Not too late for a Trip:
How to Make the Best of an End-of-Summer Vacation

tripHere it comes again -- the end of the summer and the last chance to get away before the colder weather sets in and school starts. An end of summer vacation can be enjoyable and successful with the right attitude and a little direction. Taking a vacation when everyone else is coming back home will help avoid the height of the season crowds and peak summer-vacation prices.

Following these four basics should result in a surprisingly pleasant trip that might lead to planning all your vacations for the end of the summer.

Agree on a Destination

A JSOnline tip list recommends pulling the family together to discuss destination options and preferences. Narrow your vacation spot down to a place that everyone agrees on. Admittedly, it can get sticky if the family is split down the middle between Sea World and camping. In those cases, compromising may be the best solution to keep everyone happy. Either choose one trip for this year and earmark next summer for the other trip, or agree on a third option that everyone is amenable to. Having everyone on board when it comes to the vacation spot is vital in making the trip a success.

Stick to the Budget

Deciding on a vacation budget and sticking to it deters speed bumps during the actual trip. Once you've decided on a destination, you can start looking into lodging, restaurants, activities and places of interest in the vicinity. Plugging that information in to your budget can help you plan your trip and eliminate the possibility of wild overspending.

Pack Light, Pack Smart

Find a balance between what you'd like to take and the bare necessities. In his article for the Canada Free Press, Jim Bray recommends packing digitally because you'll most likely be taking your iPad and smart phone. Download movies, e-books and e-magazines from your membership sites and leave the hard copies at home. Use the apps on your devices to hold your tickets and electronic copies of your identification documents. Keep your mobile devices close, though. Anything containing your personal information, whether it's a hard copy or an electronic file, can be subject to identity theft if stolen. Never let your electronics out of your site and encrypt personal information when possible.

Many assume that adults with a mortgage payment and grandchildren are the only victims of identity theft -- not true. Youth today deal with unprecedented identity theft risk because they frequent social-media platforms along with many questionable web sites. These habits lead to a higher risk for identity theft, so having proper protection is a must.

Don't Forget Your Chargers...or to Have Fun

Speaking of mobile devices, don't forget to bring your chargers. What good is your phone or tablet if it has no juice? On the short list of things to take, your chargers should be at the top. And on the short list of things to remember, don't forget to have fun. That's what a vacation is all about, right? Bonus time to relax and break the monotony of everyday life. Don't let sticking to the itinerary and worrying over the details get out of hand. That's when it's time to take a breath, step back and laugh. If you're stressing over something that truly doesn't matter in the long run, then you're stressing over nothing.

Think of your end-of-summer vacation like you found money. You weren't counting on it, so it can be a nice surprise that gives you a boost: a little something extra to get you through to the holidays. With the family on board and the planning out of the way, you might get the trip of a lifetime with memories you wouldn't trade for the world.

Author: Eloise Shutt