Do you love to look around on the internet for travel destinations? Look at online forums and message boards for planning tips? Here are five tips that will help you plan your next vacation easier, with better results:
1. DON’T WAIT, start planning early. The days of waiting to the last minute for fire-sale prices is gone. Suppliers, hotels and cruise lines no longer offering as many last minute deals. Also, there is a great risk that any savings by booking last minute will be offset by the increased cost of airfare to get to your destination.
2. WRITE DOWN A LIST OF YOUR VACATION PRIORITIES. Don’t be lured in by price alone. While most people think they want the cheapest price, what they really want is the best value for what THEY want. Only you know what quality of resort, hotel or ship you like or what location or itinerary will allow you to see and do what you want to. It is possible to get a great deal, but it’s rarely the absolute lowest price you see online unless you are a totally “no frills” type of traveller. The biggest mistake travelers make is to look at price over value. In the wise words of Warren Buffett, “price is what you pay, value is what you get”. Don’t pay any amount for a vacation and let it turn out to be a disappointing trip for any reason. Set your list of must have’s and look for it at a price you are willing to pay
3. DON’T FORGET TRAVEL INSURANCE. Today trips come with bigger price tags, what doesn’t? Don’t put any part of that investment at risk by not adding the small cost of insurance. There are simply too many variables that could cancel, cut short or ruin your trip. Just in the last 10 months, I have had clients utilize their travel insurance due to political unrest in Greece/Turkey, due to bad weather that caused a two day flight delay (half of the trip), lost luggage, and illness requiring medical treatment in a foreign country. You insure so much in your life, why not the costs associated with travel. The incremental cost is really quite small when you consider the money your laying out for the trip, tours etc.
4. DON’T EXHAUST YOURSELF. Make sure you build in time to recover from your flight, drive and jet lag before beginning your vacation. Once there make sure you don’t book yourself solid on tours, dining and entertainment that you sprint from one thing to another the entire time. Make sure you are taking some time to sit and immerse yourself in the location, people and culture. A coffee at a streetside cafe in Italy or Paris does taste better than the same coffee on the run. Flipping through a magazine on a cruise deck and letting yourself relax can be a really memorable highlight of your travel
5. ENGAGE THE SERVICES OF A PROFESSIONAL. Travel professionals are experienced and can make sure your trip is seemless, often considering details you would not even think to consider. Also, the relationships that travel professionals have with hotels, resorts, cruise lines and tour operators offers you a wealth of special treatment and the opportunity for special perks and upgrades. If our clients aren’t fully wowed, we aren’t likely to rebook them somewhere so the suppliers work hard to make sure our clients are treated specially. Travel professionals don’t shut you out of the planning process either. They work with you to dig down to the exact type of trip and experience you are looking for and then they provide options. A seamless trip plan with all the details considered and handled leaves you with greater satisfaction.
Make the most of planning your next trip. By planning ahead, building in the perfect balance of fun and relaxation along with all the items on your vacation wish list like hotel quality and location, you will have an amazing time.