Welcome to my holiday blog of stunning places to visit
Getting the most from your vacation
The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) has provided us with some hints on how to get the most from your vacation. We are sharing them with you here.
What are your expectations?
What is important to you?
What do you expect from your trip?
Are you looking for a particular level of comfort or luxury?
If luxury accommodations are important, be sure to ask what category hotels will be used.
How much activity do you want?
Some people want to see everything; others prefer a casual day on the beach or relaxing in a café.
On an escorted tour, find out how much actual travel there is vs. time to stay put. Is there enough free time? Check the itinerary carefully to be sure that the sights you want to see are included.
How do you fit in?
Try to choose accommodations that fit your style and comfort level. If you like things casual, check to see whether it may be too formal for your taste or vice versa.
If on an escorted tour, decide how important it is that the other people in your group be from a similar background or educational level.
Are your expectations realistic? Are you willing to compromise in order to save money? If you’re trying to save money, decide whether it matters that your hotel room faces the back or has no view. Remember, you usually get what you pay for. If you’re traveling on a bare bones budget, don’t expect top-drawer luxury.
What type of vacation is right for you?
Does an escorted tour, a special interest trip with like-minded individuals, or an independent, on-your-own vacation fill the bill?
USTOA has developed a quick self-test (called the “Vacation Personality Quiz”) that helps you determine the best vacation type for you based on your personality preferences.
When is an escorted tour the right choice?
If convenience is a major priority, and you want to avoid long lines for museums and attractions, an escorted tour is the way to go. As a member of a tour group you are assured priority entrance to major sites such as museums and attractions like the Eiffel Tower.
If you want to learn more about the areas you’re visiting, escorted tours often provide specialized local guides in areas of historic interest. You will benefit from their insights into the local history and culture and your trip will be enriched accordingly.
If you’re a busy professional and don’t have time to do the planning yourself, consider all the pre-arranged benefits of an escorted tour.
You won’t have to worry about finding your hotel accommodations, coping with driving or traveling on your own, getting your bags to and from your room, whether you’ve missed major attractions, and more. All the hassles are taken care of; you’re free to sit back and relax.
If you’re traveling to a more exotic, off-the-beaten path area, such as Asia or Africa, where you might not be familiar with customs and language, you may prefer the security of a group tour. Also remember that travel insurance is important, visit thatsinsurance for more information.
If you’re a single traveler you may wish to hook up with a small group of compatible people. There are walking tours, wilderness tours, safaris, motorcoach tours and many other choices that offer companionship and the convenience of preplanned arrangements.
For additional help, take the free USTOA Vacation Personality Quiz developed by a group of psychologists. The quiz takes you through 15 easy-to-answer questions that help you determine the best type of vacation for you based on your personality preferences.