"Where should we go for vacation?" is a question all of us have asked.
With all of the options out there, something that should be exciting can quickly become stressful.
And while I can't answer this million-dollar question for you, hopefully these follow-up questions can help you decide!
1. Who will be traveling?
If you're planning on taking kids, there are certain vacations that are a better fit than when you are traveling as a couple or with adult friends.
If you are taking kids, also be sure to consider their ages. While teens and pre-teens would probably love a NYC trip, it isn't an ideal destination for toddlers.
Also, there are certain "bonus ages" to keep in mind. For example, kids under 3 are free at the Disney parks, while kids ages 10+ are actually considered an adult. On many cruise lines, kids over age 3 are free in the kid areas, while those under 3 have to pay.
2. What do you want out of this vacation?
Do you want to relax? Experience something new? Go on an adventure? Celebrate a milestone anniversary with your spouse? Learn about history? Eat amazing food? Be immersed in a new culture? Check another state off your list? Make memories as a family?
This might be the most important question you can ask when planning your vacation. For example, if your goals for the vacation are to relax, eat amazing food, and learn about history, A Disney Parks vacation is NOT going to fulfill your goals. In the same way, if your goals include going on an adventure and making memories as a family, a luxury yacht cruise to the Mediterranean is not the best option.
3. Do you want to go somewhere familiar or new?
There are reasons you have families that go to the same location year after year. It's familiar and "feels like home". They can think back on all of the vacations at that same spot and practically see their family growing up in their mind's eye.
At the same time, there is something incredible about experiencing something new. Whether it be a new way of traveling (taking a river cruise for the first time), or a new location, change and new experiences allow us to learn, grow and broaden our world views.
4. Do you have a specific date or location in mind?
This is important for multiple reasons. First of all, it can help significantly narrow your search. If you want to go to the Caribbean, your options now become: take a cruise, stay at an all-inclusive resort, book a guided tour package, or stay at a "normal" hotel.
Another reason this question is important is it helps make sure your dream can become a reality. If you have to travel in December because of vacation time, and you want to take an Alaskan cruise, you are out of luck. At this point, you (or your travel agent) can start to think of alternatives.
This is also the time to answer general "where" questions like beach or mountains? Castles or skyscrapers? Quaint or full of entertainment options?
5. Do you know what kind of vacation you want?
After answering all of the above questions, you probably have a better idea about what you're looking for in a vacation. But there are still a lot of options!
Do you want a land-based vacation or a cruise? Theme park or historic district in a new city? Guided tour or do-it-yourself?
If you already know what type you want, you're ready to start planning your vacation!
If multiple types appeal to you, now is a good time to start pricing them out and making some decisions.
By asking yourself these important questions, you will be able to start finding the perfect vacation to fit your current needs and wants!
And if you need help answering these questions, I would love to talk with you one-on-one to help you through the process!