Deciding where to go on vacation can be a daunting task, especially if you are traveling with more than one other person. To avoid disappointment, be sure to ask yourself and your traveling companions these six questions that will help determine the best vacation destination for everyone.
What are you in the mood for -- a week of total rest & relaxation or a physically-demanding adventure? Discovering a new-to-you country and culture or focusing on your inner well-being? Do you want to unpack once or don't mind changing accommodations multiple times? Want to try lots of different restaurants or prefer to cook your own meals? What about traveling as part of a tour group versus independently?
Can you handle the cold, wind and rain, or do you crave hot, sunny days? Is snow a novelty or a hindrance? What about sand? Does the thought of mosquitoes make you itchy? Also consider the longer or shorter daylight hours according to the season.
Do you want the many attractions in a big city or do you prefer to spend time communing with nature? Would you rather shop 'til you drop or raft a Class V rapid? Visit a museum or a national park? Observe animals in the wild or in a zoo?
How many days can you take off work or school? What time of year can you go? Will you be traveling during high season when prices are at a premium and availability is limited? Will your trip occur during a national or religious holiday? If you're considering an international trip, do you have a valid passport and enough lead time to get any necessary visas?
How far are you willing to travel? Do you want to drive from your home base or are you near a major airport? How much time do you want to spend in a car or on a plane just to get to your destination? Is it feasible to go to more than one city, state or country on this trip?
Do you have a certain amount of money set aside for this trip? What is your buffer for spending over that amount? Where do you typically spend the most money when you're traveling - on accommodations, transportation, food, activities, souvenirs? Which one(s) is most important to you?
Note that I didn't list this question first. That's because, while I know it will ultimately limit your choice of destinations, I think it's more important to identify the type of vacation you want first, then answer the remaining questions. That way you will focus on using your budget to get the experience that everyone will be the most satisfied with.
Let's say you answer the questions above as follows when thinking about your next vacation:
Overall Experience - I want to relax in a quiet environment but wouldn't mind a bit of sightseeing.
Climate - I prefer warmth and sunshine but, ideally, it's not too hot or humid.
Activities - I'd like to unplug from daily stresses, relax with a good book, and maybe learn something new.
Time - I am somewhat flexible as long as I can get approval to take one week off from work.
Distance - Since I'm only going to be gone for one week, I don't want to spend more than six hours traveling each way by car or plane. I don't plan to go very far once I arrive at my destination.
Budget - I can afford to spend $1000 per person (for two adults) on this trip.
Depending on where this reader is located and when they decide to go, a trip to an all inclusive resort in Mexico or the Caribbean might be a good option. Also they should consider staying at a bed & breakfast in a small coastal town or at a lakeside cabin in the summer.
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