“You know all those things you always wanted to do? You should go do them” – Unknown
You know want to get away, but… where are you going to go? Sure, Fleetwood Mac said You Can Go Your Own Way, but which way is that?
You could do the whole throw a dart at a large map of the world thing, but is that a realistic approach for you? If it is, good for you! We know we couldn’t afford to do that.
If it seems like there are too many decisions to make about where you can go, it can make nailing that decision down overwhelming.
We’re here to help you figure out where your next vacation will be… and maybe even the one after that.
5 Questions to ask yourself to narrow down your choices.
- What is my realistic vacation budget?
Do you already have a fund you’ve been putting $25, $50, $100, or more in each month? If you do, then this question is easier for you. If you don’t have a fund set aside yet, take a few minutes and figure out how much you can save, and for how long.
If your vacation budget is $50, you have some options. If you have more cash to spend, you have other options. (We will never suggest that going into debt to go on vacation is a good idea.)
- How much time do I have available?
Do you have a set amount of vacation time you can use? Do you have children who have a certain number of days off during school breaks? Are you retired with six Saturdays and a Sunday?
This is the second step in deciding where you’re going to go. If you want to rent an RV and drive across the Country, but have four days of vacation available, you’re going to need to adjust that plan.
Notice… adjust – not cancel. Maybe in this scenario you rent an RV and explore your state or a neighboring state.
- Am I vacationing with someone else or getting away by myself?
Is this vacation intended to allow you to get some much needed “me” time or will the entire extended family and everyone’s pets be coming along? Some of you just ran away screaming at one of those thoughts. Others thought, “Heck yeah! That’d be awesome!”
What do you envision?
- So, what you want to do while you’re vacationing, what does that look like?
Take a moment and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths, sit back, and relax. When you think of your peaceful get away, what do you see?
- Are you camping in a campground (State or KOA) or roughing it dry camping in the wilderness?
- Are you at the beach? Is it crowded or empty? Is the weather warm or cool? Is the beach sandy or rocky? Is the sand white (Caribbean), beige (US or European), pink (Bermuda), or black (Hawaii)?
- Are you in the mountains? Are you playing in the snow or are you walking in meadows? Maybe you’re taking a trail ride at a dude ranch.
- Are you catching a prize-winning fish? Are you river, lake, or ocean fishing?
- Are you at an amusement park with lots of rides? Is there a water park too? Is it summer or a different time of year?
- Are you staying at an all-inclusive resort with room-service? Is it on land or are you floating at sea on a cruise ship or yacht?
- Are you at home with the phone off?
- Are you sightseeing in a city? Is it a new-to-you city or is it your current city?
- How much planning do you want to do?
Do you thrive on lists and want to coordinate flights, tours, road routes, menus, restaurant reservations, …, do you prefer to take things as they come, or are you somewhere in the middle?
If you’re not a planner, it doesn’t mean you can’t go on some grand vacation to Iceland. There are people who thrive, in fact make a living, at doing that for you. They’re paid by the travel companies – you don’t usually even pay them a convenience fee!
Do you want an easy worksheet to figure this out? Print this article and write your answers in the margins or on the back. If that doesn’t give you enough room for your notes, grab your journal or some paper and a pen and give yourself some time to focus and capture your thoughts.
Just taking time for that mental break will start revving your anticipation for an honest-to-goodness escape. Even if that escape you’re looking forward to is right there on your couch!
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” –Steve Jobs