Originally published October 24, 2022
When it comes to vacation planning, one thing I’ve learned over the years is this: Waiting until the last minute to finish (or start) the various tasks associated with the holiday season is not a gift for me. Instead, I’ve found that setting the stage at the start of the season helps me create truly personal experiences and savor them while they happen. By taking the time to plan and prepare in advance, I am able to infuse the holiday season with an extra touch of magic, ensuring that every moment is fully enjoyed.
If you tend to feel more stressed than usual during the holiday season, here are some of the vacation planning tasks you can do now to make your life easier over the coming months. These ideas, of course, depend on the specific holidays you personally celebrate. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa or any other festive occasion, I hope everyone can find some useful information in the list below.
How far in advance should you start planning your vacation?
It is recommended to start preparing for the vacation at least one to two months in advance. This gives you plenty of time to create a comprehensive vacation planning checklist that’s personal to you, set your budget, buy gifts, and make any necessary travel arrangements. Starting early helps reduce stress and ensures a more enjoyable holiday season. By preparing for the holidays now, you can avoid that last-minute panic that sets in and robs us of the holiday spirit in December.
7 Vacation Planning Tasks to Do Right Now
1. Make a checklist of vacation tasks you need to accomplish.
Make a checklist of all the vacation-related tasks you need to do (especially if you’re going to accommodation at any time). Some tasks may be in this blog post and others will be personal to you. This could include everything you need to buy, everything you need to clean, all the invitations you need to send, etc. While you don’t necessarily need to start checking off every task right away, you’ll be glad you already have the list. once it’s time to start holiday preparations. If you can, set dates or deadlines for these tasks and group similar tasks together (e.g., shopping, decorating, party planning).
For a recent party we hosted, Joe and I created a shared document of tasks that needed to be accomplished beforehand. We could both check things off over time and share responsibilities easily. This was extremely helpful!
2. Design and order your greeting cards (if you’re sending them).
The thoughtful act of sending greeting cards can become a chore if you wait until the very last minute to order them (I know from experience). It can be frustrating to have to wade through limited options and rush the process. Save yourself the stress later and order greeting cards early this year. I suggest ordering them before mid-November and sending them the first week of December. Plan ahead, choose the perfect design for you, and make this year’s greeting card sending experience a delightful one!
We used Struck for our greeting cards from the last two years. What I love about Minted is that there is a style option for everyone. I also like that I can store my address book in my Minted account and add the addresses to each envelope – it saves me a tonne of time.
If you are considering including a family photo in your cards, I very We recommend taking your photos in early September or October. Although I’m not always so prepared, we had ours taken in September this year and it was so nice to check it off the list early. If you haven’t had a chance to take family photos this year, consider setting yourself a digital reminder for late next summer to plan a family photo session in the fall.
3. Decide what holiday decor you want to get this year (if any!).
The reality is that some of the best decor (especially more affordable decor) tends to sell out early. This doesn’t mean you have to rush out and buy everything just this second. However, having a list of holiday decorations ready to go means that if you TO DO If you see something you need at a price you’re willing to pay, you can buy it right then and there with the confidence that it was already on your list.
Pull out your box(es) of Christmas decorations from last year and assess what (if anything) you need for this holiday season. I highly recommend investing in pieces that you can reuse year after year. If you are just starting to recover your holiday decorations, I would recommend starting where you get the most bang for your buck, which in my opinion is greenery. Whether it’s a lush wreath on the front door, garlands draped along the staircase, or a beautiful centerpiece for the dining table, it instantly adds holiday ambiance to any any space, with or without additional decorations.
Here are some of the places I like to shop for Christmas decor:
4. Buy some packing supplies.
There will be plenty of wrapping supplies available throughout the holiday season, from gift bags to wrapping paper to gift tags. But if you’re looking for a specific aesthetic and want to package accessories from certain collections that tend to sell out (I’m looking at you, Heath & Hand With Magnolia), consider buying it early. I like to buy ribbons at party supply stores like Litin because you can often get tons of them at a low price!
5. Stock up on decorating essentials.
Even if they’re not the star of the show, having tools like Command hooks on hand will come in handy when you decide to decorate your home for the holidays (and don’t want to get involved in a last-minute Target run). We use them to hang garlands and wreaths throughout our home.
Not having the proper decorating tools can make decorating very annoying. While it’s not the sexiest thing to spend your money on, it will save you the headache of falling wreaths and precarious garlands…I speak from experience!
6. Start creating gift registries.
To ensure you find the perfect gifts for your friends and family members, set aside a few minutes to brainstorm gift ideas for each person on your list, considering their hobbies and interests as you do. personal interests. If you find yourself empty, don’t hesitate to contact the gift person! I think it’s only okay to send them a short Q&A to help get your wheels turning. By gathering more details, you will be more likely to come up with thoughtful ideas and personalized gift ideas. Questions might include:
- What hobby would you like to take up?
- What is your favorite color?
- What is your favorite treat?
- How to relax?
- Or, if they’re comfortable sharing exact links, simply ask them, “What’s on your wish list?”
7. Create your own wishlist.
Although some people frown on this, I see no problem with proactively sending a wish list of items you want to people who you know are going to give you a gift. Send a small variety (so they still have the option to choose) with exact links. With all the talk about reducing clutter and gifting things in our homes, I think there’s something particularly helpful about getting gifts that you really want and will keep for good. over time.
That’s it for you guys! Some foolproof vacation planning ideas to avoid headaches and sail smoothly into a stress-free holiday season. Remember, it’s all about thoughtful gestures and creating experiences that resonate. So go ahead, pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa, cozy up by the fire, and check one (or a few) of these items off your vacation planning checklist.
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