Getty Images / Ivanko Brnjakovic

It’s always a good time to go on vacation, but summer, of course, is the official travel season. If you’re planning a big trip, you’re going to want to make sure to maximize your vacation. After all, traveling is supposed to be fun. That means not stressing out while planning or being on your trip. Let’s get into some great tips to maximize your vacation.

Vacation Trends

Before we get to tips to maximize your vacation, let’s look at vacation trends. A new AAA travel survey states that 84% of U.S. residents will travel in 2024. Also, 43% will take more vacations than last year. So traveling is a hot thing in 2024. “The travel season is already off to a hot start in 2024,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA, The Auto Club Group. “Americans continue to make travel a top priority, and AAA travel agents have been busy planning a wide range of vacations from weekend getaways to world cruises.”

If you’re planning to take a cruise, note that according to AAA, more travelers are booking cruises farther in advance. Many spring break cruises sold out months before they were to set sail. “Last-minute bookings are possible, but prices may be higher and cabin choices limited,” AAA notes.

What’s more, a new study from AAA and Bread Financial has discovered that younger generations are into live event travel. Is that really new? I’ve been traveling for concerts for years, but it’s apparently a new trend among Gen Z. They state that “three in five Gen Z (65%) and Millennial (58%) respondents confirmed they have traveled in the past 12 months and/or plan to travel in the next 12 months for in-person events like concerts, sporting events, comedy shows, and book readings that are more than 50 miles from home.”

That’s much more than with older generations, with is 43% for Gen X and 27% for Baby Boomers. Then again, older generations are more likely to want to be at home, because, well, they’re older. They’ve been there and done that.

That same study found that Gen Z loves traveling for sports and music. They state that more than half (52%) of Gen Z travelers are gearing up to attend a music event in the next 12 months. In fact, one in five Gen Z travelers (20%) have traveled or plan to travel to see Taylor Swift live in concert.

As for sports, 38% of Gen Z travelers have traveled or plan to travel for the 2025 Super Bowl. Also, 32% have traveled or plan to travel to the 2024 NBA finals, and 19% have traveled or plan to travel to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.  Now, let’s get into some great tips to maximize your vacation.

Tips to Maximize Your Vacation

  • 1. Save Money

    One great way to maximize your vacation is simply to save money. You’ll feel so much better on vacation knowing that you’re saving cash by doing things the right way. One major way to save money is to travel during an off season. Every vacation destination has its own peak time. So, look at the cheapest time to visit your destination, and go then. Find more tips on saving money on vacation, too.

    Money on vacation.

    Getty Images / NosUA

  • 2. Don't Plan Every Minute of Your Vacation

    Sure, you want to do some planning so that you don’t miss the big tourist stops in your destination. But, don’t book every blasted minute. Maximize your vacay by saving some time to be spontaneous. Take a day to just figure out what to do when you’re there. Maybe some locals will recommend a secret spot for you to visit during your “day off.”

    World map.

    Getty Images / Fly_dragonfly

  • 3. Do Plan Ahead, Though

    While you don’t want to overbook your trip so that you’re always running from spot to spot, you do want to plan a bit. It’s not a good idea to do zero planning and just feel things out when you get there. Plan some big activities ahead of time so that you aren’t scrambling last-minute.


    Getty Images / Tatomm

  • 4. Plan Regular Mini-Vacations

    If you only have one big vacation every year, you might feel under a lot of pressure to make it the most amazing experience ever. So, take away that stress. Plan mini-vacations throughout the year, so you aren’t under as much pressure to make your big trip the best thing that’s ever happened to you and your family. For example, in the fall, if you live in an area with beautiful colors, make an annual fall color tour trip and just drive around the state.

    Woman sitting in a fall forest.

    Getty Images / Iryna-Imago

  • 5. Stay an Extra Day

    If time and money allows, adding just one day to your vacation can open up a world of possibilities. Many people plan too short a trip, not realizing just how much they’ll want to do in their destination. So, add an extra day. You’ll be glad you did at the end of your stay.

    Person on the phone and computer.

    Getty Images / pcess609

  • 6. Take Time to Sleep

    Sure, you’re on vacation. You want to soak up every minute of your trip. But, if you’re up late every night partying in the clubs and then up early to enjoy the sunrise, pretty soon, you’ll be too tired to enjoy your vacation. So, take time to get some sleep and feel rested.

    Beautiful woman sleeping.

    Getty Images / stockstudio

  • 7. Let the Small Stuff Go

    They say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” That’s certainly true on vacation. Nothing is going to go totally as planned. So, expect the unexpected, and roll with it.

    Couple outside, on the beach.

    Getty Images / PeopleImages

  • 8. Plan Some Recoup Time

    When you get back from your vacation, don’t plan to start work the very next day. Take an extra day or two off after your vacation to recuperate, so that you hit the ground running when you’re back at work. The extra time at home will also give you a chance to savor your vacation.

    Couple resting on the couch.

    Getty Images / Giulio-Fornasar

  • 9. Pick an Experience

    People often find experiencing more rewarding that physical things. So, make sure to plan an experience with your trip. Maybe there’s a huge concert you want to see on vacation. Perhaps it’s a sporting event. Whatever it is, plan an awesome experience.

    Three ladies at a concert.

    Getty Images / Astarot

  • 10. Learn for Next Time

    Finally, when you’re home from your trip, decompress and look back on your vacation. What went wrong? What went right? Take notes and learn from your vacation, so you’ll know what to do better next time.

    Man and woman writing.

    Getty Images / djiledesign

Sign me up for the HOT 95.5/93.1 email newsletter!

Join the HOT VIP Club and you'll get the hottest throwback hip-hop and R&B news, plus insider info on upcoming concerts, contests, and ways to get cash in your pocket!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.