Lately, I’ve been considering going to a travel agent and booking one of those group vacation packages. You know, the ones where every minute of every day is scheduled with tons of activities. There’s tours for foodies, tours for historians and even tours for younger people in their early 20’s like me, however those are more geared towards nightlife. Even though I enjoy all of these aspects of travel, I don’t think I would enjoy such a strict schedule. I would be especially annoyed if I was with a group and we spent a day somewhere that I may want to spend several days. I’m the type of traveler who enjoys going at my own pace and like to be spontaneous and flexible with the destinations on my “To Visit” list. To me, even though some travel packages look mighty awesome, it doesn’t fit my style of travel. Sometimes the fun in travel is preparing and planning your own adventure!
Nowadays, with the power of the internet, crafting our own travel itinerary is easier than ever. Here’s a few tips to get you started on creating your personal perfect vacation!
1.) Picking the Destination
The first step is always picking where you’re going to go. You might have a travel bucket list in mind, but what is feasible? Most of us have that extremely extravagant vacation in our dreams, but will our budget allow it? Start looking at the cost of getting to your destination. Will you fly, will you drive or will you take a bus? Factor in the cost of travel and that will determine your budget for the rest of the trip. You can have a luxurious trip close to home or have a budget savvy trip somewhere far away.
2.) Deciding on your Accommodations
After you pick your destination and how you are getting there, the next step is picking where you’re going to stay. Do you have enough money in your budget for a 5-star hotel or are you going to rough it and stay in a hostel room with 20 other people? Once you pan out your accommodations, you will know your day to day budget as well as how many days you can stay.
3.) What do you Want to Do and See?
What kind of traveler are you? Do you enjoy a good adventure in the wilderness or do you like fine dining and shopping when you travel? Search blogs, travel websites and other resources to see what kinds of things you want to do and see. Make a list and try to map out a tentative itinerary for each day. This is the part of the journey that I like to keep flexible. Perhaps my first day was originally dedicated to visiting parks, but it started to rain, so I went to a museum instead.
Though I’m sure tour groups have their positives, they can never outweigh the satisfaction of doing your own thing and “winging it” on a vacation!