For families, going on vacation can be one of the highlights of the year. Opportunities to spend more than a few days away from work can be far and few between, and between coordinating schedules and agreeing on budgets, it can be tricky to get everyone aligned. And once you decide you’re actually ready to commit to a vacation, you’ll be faced with another decision – where do you actually want to go?
Choosing the best spot for your next vacation can be tough, but there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re making the right decision. Here are some tips you should keep in mind when picking the perfect place for your next trip:
ASK SOME QUESTIONS
The best place to start is by having a conversation with anyone you plan to travel with – even if it’s only your immediate family, it’s a good idea to get a consensus and loop everyone into the decision-making process if you can. Ask yourselves a few questions, like…
ARE THERE ANY PLACES YOU’VE BEEN DYING TO VISIT?
What do we want to do on vacation? Explore a big city? Visit the beach? Camp and hike for a long weekend?
Do any destinations make more sense than others, given the season you plan to travel or other time constraints? A trip to Europe might be fun, and tickets might be cheap, but visiting in December isn’t the best idea if you want to spend your days on the beach – or if you don’t have more than a couple of days to spend away from home.
EVALUATE YOUR BUDGET
The amount of money you’re willing to spend will often be the most significant deciding factor when it comes to your next vacation. Not only will it help dictate your destination, but it’ll also determine your accommodations, your dining plans, and just about every other element of your trip.
Again, be smart here. If you don’t have a ton of extra cash to spend on your travels, consider a less expensive vacation, like renting a cabin with the family to hike and explore or checking out a less-popular tourist destination than you otherwise would.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s critical. So many people choose their vacation destination based on name alone, and while you really can’t go wrong with a well-known spot like London or New York City, there are plenty of places well worth a visit that would sound entirely uninteresting without a little context about the destination itself.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to get out of your vacation and know what you can afford to spend, search online to see if you can find any potential vacation spots that didn’t come up in your initial brainstorming sessions. You may find yourself with several places to consider that didn’t originally come to mind.
ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
Friends and family who know you well may be able to give some helpful tips or reliable recommendations around choosing your next vacation destination, based on personal experience or those shared by people they know. Leaning on the expertise of those who know you means you’ll be getting much more personalized recommendations than the ones you’ll find online.
Picking the ideal spot for your next vacation may feel a bit intimidating, but by doing your research and evaluating your situation, you’ll be sure to find a place perfect for creating memories with your family.