American adults don’t go on vacation as often as they should.
One question often asked is how to book a vacation package. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the multitude of options out there, it can become somewhat overwhelming, especially for new travelers.
It is possible, of course, to simply book all of the elements of a great vacation on your own. You can spend hours researching flight deals, hotel specials, and destinations. However, many busy families are simply looking for that special package that handles all of the individual dynamics for them. It certainly simplifies things if a one-click booking process can take care of all of your transportation, lodging, and sometimes, even sightseeing needs.
There are several outlets for the literal booking, from internet search engines, to airline specific websites, or even companies that offer the help of a travel agent. Whatever outlet you choose there are a few steps to get you started down the right path.
Step 1: Outline a General Budget
First, determine what you want to spend. Create a general budget to work from and go from there. It is important to remember to look for value and not just price, which is something some travelers discount. It is so easy to choose a vacation package based solely on overall price. This is a mistake.
Although everyone has a price point they need to work with, sometimes the value of a slightly-upgraded choice can make an enormous difference. At the end of the day, spending an additional couple of hundred dollars on a week’s holiday can mean the difference between a sub-par hotel and a five-star resort.
Step 2: Set the Date for Your Vacation
After an initial idea on the budget is determined, the next step is to decide when you want to travel. These two steps can be quite intertwined as prices vary by booking season. If you are traveling to a beach vacation in the dead of winter, or to see the famous fjords of Scandinavia in the summer, you can surely expect higher prices than traveling off-season. With that said, deals can be found any time of year.
Flexibility is often key. Traveling mid-week, traveling one week on either side of a major holiday, and being willing to stay in the next village over from a popular hot spot, can make a world of difference in pricing and the quality of vacation you get for the money.
Step 3: Pick Your Destination
Now we’re getting to the fun stuff! The world is an amazing place, filled with fascinating cultures, delicious food, and wonderful people. Find your inner Indiana Jones at Angkor Wat. Window shop along the Champs-Elysees. Swim in the Indian Ocean, off the spice island of Zanzibar. The world is your oyster.
Step 1 and 2 come into play. Certainly, you can’t take a $10,000 vacation on a $1,000 budget, but if Paris or Africa is on your bucket list, there are some options that are more affordable than others. By staying in a small hotel in a less popular arrondissement of Paris and utilizing public transportation, you can make your dollar go further. Add in a hotel that includes breakfast and lunches gathered from the market and you have the makings of a great, yet affordable, vacation.
Africa can be surprisingly expensive. National park entry fees and safari lodges come at a high price, but by choosing less expensive countries to travel to, you can still experience all of the exoticism of this amazing continent without breaking the bank.
Step 4: Look for Vacation Packages
You have your budget. You know when you want your vacation to occur. You’ve narrowed down a few places that you would really love to visit. Now, you simply need to begin the process of deciding on the perfect package for you.
Perhaps your dream trip involves a beach, rum drink, and lots of lounging and relaxing in a perfect setting. Maybe an adventure is the name of the game, and the idea of traveling by tuk-tuk through the bustling streets of Thailand, grabbing a meal on the go from the ubiquitous food stall vendors found on many street corners, and exploring outdoor markets is your dream.
City enthusiasts will jump at the chance to wander the streets of London, Paris, and Rome while lovers of the outdoors may head to the Australian outback and travel by camel across the Red Centre. Regardless of your particular dreams, by jumping in and doing some research, the vacation of a lifetime is just a simple step away.
Step 5: Book Your Trip
For the very best vacation deals, timing can be key. If at all possible, book far in advance. Most packages are available nearly one year in advance and have early bird deals for those with time as a luxury. If you have already missed these, sometimes the next best bet is to book late. As the date draws closer, airlines and hotels sometimes dramatically reduce their rates in an attempt to fill the empty spaces.
Whenever you book, there is a variety of sources at your disposable to find the best package. Hotwire.* Priceline*. Lastminute.com* as well as individual airline sites, all offer excellent search engines. Sites such as Kayak* are easy to use because they offer rates from many of the other search engines, all in one place.
To guarantee you are getting the best rate we recommend doing multiple searches. By looking for the same parameters in several different sites, you will most likely find various pricing for the same flights and accommodations.
The vacation of a lifetime can be yours in 2017. With a few easy steps under way, it is quite easy to research and plan a holiday that will create memories for years to come. Travel with friends and family or take a solo or couples retreat. No matter the circumstances, the internet can be your most valuable asset. By utilizing the almost endless array of packages available to you, your dream vacation awaits.
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