THIS JUST IN: All Vacation Destinations Are Not the Same!
If you’re looking for the perfect vacation, you’ll need to consider many variables to optimize your experience. You’ll need to determine what kind of person you are and what you like to do and combine it with a vacation destination that will accommodate those interests.
(Image by BenniB)
Here are some great travel tips to help you plan that “perfect” vacation:
- Do your research before choosing a destination. — While it might seem exciting to tell your friends you’re going to China, make sure you know what to expect. Research the activities offered in a destination and decide if they appeal to you. Know the possible tours and excursions as well as some key phrases if you’re planning on visiting an area that uses a different language. You’ll also want to check on any health concerns and entry requirements before traveling. If it is necessary to bring a picture I.D., a government-issued passport is preferred.
- Determine Travel Time vs. Ground Time. — You may want to adjust your travel plans to accommodate the length of your vacation. For example if you’re planning a weekend getaway you might want to take in a trip which involves 3 hours or less on a plane. For vacations of 10 days or more, a more exotic choice like Hawaii, Asia, or even Europe may be in order.
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- Decide how much you want to spend. — All destinations are not created equal, some destinations are just plain more expensive than others. Whether they need to import much of their food or goods, or if they are an emerging tourism destination, or a combination of many things, it all factors into the local price structure. But with such a wide range of accommodations you’ll be able to spend as much or as little as you’d like. Another helpful thing to investigate are exchange rates. If the dollar is particularly strong in a certain destination, your money could go a lot further.
- Determine how flexible your travel dates are. Different schedules may limit the dates you can travel. Do you have a big project at work? Is there a time your children will be on a vacation from school? You may also want to take into consideration the different “peak” travel seasons for destinations around the globe. Take Hawaii for instance. Its peak travel season is the months from January-April, but its weather is very similar year round. If you have flexible travel dates, you may want to consider traveling during an off-peak season to miss some of the crowds and receive more value for your vacation dollar.
(Image by Laura L)
- Contact the local travel and tourism bureau. — Bureau of Travel and Tourism, Convention and Visitors Authority, Department of Tourism, these are all names of government facilities devoted to making travel to their corner of the world more appealing. These are a great resource to provide you with local maps, good restaurants, local events, and other information, usually free of charge. It’s also a good idea to bring the telephone number for the department of tourism in case you run into any problems or concerns when traveling.
- Rely on travel professionals. —Your professional travel agent is a terrific resource when planning a vacation. Their expertise will help you choose the vacation destination that will enable you to have the time of your life.
- Use the Internet and consumer reviews. —A plethora of opinions are available online. Just remember, everyone’s expectations are different so be sure to research sites that give a broad number of reviews. Also, keep in mind that online reviews are generally weighted high. My rule of thumb is to look for reviews rated 4 and higher (on a 5-point scale).
Choosing the right destination can be the most exciting yet most difficult decision of the vacation planning process. I hope these tips help!