TIP #1- Finding the perfect destination
The perfect vacation is more than just a chair on a nice beach, it’s the experience that comes along with it. It’s the time away from the 8-5 desk job and the chance to see the wonders of the world. But, sometimes finding that “one” place that you want to spend that week vacation is hard for some to narrow down.
The first thing to do, is figure out what life experience you are looking to gain. Is it an ocean experience, skiing the slops of Colorado, an African safari, or a mission trip to help the less fortunate. This will help narrow down your destination. After you decide of the destination, determine the time of the year.
Some vacation destinations have “peak” tourist times, for instance summer for tropical climates or winter for activities such as skiing. During the “peak” tourist times, prices on trips, food, lodging and travel can spike as high as three times the cost of the same things in “down” time, and the same life experiences can occur. So, definitely research the destination as much as possible.
TIP #2- Finding the best deals on flights and hotels
Finding the best deals on flights and hotels has never been easier. A travel agent is always a great idea, but there are so many places available online to help with this too. Of course there are the well-know sites that can help book flights, hotels and car rentals all at the same time, such as Priceline, Travelocity and Hotwire.com, but there are also cites that aren’t well known- actually the internets little secret gems such as Skyscanner. Skyscanner not only provides information regarding hotels, flights and car rentals, but it will also provide you the peak times and cheapest times to travel to your destination without doing multiple searches by entering different dates. It has every day of the month colored red, green, or yellow to easily show you when to buy and when to fly.
TIP #3- Budgeting your trip
So, you’ve determined your desired destination, found the best price, a magnificent hotel or condo, but now to the hard part – HOW DO YOU PAY FOR IT?
Just like anything in life, money is essential and on vacation, money is essential for having a great time. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could travel around the world with very little in your pocket? In the idealistic world, that would be perfect. But, in reality, you need money and a plan on how to get it.
There are many ways to finance a vacation. Depending on the destination, financing the vacation might be an option. By financing the vacation, you are able to make monthly payments until it’s paid off, just prior to the vacation. If that’s not an option, the old-fashioned savings method is the best. But, remember, just being able to pay for the essentials isn’t always enough. Always budget more than expected for those “little extras” or emergencies.
Also, depending on your destination, a passport might be needed. Remember, for an adult, passports are only good for 10 years. So, even if you have one, make sure to check the expiration date. You may need to get a new one. A new passport will take some time, so make sure to allow plenty of time for the application to be processed and to receive it in the mail. A passport will cost, on average, $180 by the time everything is completed.
Talking about additional money, don’t forget to calculate in money for those special sweatshirts or whatever you might find while shopping around or whatever just might pop-up. It never fails when you’re on vacation and you see something that really moves you and you can’t afford to get it. So, be prepared.
After that, just save, save, save and get ready to have the vacation of your life.