In past decades, planning a vacation was mostly dependent on trip guides, travel agents and word of mouth. Today, people go online to plan out their vacation and book their travel and accommodations. However, having so much information at your fingertips is no assurance that you’ll make the right choices. Just because it says something on the Internet doesn’t make it true.
If you want to add more to your vacation, check out these tried-and-true tips for maximizing your vacation experience.
Choose your dates wisely. If you’re traveling on a budget, consider traveling at low-travel times because those are the times that you’ll get the best deals. If you want to avoid crowds, pick dates that don’t come out around holiday or big vacation times. You’ll have more choices if you travel at the “low” travel periods and will likely have a better overall travel experience.
Don’t think that just because something is inexpensive, it’s a good deal. You want to get value for your money so if you pay a cheap price and are unhappy, you didn’t come out ahead. If you see something advertised for a low price, check out what you’ll be getting for that price. Does the price that you pay cover everything or will you be expected to add extra for items that other places include in the basic price.
Do you have to pay extra for towels, Internet access, pool access and other amenities that other places include as part of your regular booking? Is the place so secluded that you’ll have to pay a hefty sum to get there? If these “extras” are going to cost you more money, you certainly aren’t getting any bargains!
If you’re going to have to convince your travel companions that they’ll like the activities that you plan to do, neither they nor you are going to have a very good time. It’s much easier to do all the planning by yourself but if you involve everyone, including the kids, everyone will have a better time. Encourage everyone to check out websites and look at books to be able to have input into the trip.
Make lists of possibilities, give choices and listen to everyone’s suggestions and requests. Don’t make all your plans based on what the majority wants to do…..make sure that everyone has a chance to participate in the decision-making and that everyone has some of their requests honored.
Leave some time for spontaneous adventures. If you schedule your vacation in such a way that every minute is jam-packed, you won’t have time to sit back and enjoy yourselves. Make sure that every day includes some free time when you can add in a new, unscheduled activity or just sit back and relax and enjoy some online casino slots real money gaming time during some well-earned quiet time.
Once you give yourself that down-time, you’ll discover that you have options that you never even though about. Maybe you meet someone who tells you about an activity that you never knew about or perhaps you decide to spend more time at an activity or event than you had originally decided to skip. Breath a bit.
Watch out for red-flag words in the descriptions of the listings of the property. Property owners try to make their properties sound as appealing as possible so sometimes they use terminology that, while technically correct, can put you in a situation of renting a property that is a miserable experience.
Does it say “rustic”. That sounds woodsy and secluded but it may mean that the property is located in the middle of nowhere, the cooking facilities involve a fire pit and the bathroom is an outhouse located several yards in back of the house. “Eclectic” can cover anything from a basement unit located under a nightclub to a bedroom in a “shared apartment” with some unusual roommates.
Even the description “luxury accommodations” can be misleading because what is “luxury” to one person is basic to another. Read reviews and, if you have any concerns or if things aren’t clear, contact the owner with your questions before you book.
Create a realistic budget for your travels and stick to it. These days, it’s easy to convince yourself that “I’m on vacation so I can splurge.” But all those extra credit card expenses that you don’t feel while you’re vacationing will come back to haunt you and in the long run, you won’t be left with such great memories of your trip but resentment at your debit.
Create your budget for your vacation before you leave your house. Give yourself some flex room for extra expenses and then stick to those borders. You’ll be so happy that you got by on what you had and your post-vacation period will be much happier.
Don’t forget to add travel insurance to your budget. It’s a worthwhile investment that can save you untold aggravation and exasperation. Things can go wrong while you’re on vacation – flights get cancelled, luggage gets lost, you get sick…..make sure that you’re covered for such eventualities with a good travel insurance plan.