Planning a vacation but haven’t quite worked out the details? Here are five vacation planning tips every new traveler should know.
#1 – Start with the “What”, Not the “Where”
Destinations don’t make or break vacations–activities do. No matter how exotic the location, it won’t feel like much of a vacation if you’re not enjoying yourself.
Think of how you want to spend your vacation and make a list of your “must do” recreational activities. Use the list to narrow down your destination and hotel choices based on your recreational needs. You’re more likely to have a great time if everything you want to do is conveniently located.
#2 – Do Your Homework
Sites like Expedia and Orbitz make it easy to book cheap vacation packages, but these packages don’t necessarily provide you with the best value for your money. There are generally a lot of restrictions on these packages (e.g., travel dates, modifications, cancelations, etc.) and the price is often indicative of the quality of the accommodations.
Take the time to research every aspect of your vacation–not just the price–or you could end up with buyer’s remorse. Ultimately, the best vacation deals are the ones that best meet your needs and expectations in terms of quality, flexibility and price.
#3 – Timing is Everything
Every destination has peak and off-peak seasons. During peak season, there are many more consumers vying for the same services and accommodations. Due to the increased demand, you’ll have to contend with higher prices, larger crowds, and less attentive staff.
During the off-peak season, these service providers are starving for business. You can save a bundle on your package and you’re practically guaranteed better service.
#4 – Plan Ahead
The sooner you start planning your vacation the better. A lot of research goes into planning an amazing vacation, so allow yourself plenty of time.
Also, the further in advance you book your reservations the better the rates and the wider the selection of available flights, rooms/cabins and rental cars. Most reservations systems will accept bookings up to 11 months in advance.
#5 – Use a Free Vacation Planning Service
Believe it or not, some travel agents offer free vacation planning services as a way of adding value for their clients. A good travel agent can save you time, money and effort by:
Researching the best destination for your interests, budget and travel dates
Finding you the lowest prices for flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals and activities
Providing you with helpful information about the places you’ll be traveling
Offering flexible installment plans for vacation packages
The best part is, these services are provided at absolutely no additional cost to you.
Whether you’re traveling just a few miles or halfway around the world, putting a little thought into your trip can make a huge difference. Figure out what you want to do, the best place and time to do it, then get to work putting things in motion.