By Dr. Drew Henry
Europe is the most popular destination for tourists. There are
several important things to keep in mind before calling your
travel agent and booking your next vacation:
1. Your Budget: Set your budget. This includes transportation
cost and souvenir/s. If your budget is smaller, you should
visit Eastern Europe, looking for packaged tours, or, if
flexible, book a "last-minute" trip, which can often save you
30% or more. Check out the current exchange rate between your
currency and that of the country you'll be visiting, to have a
better idea of what your vacation is going to actually cost
you. Whenever possible, travel during an off-peak season to
save even more.
2. Time of year: You may not want to spend many days indoors,
because the weather can be cold and rainy. You may miss a
wonderful trip just because you have not checked with your
travel agent or weather forecast first. This is what I
recommend you if you're not sure of weather patterns, check
with your travel agent who can advise you on rainy seasons or
other weather-related issues for traveling to a specific spot.
3. Political Climate: While most countries that rely on
make every effort to ensure the safety of tourists, these days
it's always a good idea to keep up on the current political
climate of the country you're planning to visit, especially if
there have been problems in the past.
4. Your waking time: If you usually wake up late in the
morning, then a guided tour is probably not for you. Most
guided tours start early in the morning, and you're on the go
until evening. You may visit several cities in a country or
countries within a specified amount of time, and you're
required to stay with the group.
However, if you don't like traveling alone, you enjoy the
companionship of others and getting to see as much as possible
in the time you've got, a guided tour or cruise may be just
thing for you.
5. Your dream and personal desire: This vacation is something
special and you save the whole year for. So if you have always
wanted to visit somewhere or do something special -- why wait?
Include it in your next vacation plans.
6. Plan your day: Take a little time to think about what you
like doing before planning your trip. Do you prefer the water,
or the mountains? Lying on the beach, or rock-climbing?
Adrenaline rushes or visiting an art museum?
Once you know what you want to do, figure out what you'll have
time to do. Many times, in an effort to get the "most bang for
our buck" we tend to over plan the vacation, and end up
a vacation from the vacation when we get home! Prioritize your
list, and be willing to save some activities or attractions
7. Use the resources that are available to make your trip
special and save money: Today's travelers have numerous
when planning their vacation. You can use the Internet to find
out more about the cities or countries you want to visit,
out prices, even book your flight or hotel room. Here is a
useful website you can visit www.heping-hotel.com If
you're visiting a place for the first time, check with a
agent, talk to someone who's "been there, done that" on an
Internet Forum, or contact local chambers or commerce or
councils to get more information about where to go, what to
and what to do.
8. Pack lightly: Do not bring items that you will not use and
unnecessary because the word “Just In Case”. When planning
trip, look at your wardrobe and pack as lightly as you can.
only what you'll really need, and remember that if you forget
end up needing something, chances are you can get it once you
reach your destination.
9. Get organized: You can use trip-planning software, or your
own favorite organizing system to organize and plan your trip.
Don't forget things like making sure your passport and picture
ID are up-to-date, finding out if travel insurance is
you need, and how and where to exchange your money. The more
organized you are in the beginning, the better vacation you'll
10. Have fun!: Get organized, have a plan before going
anywhere. That way, once you're on your way, you'll be able to
relax and enjoy yourself. But remember, there are very few
"perfect" vacations, so if something does go wrong, try to
relax and "go with the flow" as much as possible.
About The Author: Dr. Drew Henry is president of
www.natrohotels.com and CEO of
www.wellnesshotel-select.com, websites providing
up-to-date resources and guides about the hotel industry.