Vacation destinations are something that we dream about all year long. Little by little, our time-off from work starts getting closer, and you can almost smell the sandy beaches, taste the tropical drinks, and feel the cool rush of sea air waft across your face. Your vacation is going to rock this year, that’s a given. There is only one thing that could derail all of the getaway goodwill you’ve built up since last year’s vacation – choosing the wrong destination.

Now, the idea of a wrong vacation destination doesn’t necessarily mean you went to the wrong place. It could also mean that you went exactly where you wanted to go but couldn’t really afford to do so. Maybe you misjudged how much it meals & snacks cost, and maybe you didn’t think about admission fees at all.

If you’re getting set to choose your family’s next vacation destination, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Always Maintain Notes About Your Finances – It’s important to start planning your trip by knowing how much you intend to spend. If you and your family start throwing possible destinations out for consideration, but airfare alone would make them too expensive, it means you have to keep looking. Don’t forget to consider cost of accommodations, meals, and how much local transportation may cost.

The Calendar is Your Friend -Travel experts are very keen on travelers getting as much information as possible from the start of their vacation planning. Part of this information includes what will be going on at your proposed destination during your stay. Does the city host any large event? Are there any holidays that may coincide with your visit that could mean closures? If you’re planning on traveling abroad, it is vital to check a calendar of events because there may be certain cultural celebrations taking place.

Plan Your Stay – Even if your main goal on vacation is to completely relax, you still aim to want to do as much as possible. As such, plan out each day you’ll be away in detail, with entries including wake-up times, meal lengths, and even consider time you may be in line to get into somewhere. Truth be told, there’s nothing fun about this, but you do come away with two really important conclusions: 1) the proposed destination for your upcoming vacation doesn’t have a lot to offer & not enough to actually fill your trip; and 2) you may be trying to do too much.

Vacation destinations are meant to be something out of a dream. They are meant to be glorious places that tantalize the senses and reinvigorate the spirit. In looking over these tips on choosing your family’s next vacation spot, it can be easy to lose track of these dreamy fantasies because you’re bogging yourself down with the minutiae of planning the trip. Still, taking the time to plan as well (not necessarily as much) as you can now will make all the difference in the world when you and your family are enjoying your much-deserved time-off.