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Everyone’s vacation style is different, but when it comes to planning, it’s best to leave some things to the whim of wherever the destination takes you. There are some things, however, that you should definitely plan ahead for.

Travel Plans
While it’s fun to just pick up and go (and fairly easy to do so for a road trip if your destination isn’t far), if you want to travel overseas, you’ll save yourself quite a bit of cash by planning this ahead instead of jumping on a plane at the last minute. The best flight deals tend to be found about six weeks ahead of time, so give yourself that window to book for the best deal possible.

The Budget
This should be obvious—and if you’ve booked the flight, hotels, car rental and so forth you’ve probably already thought about it—but think about your spending budget while you’re there. Do you have a spending limit? It’s easy to bring a credit card and spend far more than we mean to, so planning ahead and setting a budget limit allows you to return home with no regrets.

Of course, you can always wait and just book through the hotel once you’ve arrived at your destination, but they do charge a premium for this service. If you already know you want to go whale watching or rock climbing, book it yourself ahead of time and not only will your schedule be a little easier to manage while you’re there, but you’ll save yourself money you would otherwise be throwing away.

The best part about traveling is stumbling into that little bar only the locals know about, or having a conversation with a local who tells you about something you absolutely must do before leaving the city. If every second of your trip is planned, you’ll miss out on the time and opportunity to truly explore and enjoy the destination and all that it has to offer.