Planning Your Vacation in 2016
Where do you want to go in 2016? The U.S. has plenty of great vacation destinations that you can venture to, as well as many adventures you can take abroad. We will be talking about some exciting places like England, Ireland, and Italy in the near future and sharing with you some of the best places to stay, dine, and enjoy. But for now, while you’re thinking about where your vacation destinations might be in the coming year, keep in mind these 6 great tips on planning the perfect vacation:
- Plan ahead as much as possible, knowing you will not do it all. If you plan where you want to go, including specific activities you would like to take part in, and other activities ahead of time, you are more likely to get to enjoy many of the things you want to do. However, keep your expectations reasonable. There are always some sorts of complications during a vacation, no matter how hard you plan and try not to have a “Chevy Chase vacation experience.” So don’t expect to “do it all.” Just put your priorities down and try to make sure you do those, then enjoy the rest.
- Check reviews of hotels before going and book early. What people say does matter when it comes to finding suitable lodging. You don’t always have to stay in a 5-star hotel to have a nice trip, but you will probably want to stick to the big names that you know and trust, in general. There are, however, some nice and lesser known “bed and breakfast” facilities that are a delight to find, even if you don’t know the name. Most of these are “mom and pop” businesses but they are very friendly and helpful and usually make your stay a pleasant and enjoyable one. Also, make sure you book early to ensure you have your preference.
- Use Google to find “locations around me” for lodging, food and dining, shopping, and gas. I’ve found this to be a great tool when you are in an area you do not know. Remember, Google knows everything and it can be your best friend for things other than finding the right road to your destination.
- Arrange for dog-sitters, baby-sitters (if the kids are not going), and other housekeeping details long before the trip. You don’t want the added stress of having to find someone to take care of things at the last minute. Also, make sure your bills are paid or caught up before going. The last thing you need is to come home to a dark house because you forgot to pay the electric bill on time.
- Give friends and family the name of your hotel, so that they could contact you if there was an emergency and they could not get you on your cell phone. There are places where cell phone coverage is sparse. Having this extra assurance that someone knows where you are is helpful and will give you added confidence that others are looking out for you when you’re in a strange place.
Most of all, plan to have fun. Vacations are supposed to be fun, not another reason for stress. So plan ahead, check travel reviews such as the short Lonely Planet video below, make arrangements early, and tell people where you’ll be staying, in case they need to contact you. With planning and preparation, your vacation should be (should we say) “relatively” uneventful!