Half the fun of going on vacation is the planning. It might start with a passing thought one day, then at some point it turns into a personal mission. Some travelers have already decided exactly what destination they want to visit, but many find it difficult choose with so many options out there.
How can you narrow down your vacation choices? Where do you start? Here are a few tips to help get you on your way.
First you need to decide on the type of vacation that interests you.
- Fully Escorted Tour
- Theme Park Holiday
- Warm Destinations
- Skiing Adventure
- Soft Adventure
- Family Travel
Let me break these choices down a little for you and maybe it will help in your decision-making. Of course if you are traveling with friends or family find a night you can all get together and discuss your interests. Ask your group and yourselves what you are looking to get out of your trip.
Do you want to lie on a sun soaked beach and relax your days away? Do you want to keep busy with sightseeing and activities? Are you looking for beautiful mountainous scenery and maybe see a wild animal or two? Visit as many destinations as you can in a short amount of time? Do you want bright lights and excitement? Maybe you need a trip where you won’t think about home, phones, TV’s, or stress.
But then again you may want a vacation where pampering is needed , where someone takes care of your every desire. If traveling with children what would make them happy? Theme Parks? A place they can meet other kids and make new friends? Hiking and Biking? Find out what excites you. Go with your gut because that will normally tell you what you want most.
These are just a few considerations to think about before plunking money down for your hard-earned vacation.
Cruising – Here are the perks of taking a cruise.
- Cruises can fit any vacation length from 3 days or more
- Luggage delivered directly to your room
- A cruise line representative will meet arrival flights if you have transfers to help get you to the ship
- All food is included
- No decisions where to eat
- Delicious Food
- You can order anything you want on the menu and as much as you want
- Most ships have a casino, fitness center, swimming pools, Jacuzzi’s, spa with massage and saunas
- Live entertainment from plays to world-class pianists included for free
- Children’s programs with age groups in mind
- Baby sitting
- Room service 24 hours a day
- Room steward 24 hours a day if needed
- Cruises can attract most budgets
- Visit many destinations in 1 vacation
- Discounts for 3rd and 4th passenger in cabins
- Discounts for children
- Cruises now have Cooking Demonstrations, lectures from local experts to Harvard Professors, dance lessons, and if you have time computer classes.
- Try a cruise that has rock climbing, miniature golf and yes, even surfing!
- Ice Cream Parlors
- Poolside Bars
- Relax next to a refreshing pool in a comfy chaise lounge
- Every need or want tended to
- Daily schedule of shipboard activities delivered to your cabin
- Choice of any destination in the world
- Busy check in
- Buffets are traditionally crowded and hard to find tables during peak times
- Motion sickness, although wristbands, ear patches help. If you have a bad case the onboard doctors in the infirmaries have a shot you can take that works well.
- Popular shore excursions could sell out. Book early on the Internet for most desired tours.
- Too much food, you can gain 5-10 pounds if you are not careful
- Alcoholic beverages can be quite expensive
Tips are now automatically included at $10 per day per person
Escorted Tours – Traveling with a group with an experienced, well-trained escort that will be there to help you throughout your trip.
- Air, transfers, hotel, transportation, sightseeing, and most food is included
- No baggage handling
- Experienced tour guide who takes care of everything from beginning to end
- Information on history, present day and future on cities, towns and villages that you are visiting or even just passing through.
- Chance to make new friends
- Hotels are already pre booked for you
- No driving or having to ask directions or getting lost
- Comfortable air-conditioned motorcoaches
- Someone to take care of unexpected problems
- Recommendations for restaurants and optional tours
- Most tours include breakfast, most dinners and some lunches
- Entrance fees to sites are included
- No waiting in long lines for attractions
- Fast paced
- Most tours are overnight stays; look for tours that have several 2 night stays if possible
- You are with the group constantly
- Not enough time to explore, but enough time to see if you would like to return
Tipping on last night is customary. Suggested tips are $8 per day, for exceptional service, tip a little more.
Some groups will pull money together to purchase a nice gift on top of tips
Theme Parks – Rides, Thrills and Chills!
- Fun for the whole family
- Quality time
- Brings a stronger relationship with parents and kids
- Great memories
Which Theme Park?
- Busch Gardens – Florida or Williamsburg
- Coney Island – New York
- Cyprus Gardens – Florida (at this time Cyprus Gardens is closed due to floods)
- Disneyland – Los Angeles, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo
- Disneyland California Adventure
- Disney World – Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Animal Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios, Blizzard Beach Water Park, Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Downtown Disney – Florida
- Dollywood -, Tennessee
- Hersheypark – Pennsylvania
- Jeepers – various destinations
- Kennedy Space Center – Florida
- Kennywood – Pennsylvania
- Knott’s Berry Farm – California
- Legoland – California
- Magic Mountain – California
- Nashville Theme Parks – Nashville
- Raging Waters – various destinations
- Sea World – Florida or San Diego
- Silver Dollar City – Branson Missouri
- Six Flags Amusement Parks – various destinations Universal Studios – both in Los Angeles and Florida
Europe and Britain
- Black Pool Pleasure Beach – Liverpool UK
- Disneyland – Paris
- Dreamland – Kent UK
- Europa Park – Baden Wuerttenberg, Germany
- Gardaland – Castelnuovu del Garda, Italy
- Gullivers Theme Parks – Warrington, Matlock Bath, Milton Keynes UK
- Legoland – Windsor UK, or Belund, Denmark
- Parc Astérix – Plailly, France
- Parc Warner Madrid – Madrid, Spain
- Phantasialand – Brühl, Germany
- Port Adventura – Tarragona, Spain
- Thorpe Park – Staines UK
- Tivoli – Copenhagen, Denmark
- Walibi World – Lelystad, Netherlands
- Nonstop activity
- Young children get tired and cranky
- Sore feet and backs
- Long lines
These are just a few idea’s to get you started on planning your next vacation. It’s good to take your time and do some research before booking your trip. Get to know the area’s you plan on visiting so you won’t miss a thing you like while you are there. Find the best restaurants through Yelp or Trip Advisor along with the best sightseeing reviews.
I have much more to say so stay tuned for more travel planning information coming soon.