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How to start planning your December vacation in May

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I know it borders on the ludicrous to start “Detty December” talks when we are still in May. We are into the second quarter and we are not even at the middle of the year.

Isn’t it too soon? December is still far away, one may argue but, as cliche as it sounds, those who fail to plan, plan to fail. If you are someone who goes on frequent travels, then you’ll know that a whole lot can go wrong, and fast.

From visa declines to last-minute hotel reservation disappointments and every other problem in between; a fun experience could degenerate quickly into a nightmare.

Interestingly, travel habits have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic. People want to travel more. Psychologists call this urge to travel more “the Post-Covid Revenge Travel.” This is a phenomenon where more and more people have considered vacation and travel since the pandemic.

According to a travel agency, Skyscanner survey, 77% of those polled said they’re planning to spend the same or more on trips abroad than they did in 2022, with almost half (41%) planning to spend more.

The Post-Covid Revenge Travel phenomenon probably explains why even though you toured Eastern Europe last December, you still want a feel of the Maldives this year’s December. Anyway, away from why you are travelling more, let’s get to the meat of the matter and fast. We have a vacation to plan.

Travelling is hectic and without a concrete plan, a get-away could quickly turn to a nightmare. For example, a simple mistake like not having a tour guide or uncomfortable Airbnb reservations could spoil your vacation.

Many vacation goers erroneously think that preparing financially is all there is to planning a vacation but are rudely shocked by other things they have overlooked. An instance is a museum tour. If you do not plan your vacation properly but have plans to visit a museum, you may discover that it is usually not open to visitors in December.

To start planning for your vacation, map out places you want to visit and tour. You may need an experienced travel agent or tour guide for this. You want to make sure you know the timeline or chronology of places you plan to visit. Many tourists have increased travel costs by simply visiting places out of order. For example, if you are touring Nigeria, it makes more sense to tour in Lagos, then Ibadan, and Kano rather than Lagos, Kano, then Ibadan.

According to an IBS survey, over 47% of respondents use in person or Online Travel Agents (OTAs) as opposed to booking digitally and doing it themselves. For lack of better words, travel agents make your vacation easier. Experienced travel agents know travel documentation and necessary requirements. They know the ins and outs of select cities and can help you get cheaper prices and options. You don’t want to be that tourist who goes about asking for directions and basic information about cities.

Experts recommend that vacation expenses should not exceed 20% of net annual income after tax. Yes, this includes those shopping sprees during these vacations. In case this isn’t already obvious, this is a very difficult thing to do – keeping expenses within a definitive framework. I mean who doesn’t want to buy an extra Saree from India, a wide brimmed hat from the Bahamas, or Manga collectibles from Tokyo. You need a template and this section will help you create one. If you earn N10m every year, you should not spend more than N2m on vacations in December.

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