It’s time to plan a Family Vacation! But, oh, the stress that comes with deciding on where to travel! I’m here to help relieve you of some of the stress that goes along with that decision. There are several factors that might affect your choice of destination. Here are five factors that may help you narrow down your Vacation Destination:
Age of Travelers– If you are traveling as a couple with just two adults, this category of factors does not affect you and you can move on to the next category! However, if you’re traveling with more than one couple, you might read on. If you’re traveling with infants or toddlers, I applaud you. Traveling with small children is one of the toughest things I’ve done, but don’t let that discourage you! It can also be very rewarding if you choose your destination correctly and plan well. For instance, your child must be at least six months old on the day of sailing for most Disney Cruises. And they must be one year old to travel on any of the TransAtlantic or Panama Canal sailings. But any older than that and you’re good to go. Disney Cruise Line does offer It’s a Small World Nursery for children up to three years old for an additional fee. Children of age three and above can enjoy the Oceaneer Club and I understand most children may fuss when it’s time to leave the fun to be with Mom and Dad again! If you’re thinking of traveling to Hawaii with your infant or toddler, there aren’t any age restrictions, but keep in mind that it’s a long flight from the mainland to the islands. If Aulani by Disney is on your travel list, you may want to wait until your little one is used to sitting for long stretches or easily entertained on a flight. I’ve traveled to Hawaii with a newborn and I’ve traveled to Hawaii with preschool age children and I will tell you the newborn was the easiest by far! However, preschool and elementary age children probably enjoy Disneyland or Walt Disney World more than Hawaii. If you have teenagers who love thrill rides, you might consider Universal Orlando. They have fantastic roller coasters and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a huge draw, too.
Budget– You must seriously consider your budget when deciding where to travel. Disneyland is usually less expensive than Walt Disney World. You would think that Disney Cruise Line would always be more expensive than Walt Disney World, but if you travel at the right time and on the right length of cruise, Disney Cruise Line can actually be a better investment of your travel dollars. When you consider the all inclusive nature of a cruise, this can definitely be true. And speaking of cruises, why not consider a Royal Caribbean sailing or a Princess Cruises sailing if Disney Cruise Line doesn’t fit your budget. While Disney Cruises are certainly “top of the line”, an all inclusive sailing on a lesser priced cruise might just be what you’re looking for. If you’re still firmly interested in a theme park vacation, but don’t want to spend the money it takes to go to Walt Disney World, you might consider Universal Orlando. They have some amazing options on hotels and loads of fun attractions. Finally, your geographical location might affect your decision. If you live closer to the West Coast of the United States, it could be more cost effective for you drive or fly to Disneyland. Or if you’re closer to the East Coast, Disney World or Universal Orlando might be the way to go. If you live in a city that houses an airport hub, your travel agent might find direct flights for you to Mexico or the Caribbean.
Interests– What are you interested in? Do you love the beach? Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, or Dominican Republic might be your next vacation choice. Or do you love to snow ski? Let’s get you booked to Park City, Utah where they have the Best Snow on Earth. It really is so much so that it’s on our license plates. Do you love roller coasters and thrill rides? How about Universal Orlando for you? Do you have a favorite princess? You better choose Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Are you a major Star Wars fan? Again, Disneyland or Walt Disney World as they have whole lands dedicated to the franchise complete with Storm Troopers roaming the streets. Are you a history buff? Perhaps you need a trip to Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Boston. Theater fan? New York City is THE place to go! We live in a great big world and there’s something for everyone!
Passports– This is a major deciding factor in travel planning. If you don’t already have a passport, you might not want to plan an international trip in the near future. Stick to a destination within the United States. Just as a reminder, Hawaii and Alaska are in the United States and you won’t need a passport to fly directly to either of these destinations. If you are considering an Alaskan Cruise, keep in mind that many of these sailings depart from or stop off in Canadian cities such as Vancouver and Victoria BC. You would need a passport to sail out of Vancouver and while you don’t necessarily HAVE to have a passport on a cruise with stops in an international port, I recommend it. You would have a difficult time flying home from an international port if you, for some reason, missed the ship or had to stop in that city for medical attention. So, a passport is not required for a closed loop sailing- sailing out of a US city and returning to a US city, but I highly recommend a passport when cruising. You just never know what circumstances may arise that would require you to have to fly home unexpectedly from an international port.
Snow or Sun– If you’re reading this in the winter and you live in a snow bound city like me, can’t you just picture yourself baking in the sun on the beach right now? You might long for an all-inclusive resort in Cancun or Punta Canca, Dominican Republic. That just might cure your winter time blues. Or perhaps, you live in Florida where it’s warm most of the year round and you’re so tired of the heat and the humidity. You long for a dry climate with cooler temperatures. You might need a snow vacation. Even if you don’t ski, there’s so much to do in destinations like Utah and Colorado. There are horse drawn sleds, inner tubes to be ridden down the mountain, and ice castles to explore. Either way, often, your home base determines the type of climate you want in a vacation destination.
So, as you can see, there are so many different types of vacation destinations. I hope reading through this has helped relieved your stress about what destination to choose. If you’re still undecided, I can help! My name is Jeri May and I’ve helped a few clients choose destinations based on these very factors. Contact me today and we’ll get started planning your next trip!
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