Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vacation planning--Flexibility is the key

The first thing I suggest is that you start to plan early. Spontaneity works well for day trips, but is not as effective for longer jaunts. By planning early, you will find cheaper fares and accommodations that are more available. 

You can also have the opportunity to save any additional funds you might need, perhaps include extended invitations to other family members, and get together all the paperwork you might need if traveling abroad. 

While planning, it’s a good idea to stay flexible in your desires.  Flexibility equals maximum pleasure for everyone.  This is especially true if you have special needs due to a disability or are taking along teens and children who will want to do different things.

Get your children involved too.  This will not only make them much more enthusiastic about the trip, but they can provide their input into what types of activities they want to do and what types of activities they’d like to do as a family.  They’ll be much more excited when they are fully involved in deciding where the family will be vacationing, so be sure to get their opinions too.

You probably already have some kind of idea as to what you’ll be able to afford when taking a vacation.  If you do have a specific number in mind, this makes it much easier to pick out a destination.  You can research what’s available in your price range and choose the trip that will best fit your family.

If you don’t have a specific number in mind, make a list of your dream vacations.  Include those places you’ve always wanted to go as well as places you think would fit the personalities of your family.  See what these types of vacations will cost, and then pick the one you think you can save for or afford to take right away.

The Internet is an indispensable tool to do this.  There are many travel websites that offer vacation packages for specific destinations.  Here are some highly suggested by the experts:


When you use these sites, they can give you best prices for various destinations, but they can also provide valuable suggestions for where you can go as well as activities that are available and ratings from other travelers who have taken the same vacations.

You can also use:

Price line often allows you to name a price you’re willing to pay for flights, hotels, etc., but you have to take what they offer you if they accept your price.  For example, you may be willing to pay $100 for a $200 airline flight, but they may accept your price only if you’re willing to take the redeye in the middle of the night.  If this is something you can live with, by all means, book it!  Just be flexible. 

Do you detect a theme here in the planning phase?  Flexibility is the key!

You’ll need to decide if you will be flying to your destination or driving.  There are many airlines that have cut-rate prices when you fly during certain times.  Again, you’ll need to be flexible on departure dates and times.

You’ll also need to decide on a time frame for your vacation.  Again, if you are flexible on departure dates, you’re more likely to get a better deal.  We realize, however, that work constraints might not allow you to change your vacation dates, but if possible, it’s best to just have a general idea instead of a rock solid date. 

Try to travel on days other than Friday, Saturday or Sunday which are the busiest travel days of the week.  You can firm up plans later if needed.

Once you’ve got your destination in mind, you’ll need to consider a couple of other things before booking your trip.


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