Summer is around the corner. Many schools are wrapping up their school year. Families are beginning to make plans for summer vacation.

Planning for a summer vacation can be time-consuming. Not only does it take time to decide where to go, but booking lodging and transportation require exploring a variety of options.

Once everything is booked, then you become busy planning activities and packing, as well as wrapping up loose ends at the office.

Planning for a summer vacation can be an exhausting process. So exhausting that you’ll be ready for your vacation when it arrives.

As you make plans, keep in mind what you’re really trying to accomplish with this vacation. It’s easy to set the bar high for a vacation and expect it to be “perfect.” But we all know, “perfect” rarely exists.

Don’t be let down by your summer vacation. Manage your expectations upfront.

Here are some items to think about as you plan your vacation. Do you want your summer vacation to be a …

do-nothing get away from the daily grind

celebration – whether it’s for the end of another school year or a milestone event

new family tradition – maybe you’re thinking about buying a second home at that location

history lesson by visiting landmark sites and museums

family reunion

way for your kids to learn about planning and budgeting

volunteer experience for the entire family

cross-cultural experience

hiking exploration

food fest – trying different types of food or visiting well-known eating venues

Add to this list any other ways you see your vacation. Then select which item is the most important one.  You may find more than one item, but the key is to focus on one item. In this way, it’s easier to accomplish one thing instead of trying to do it all.

By managing your expectations upfront for your summer vacation, you can stay focused on enjoying the moment. Instead of trying to fit everything into your schedule, you can have some downtime to relax or adjust when a meltdown happens (whether it’s your meltdown, your spouse’s, or your kid’s).

No matter what you plan, it’ll be a memorable experience to cherish in the future. It’ll build a stronger bond between you and your family. Isn’t that why we go on summer vacation?

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Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature, and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”