Planning Your Perfect Vacation

In the past 10 years, my hubby and I have traveled to many wonderful destinations. Off the top of my head, we’ve visited 11 islands in the Caribbean; Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico; Maui, The Big Island, and Kauai in Hawaii; and a few cruise ports in Central America. We’ve been on 5 cruises, which account for many of the Caribbean islands, and taken multiple trips to Hawaiian resorts, and Mexican all-inclusive resorts. I get asked all the time how I plan our trips, so today I’m going to share that with you on the blog.


Perfect Vacation
Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hawaii, 2010


I’m the designated travel planner in my family. Just ask anyone in my family, I take my mission seriously. I’ve only used a real travel agent once, for our 30th anniversary trip to St. Lucia in 2015. I probably won’t do it again. Not that it was a bad experience, because it wasn’t. I used the travel agent to help me narrow down the region of our trip and to choose a resort based on our needs. Her expertise was really helpful in choosing and booking our location.


Perfect Get-A-Way
Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos, 2011


What’s Your Idea of a Perfect Vacation?

Our idea of travel is going to a warm, fun, sandy place for some R & R (rest and relaxation). Everyone’s idea of travel is different, so it’s important to know what your idea of the perfect vacation when planning. Some people travel for new adventures, to experience a new culture, or to visit a particular city. Every time you travel you are going to have a new experience, you just need to ensure it’s the type of experience you want.


Sandals at St. Lucia, 2015


First Things First

The first step is knowing what’s your idea of the perfect vacation. What do you want out of this vacation experience? Is it freezing cold where you are right now and you want a warm, toes in the sand vacation? Or do you want to see a lot of places, say several cities in a week? Maybe you want to go zip-lining through a jungle? Understanding this is key to having the time of your life or coming home feeling like you still need a vacation.


Hawaii, 2015


Wonderful Destinations

Once you know what kinds of experience you’re looking for, it’s time to decide where to go. There are so many wonderful destinations out there! Deciding what you want to do comes before deciding where to go because there are more factors involved in the destination. Say you always take your vacation in the summer because your kids are out of school then. If a tropical, toes in the sand experience is what you want then you’ll need to factor in the season and weather. For instance, it’s hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea in the summer and fall. This means great deals are to be had during the low-season, but a hurricane or tropical storm could affect your plans.

It’s Hot, Hot, Hot!

In Mexico, some places are really hot in the summer. We once went to Cabo San Lucas in July and it was blazing hot. I knew that it would be hot, but I didn’t realize the effect of the very high humidity. It was 110 with the heat index and we spent all day in the pool just to be comfortable. Another time, we went there in mid-August and had a tropical storm. In fact, our resort flooded and we lost water and air conditioning. We still had a great time though, and have a good laugh when we talk about that trip. Include Mother Nature in your decision making.

Planning the Perfect Get-A-Way
The Arc in Cabo San Lucas, 2010


So, we’ve covered what kind of vacation you want and what to factor in when choosing your destination. I have plenty more to share, though! Topics such about where to look for deals, research on where to say, and what to look for in a resort are to come. I’ll be sharing that over the next few weeks. Look for part two of planning the perfect get-a-way!

Feel free to share any of your funny vacation experiences below.