I love to travel but, having just come back from two weeks away, I also acknowledge that I love to come home. My pets play a large role in that as well as my at home daughter but I like my home and my small town as well. I know where everything is and how to get around. I'm going to make some observations about my vacation while it's still fresh in my mind. In the Stop Budgeting, Start Dreaming mindset, travelling is one of my dreams.
Although one of my dreams, I still love to get a deal. I am content to spend money on a dream but I find it difficult to be extravagant, unless it is something really special. Plus, it's a challenge, the thrill of the chase that's part of the whole process. Spending a lot doesn't particularly improve the enjoyment, I have often found. Sleeping in a tent on an African safari wasn't terrifically comfortable but the elephants and giraffes were equally enchanting.
An important part of travel planning is to know yourself. How would you like to spend your vacation? Using a metacognition strategy, think about your thinking. Were you annoyed to be waiting in line? Do you hate to get dressed up on vacation? Do you dislike crowds or thrive on the hustle and bustle? What did you like and not like about previous vacations.
Try to obtain different opinions about destinations and vacation options. Some people who work hard physically on a daily basis feel they want to sit on a beach and do nothing. If you are used to being active, following that course may only feel good for a day or two. On the other hand, sightseeing is hard work. If you go to Paris planning to see The Louvre in the morning and Versailles in the afternoon you will simultaneously exhaust and disappoint yourself. You can't do justice--or enjoy--either under that plan.
We wanted to take a cruise to Hawaii. Cruising can be a real bargain . . . or not. You can spend ridiculous amounts of money reserving a Neptune Suite complete with a grand piano and your own butler. We didn't do that. If you are looking at cruises, research what the different lines offer. Will the male person in a couple be happy to wear a suit or tuxedo to dinner and the female person, a gown? (that would be Cunard) Or will you both be unhappy with that requirement. It's a problem if you're on different style wavelengths. How about a cruise with a go cart track, a bowling alley, a skating rink and/or a climbing wall. If you don't fancy that, remember your cruise fare will build in those costs even if you don't use them. Think about the costs to get to your departure port. Best if you can drive to it or at least only fly one way. Lots of information on Cruise Critic.
Next week I'll give some specifics as to enjoying a cruise vacation for the best price.