First, you must start with your budget. It is a sad fact that you cannot enjoy a week in Bora Bora in an overwater bungalow if your budget is $2500 per person. However that doesn’t mean you can’t take your dream trip. You simply must identify what it is that you really want out of your vacation?
Is your true desire to see Bora Bora, experience all the beauty and excitement that you have read about. Then a great option is swapping out expensive flights for a a sailing that departs from Los Angeles! That will not only get you there, but to Mexico, New Caledonia, Fiji, and Australia! $2500, well maybe closer to $2600 since you still have to get home from Sydney, plus what you spend on the ship. Still an unbelievable bargain; yes that is a real trip sailing August 2014!
Perhaps you fantasy is to spend a week with your true love in an over the water bungalow, the sea flowing underneath you, birds chirping in the background and the steady rhythm of the waves pulling all the stress out of your body. I can swap out Bora Bora for Roatan Honduras and deliver the experience that you are dreaming of, and stay on budget.
I know what you are thinking; I just want a week in the sun, on a beach and a deal. But the truth is that isn’t what you really want. I can book you at the cheapest hotel, by the best beach in the world, send you there with a package of jerky, and a bottle of rum – you got a deal, and you will have wasted every minute of your precious vacation time.
What you really want is to be treated with respect, as a valued guest. You want to be safe, comfortable. You want to enjoy your meals. You want to be treated like you matter in world filled with no-customer-service so much of the time, daily tasks, commutes, frustration, work, and doing for others. You do not want to experience these daily hazards of life on your vacation, no matter what your budget. In short, you want value for your vacation dollar, not just the cheapest deal out there. When planning it is important to keep this in mind, saving $100 for a bad time, inferior food, or poor service is not a deal.
Don’t forget the details; they matter!
When planning your own trip it is critical that you research the hum drum aspects of your trip. Do I need a passport? What currency and how much do I take. When is the best time to go? Do I need a Visa? I am single and am traveling with a minor, what do I need? What is the difference between off season and high season? What is the time change? What is the weather? Most of the critical information for US citizens can be found at http://travel.state.gov/ Any information that is obtained from a source that would not be held accountable when they have posted erroneous information should be verified through a trusted source, government website, newspaper website, or tourism board website.
So once you have your budget, and what it is you really want out of vacation, and those pesky details in mind, you can start the fun part – looking at options. Online can be a great way to get ideas, so can a trip to your local library as well as visiting with friends. Maybe you don’t have a destination in mind, but rather an activity. I want to go dog sledding! This can be a great way to narrow down your options.
Now is the perfect time to contact a trusted travel consultant!
If you prefer to do the research, and make all the arrangements yourself, choose a travel agency that has an online booking engine such as www.midwest-travel.com , you will get the same DIY rates as Expedia, Travelocity or Hotels.com and yet have a real person to call if something unexpected comes up or you just need a quick answer to a question without spending hours looking for the answer online. (You do know that Expedia, Travelocity, etc., are just online travel agencies that get the same commission as local travel agencies, right?) The difference of course is a travel agency owned by a business person in your area cares about you and your experience a lot more than the CSR sitting in a cube in who knows where.
Don’t know a local agent, send me a message and I will put you in touch with an experienced capable agent that can offer you all the benefits of booking online, plus help and advice if needed. Of course at Midwest Travel Solutions we work with clients all over the country and would be happy to assist you no matter where you live.