Everyone of us has own preferences or what we deem as a perfect vacation. Be it lazing in the sun in the Bahamas, hitting the best clubs in London, discovering the ancient ruin in Rome, or safari adventure in Africa, we all have an idea of our perfect vacation. Choosing a destination for a vacation might not be as easy as imagining what a perfect vacation would be in fact it can be difficult as there are so many things to consider, more if you are planning for a family vacation.
So how do you plan for a vacation? In my household we stick to these few simple rules :
When? It is important to know the time of when the vacation would take place. Be aware of the peak seasons when people normally travel like Easter break, summer, Christmas and new year. A vacation during these times need earlier preparations especially with travelling arrangements and accommodation booking. Acting fast would give you time and the luxury to choose as oppose to having to settle for whatever that was left. Also consider that even if it is summer where you are, it might be winter somewhere else. We learned that the hard way going to Mauritius for a beach vacation in July and it was winter there!
Where? Where to go is depending on how much time allocated for the vacation. For instance if you have a week off from work, going to a destination that requires 16 hours of flight to get there and another 16 to get back is unlikely going to give you a relaxing and full vacation. You'd be spending 2 out of 7 days travelling, another day or 2 to adjust and adapt to the time difference, by the time you are refresh and ready to enjoy your well deserved vacation, it was time to go! Travelling should be a small part of the vacation, not the vacation itself. It is always great to know a bit about the current affairs of the place you have in mind. We don't want to end up in places with some political instability or at the verge of a civil war. Check also the weather to see if it was the best time of the year to visit. Nothing worst than being on a vacation in the middle of typhoon season!
Who? It is easier deciding where to go if you were on your own but for those with family, it could be difficult. Some prefers this and others that, this factor could be a issue. Try to consider everybody's interest in making this decision for an example I enjoy ancient architectures and shopping, Captain loves the museums and the boys like outdoor adventures and thrills. To accommodate everybody's interest Paris would be best as it has great ancient structures everywhere, filled with museums and places to shop and Disneyland is just a drive away! At the end of the day, parents should take charge and decide what's best for everybody. Make sure everybody has the proper travel documents needed for the country in mind and check also if everybody is up to date with the vaccination recommended for that country.
How much? It is nice to travel with a limitless or big budget but unfortunately not all of us have that luxury. I have always travel with budget ever since I was single and just started out in life up to now as a family. We would set a reasonable budget and work within it. With time I learned a few tricks that has proven to save some dollars and cents like always buy tickets to shows or exhibits in advance, online. They are normally a lot cheaper. You can print these tickets and bring them with you or in some cases have them delivered to your hotel room on the day of your arrival. Get one of those daily or weekly passes to visit the attractions, it is cheaper than to buy single ticket. You can also have an idea of how much money to set aside for wine and dine. Some websites even give an estimation of how much a meal would cost. Don't forget to have a buffer for tips in your budget too!
Above all that I would say be adventurous and open minded with the idea of visiting places that might not even occur to you, you might just be surprise with the outcome and have a memorable time! After all the whole idea of travelling is to see new places on this face of earth. What about going back to the place you've been before, would that be a waste of time since you've been there done that? In my opinion there is always something new to discover about a place even if you've been there many times.