So you want to take a vacation. Before you get to the boarding gate at the airport there are a few things to consider. Whether you've scheduled a consultation to work with me, or you've decided to go about planning your own vacation, take a deep dive into the 5 W's regarding your vacation.
Who do you plan to travel with? Will you still travel if they can’t make it? Are they committed to actually traveling? Really look at who you plan to travel with, the wrong roommates can ruin a vacation before it starts (by not paying and forcing you to cancel your trip). Who you travel with is an important question that should not be ignored.
What do you want to spend on this experience? This is not what you can afford, this is what you want to pay for this particular travel experience. To get a good estimate for expenses start with flights - head to google.com/travel/flights and search pricing for your dates and intended destination. This should help you gauge if your budget will get you to the destination of your choice. Remember, yesterdays price is not todays price, prices fluctuate for reasons such as supply and demand, holidays, occupancy levels, inflation and more, so narrow down what you want to pay.
***This is also a good stage to begin to think about where and when you will get your deposit. You should be prepared to pay your deposit or package price once your itinerary is confirmed, as pricing and availability can change.
What dates do you want to travel? Are they flexible, as sometimes certain seasons are more expensive (think Christmas, New Years, & spring break), than others (think early fall, off peak & rainy season). Also, if you want to take advantage of a longer interest free payment plan arrangement, ensure you start planning your vacation 6 - 10 months before you plan to travel.
Where do you want go and are you open to suggestions? This is a good time to factor in how long you have to vacation. Also consider the time it takes to get to your intended destination. For example if you want to visit Bali, but only have 4 days of PTO leave, you may want to consider a alternate destination as on average it takes a day and half to get to Bali from most Us Cities.
Why did you pick that destination? Are you celebrating anything or have any unique expectations for this trip? You why can often find similar travel destinations by knowing your why. For example if you want to visit Italy you may also consider Portugal which offers similar food, wine and cultural experiences but can be more affordable. Also note there is no wrong reason to travel. I have clients who travel to stunt, get over a breakup, for rest, weddings, birthdays and more. Get in tune with your why.
I hope you take some time to consider these questions as they will help you and your travel expert plan the perfect itinerary.