How to Plan a Vacation [Article]

Kasey Kiwi | Helen Brahms | Cruise Planners | Have2Travel | Have2Cruise | Vacation Planning

Kasey Kiwi working on his next vacation.

Trying to determine where to go for a vacation can sometimes be a daunting task. But it doesn’t need to be. You can be totally adventurous and take out a map and throw a dart at it and then go to wherever the dart lands (YES, I know people who do pick their vacations this way!) OR you can answer a few simple questions and then you have an awesome Travel Professional on speed dial to help narrow down your options and plan it.

Step One – Just answer these 10 questions:

  1. How much time do you want to spend traveling from where you live to where you vacation? Do you want your travel days to be included or excluded from your vacation days? For example, if you are taking a 7-day vacation do you want to spend the whole 7-days on vacation plus travel time, or do you want the 7-days to include your travel time, which then cuts into the number of days spent on vacation. If you have the time I would recommend having 7-days vacation PLUS travel time.
  2. Do you want to drive or fly? This will help narrow options when paired with Question 1.
  3. Who is traveling with you? Is it just you; you and a plus one; or you and family; or you and the extended family? This can help the Travel Professional to determine the type of place you want to go. If it is the extended family the possibility of group rates, dining, excursions, and additional amenities for the group can also be taken into consideration.
  4. What do you like to see and do when on vacation? This can help narrow down the locations. If you want to ski then it is no good sending you to Bora Bora to lie on the beach.
  5. What are some things you liked/disliked about past vacations? This will help your Travel Professional to get to know you better to ensure you get the best vacation that fits you.
  6. What type of accommodation do you like to stay in? Yep, this one is important. If you like 5-star luxury then booking you into a 3-star resort or hotel is not going to work. If you want centrally located then out in the suburbs is not going to work either.
  7. Do you want a land, sea, or river vacation? This can help determine when you can go and/or where to go. For example if you want an Alaskan cruise then there is only a small window from May through September available for you. If you want to go skiing in New Zealand then because of the opposite seasons you will be wanting to be down there June through August. If you want to go to Hawaii…anytime of the year is good. But remember when the kids are out of school the prices tend to be higher.
  8. Do you want to travel domestically or internationally? If going internationally you will need passports, possibly visas, and maybe vaccinations (depending on where you are going). Your Travel Professional will help you determine what documentation you will need. Ensure you have at least 6-months valid on your passport from the date of return from your vacation. The country you want to visit sets the length of validation you will need on your passport. Some countries require only 3-months but most, including cruise lines, require 6-months from date of return.
  9. What’s on your travel bucket list of places to go and things to see and do? This can help you and your Travel Professional to pick places you want to go and help you get some items crossed off.
  10. What is your budget? Something to Note: Please be realistic with your budget! Look at the time of year you are traveling. A good rule of thumb for peak seasons…if the kids are out of school, prices (airfares, cruises, hotels, etc.) will be higher than when they are in school. Also look at the weather where you are going too. For example if you are looking at going to Australia and/or New Zealand they are reverse seasons to USA. So winter in the USA will be summer there, which again is peak tourist season (kids are out of school, people escaping winter in the north, etc.). But then their winter is summertime in the USA, which means if you are into winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, you may want to consider a trip to Australia and/or New Zealand to hit the slopes and the prices are typically lower. Your Travel Professional will be able to help you figure what sort of prices you will be looking at.

Step Two – Call Your Travel Professional

Your Travel Professional will be able to, with the help from the answers above, sort through the thousands of options available to find the right vacation that will fit YOUR wants, needs, budget, and personality. The personality part is important. If you are someone who likes the nightlife you don’t want to be stuck on vacation where there is no nightlife. And the reverse is true…if you are someone who is not into the nightlife scene you don’t want to be stuck where it is party 24/7. If you are looking for a nice quiet romantic vacation do you want a family friendly all-inclusive resort or an adults only one? These are things your Travel Professional will take into account when helping you find the right place for your vacation.

If you would like help with planning your next vacation please go to ConnectWithHelen.com and select the best day and time for a FREE 1-hour no obligation initial planning session. 

About Helen Brahms

World globetrotter, Helen Brahms, is your Luxury Travel Concierge. She specializes in creating unique once-in-a-lifetime travel memories and charity fundraising trips. Whether your travel dreams include exotic locations or time with your family, you can have it all. Helen loves to help people cross destinations off their travel bucket list before they take a dirt nap! Helen is the host of the Have2Travel Radio Show (www.Have2TravelRadio.com) and is the author of the book "Congratulations, You're Going On a Cruise! Now What?" and the co-author of the book "Passionistas Talk!: The Best of the Passion Point Interviews (Vol. 1)"
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