One of the most common experiences I have had so far in the travel industry is people coming up to me and saying “I want to go somewhere_____” and thus begins the awkward pause of me trying to fill in the blanks. Someplace warm? cold? relaxing? adventurous? value? all-inclusive? domestic or international? Maybe if I know you well, I can throw out a brilliant life changing experience, but chances are it is not going to happen. I love helping people put together their dream vacations, going through the process of discovery with them, but to make it easier for everyone here are a few tips to fill in that blank:
- What are you looking for in a vacation? A beach, a mountain, roller coasters or a hiking trail? Is it active or passive? Friends and family or solo? Figure out what it is you truly want to do and begin your plans from there.
- What is your budget? If money were not object, that would be ideal, but the reality is vacation funds come from our disposable income or specific savings. Figure out what you can afford to spend before you start dreaming up your perfect vacation. There is nothing more heartbreaking then pricing out someone’s “must-have” vacation only to find out they can not afford it.
- When can you go? Be realistic about when you can actually travel. Anytime is only an option for the retired or rich and famous! If you are a die hard fan of a sports team, maybe traveling over a significant game isn’t the best idea. Missing a holiday or a special event might be a bit of a concern as well! If you have some flexibility think about the option of going in shoulder seasons, or off seasons, when crowds are down and prices are too!
- What are you willing to sacrifice? One thing I have learned is that there is not enough time to do it all. As you are planning, what are you willing to sacrifice to make your vacation happen? Pick two or three must-do’s, things that if they do not happen would change the vacation, and let the other options happen if they can. Maybe give up the 5-star resort, in favor of more budget friendly option so you can enjoy more excursions or nicer restaurants. Choose overnight flights to give you more time in your destination. Use public transportation instead of renting a vehicle and do not be afraid to walk.
- What story is your heart ready to write? Bottom line your heart knows where it wants to go and what it wants to do. Listen to the story it wants to write and write it! Be realistic, but not afraid to dream!! You can always make it come true, just might have to be a little creative!
The most important thing to remember is there is a whole world out there to discover and enjoy! Travel gives you the opportunity to renew and refresh yourself, creating memories that will last a lifetime!