Choose your best vacation destination

by Emily H Posted on May 31, 2010

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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.


(Image by RebeccaT153)

  • 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!

Happy travels,

Emily
Delta Vacations

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  1. Earl J Says:

    Excellent, Emily, with great photos.

    Earl, writing this in Gdansk, Poland

  2. sarahmcow Says:

    Love it! Nothing like a travel article to get the Summer started!

  3. Joey Says:

    What a fun article to read right to jump start Summer.
    Loved this & great photos like Earl said.

  4. AnnAbbott Says:

    Research is your best friend when it comes to vacations. You can do so much on the internet! I also like to check in with friends who have similar interests to see where they have gone and had the time of their life. In addition, check in with friends that live in different parts of the country or world and ask them what makes their area so special too!

  5. ElleSnaps Says:

    Wow!! I love the examples you have used!! I have a friend that researches all our trips, she finds the most wonderful stuff and the most incredible deals!! Love it!! Great advise.

  6. shannonr Says:

    research research research, i am such a researcher. Even when i am going to a destination i have been to over and over again i always research to see what is new or what i have missed. Great article, thanks :)

  7. Natalie Says:

    Awesome photo’s and great advice! Thanks
    Natalie B Shutterfly Gallery Guru

  8. petiam Says:

    This is a great article! Very helpful tips. Excellent photo choices too. Thanks.

more about Emily H

With over 12 years of experience in the vacation industry, I've been fortunate to travel the world--collecting hundreds of tips and photos along the way. It's wonderful to have a resource like Shutterfly to house and share all my experiences. Working at Delta Vacations, I'm surrounded by colleagues who also have a passion for travel. It's contagious and I encourage all of my friends and family to see the world. Remember, someday is not a day of the week!

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