Taking the first step

Some people think vacation planning should start with the budget. They do an online search to find what seems to be the best value, without anyone ever asking what they really want to get out of their vacation. It’s easy to book “somewhere warm” but that doesn’t guarantee you the sugar sand beach and turquoise water you’ve been dreaming about. In the same way, a trip to New York can be pretty disappointing if you have Times Square/Broadway/Restaurant Row in mind but you’ve booked a hotel on the opposite side of Central Park. If your expectations don’t match the experience, that “great deal” doesn’t seem so great after all.

As your Personal Travel Advisor, it’s my job to help you decide which type of vacation best meets your goals – and your budget. Here are some of the questions I might ask as we begin planning your ideal vacation:

  • Who is travelling on this trip? A couple? A group of friends? A family with children?
  • Do you have any destinations in mind?
  • When would you like to travel? Are those dates flexible?
  • What are you most looking forward to doing on this trip?
  • What sorts of activities do you like to do while you’re away?
  • Do you like the excitement of crowds or do you prefer something quieter?
  • Do you like trying local cuisine or something familiar?
  • Are you comfortable exploring new destinations on your own (getting lost is part of the fun!), or would you prefer an expert guide so you don’t miss any of the highlights)?

Once I have a general idea of what you have in mind, we can narrow the choices down even further to come up with the vacation that’s just right for you. If you’re looking for some ideas to get you started, feel free to explore this section on Vacation Options. Here, you’ll find some introductory information on cruising, all-inclusive tour packages, Disney vacations, guided vacations and more.

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Karl Chafe is an independent owner, affiliated with TPI.