As the end of the year quickly approaches, and people reflect on what they’ve accomplished (as well as things to put on the wish list for the New Year), one of the most popular subjects of consideration is travel. Some lament on the incredible vacation they got to take; others look forward to an upcoming trip as a reward for their hard work. Whether you want to see more of the world, or take advantage of quick getaways when you need a brief refresher, now is the perfect time to plan for an incredible year of travel in 2012.
The most important part of travel planning is research, research, research! Now is an excellent time to begin researching places you’re interested in visiting or revisiting. Next, determine which modes of travel are available to get to your destination. Factor in your travel preferences and/or time constraints. Price is a key element in planning a vacation, so actively compare prices for lodging, dining, and mode of transportation. Be sure to use any available discount options, rewards points, or loyalty program benefits you may participate in to secure the best price.
Be sure to determine just what attractions and points of interest are the most important for you to see and experience. The Eiffel Tower in Paris is certainly breathtaking, but you may be more fascinated in seeing Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs. Pike’s Peak may be understated compared to a trip to Paris, but if that’s what piques your excitement, go for it. Choosing what you want versus what’s most popular or most frequented will guarantee that your vacation is exactly what you expected – maybe even more.
To increase the frequency of your travel in 2012, consider shorter trips. Taking vacations for 2-4 day intervals can provide an equally fulfilling trip when comparing it to a weeklong excursion, and allows you to become better acquainted with destinations closer to home, or experience other modes of travel. For example, a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas can provide a glorious vacation that provides relaxation and excitement to fulfill each traveler’s needs. In-state attractions like resorts and theme parks are another great option to select for short vacations (many offer resident promotions for added savings). Get better acquainted with your home state and surrounding states, or experience an unforgettable trip to places you’ve never seen before.
The new year is a great time to plan a trip using a mode of transportation you never used before, or haven’t used in a number of years. For example, there’s still 80% of the population that have never taken a cruise. There are still others that have never experienced the scenic beauty of a train ride. Taking the bus is a budget-friendly travel option. A flight to your intended destination may only take a matter of a couple hours, leaving you with more time to enjoy the city of your choice. And for those who may not be aware – there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned road trip to really make a vacation memorable.
Travel is an enjoyable and oftentimes necessary life experience. With our challenging daily lives, we all need a break (no matter how short or long) to regroup and relax; be refreshed and rejuvenated. If you are into making New Year’s goals or resolutions, planning to travel is a fantastic way to start the list. Make 2012 the year to make incredible memories on an incredible trip (and to put good use to that camcorder you camped out for on Black Friday or got for Christmas.)