While there is room for various answers based on personal preference (for example, a food-lover might rank restaurant research higher on the list), the following represents a ranking in order of importance:
1. purchase plane tickets—there is no vacation unless you can reach your destination
2. reserve accommodations—many resorts are crowded and you run the risk of having no place to stay if you do not take care of this detail ahead of time
3. hire a pet sitter for your cats—while this should not be a difficult detail to take care of, you can't go on vacation without securing care for your pets
4. suspend mail and newspaper delivery—a stuffed mailbox and pile of newspapers at your door tells potential thieves that you are not home; however, you could always call a neighbor from the resort to help you out if you realize you have forgotten to take care of this detail
5. research restaurants—once you get to your destination, you should have plenty of time to read local publications and ask around for recommendations; the advice you get when you are there could be superior to what you can find out from home
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To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them