. Pack wisely. Bring enough clothes so that you won’t have to do laundry while away, but not too many clothes that you will have to check luggage or haul heavy suitcases wherever you go. Airlines charge big fees for checked luggage — limit what you bring or risk paying extra.

3. Get your house ready. You do not want to return home to a messy house, so take care to leave it in an orderly fashion when you hit the road. Run the dishwasher, put laundry in its place and have the kids clean their rooms. Ask a neighbor to collect your mail and leave an emergency number where you can be reached just in case the pipes burst while you are gone.

4. Leave for your destination. Allow ample time to get to the airport, the train station or to the bus terminal. If you are driving, make sure that your car is ready for the trip, with its registration and insurance information updated. Check the tires before you leave as well as the fluids. If the weather is bad, consider delaying the start of your trip until the storm moves through.

5. Make good use of your time. Once you arrive at your destination, make wise use of your time by doing the things you want to do. Prioritize the places you want to see, the people you want to visit and the things that you want to do. Remember: a vacation is supposed to be relaxing and not a stress-inducing event.

6. Take lots of pictures. Bring a camera with you because your smart phone just won’t do it by itself. Bring along a backup card reader and take as many shots as your camera allows. You will download these when you get home or if you have Internet access, you can store these in the cloud while you are away.

7. Make memories. Your trip is your chance for your family to make memories, so consider this point as you prepare to end your trip. Do something unexpected and fun, allowing each family member to suggest something. If you have teens and little ones, a visit to a nearby amusement or game park might be in order, allowing everyone to enjoy a variety of age-appropriate attractions and rides.

Plan Again

You may not be ready to plan your next vacation as soon as you return home, but you most certainly will be thinking about your upcoming summer trip and perhaps next year’s winter excursion. Consider how you can do things a bit differently next year, maybe taking a cruise instead of making a visit your favorite ski lodge.


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Categories: Fun Stuff

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".