Where to next? Steps to decide the destination of your next trip.

You just got back from vacation - sigh.  How to cure the “back to real life” blues?  By planning your next trip, of course! But, where should you go?  Here are a few tips to help you decide what’s next.

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Pick a time frame: Take a look at your calendar and find a good window of time.  If you’re on a budget then you want to remain flexible, i.e. be available on a few different weeks/weekends so that you’ll be able to pick from whichever is least expensive.  Is your July completely open? Great, then you can look at flight/hotel costs over the whole month and choose whichever fits your budget. Is your July mostly filled already except for one weekend?  Then you’re at the mercy of travel costs that one weekend, so maybe you decide to go in August instead.

Plane, train, or automobile: Decide how long you want to go away - an overnight, weekend, long weekend, a week or more, then determine how far you’re willing to travel over that period of time.  For a quick overnight (yes, that counts as vacation!!), you’re probably going to drive. For a two-nighter, are you willing to fly? If so, how long of a flight makes sense to you for only two nights?  Basically, the amount of time you’re comfortable traveling relative to the length of your trip (plus your budget) will help you figure out how you’re going to travel as well as...

...where you want to go.  Make a list of places that fall within the parameters from the previous step.  For example, if you want to do a quick overnight and don’t want to drive more than 75 minutes, then what’s within a 75-minute radius from you?  For a long weekend, make a list of places within, say, a five-hour drive or a three-hour flight. Whatever the case may be, you’re starting to narrow down where you’re going.  

Final considerations:  Do you want to go somewhere new or somewhere you’ve already been that you’ve been meaning to get back to?  Do you want a retreat, a beach, or an urban adventure? Is weather/climate a factor - want to go north in summer and south in winter?  Are you jonesing for a particular experience - visiting breweries or wineries, a ball game, a national park, a festival? Whatever you’re feeling, use this to narrow down even further.  

Check prices: Once you’ve whittled down your list of prospective places, shop around.  If you’ve got your heart set on a particular place and your time is flexible, see which dates offer the best flight times, fares, and hotel prices as these can change from weekend to weekend.  And don’t forget, your weekend doesn’t have to be Friday to Sunday - you can do Saturday to Monday and not fight crowds all weekend! If you’re open to a few different places, check the flight times, fares, and hotel prices for each place over different weeks/weekends and see what makes the most out of your time and budget.  Then BOOK!!!

Don’t get discouraged if you know you want to go somewhere, but don’t know where, or don’t have a lot of time or money - you can always find something!  And if you run through these steps and what’s available doesn’t seem appealing to you….go anyway!!! You can find and make fun anywhere, near or far...and If you’d like us to help make that trip a blast by creating a personalized itinerary, visit us at www.windowseattravelplans.com and complete your own travel profile!