I have always loved travelling, but my love of planning for travel has come from planning my first summer vacation back in 2014. Michael and I were both 18 at the time and we decided (kind of on a whim after finding a great deal) to book an all-inclusive vacation to Punta Cana. We have made it a point to go on at least one trip per year together since then, so I have had quite some experience with how to plan the perfect trip/choosing the best resort or hotel. Here are my main tips.
- Read the reviews
If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this tip. I really do think that reading reviews for the resort or hotel you are thinking of staying at will really help in deciding if this is the place for you. My favourite website for reviews is Tripadvisor. Not only will you find information about if the hotel is clean and if it provides good service, but you might also find information about walking distances to nearby attractions, or if it’s easy to get to public transportation. You never know what people might post about in their reviews. They might also reveal information about things that would really be nice to know about; hidden fees, for example. Also, the posters can share their own photos, which I love looking at because it really helps to visualize what the place looks like and if it fits all your criteria; enough palapas on the beach for example.
- Know which area you want to stay in
This tip applies more for the non-inclusive types of vacations. If you’re travelling to Europe or a particular city, decide which main attractions you want to visit and where these are located. This will really help in situating yourself and making sure to select a location that makes most sense for what you want to do/see.
For instance, when planning our 4-night stay in Rome for this past summer, I initially thought it would be a great idea to stay at a hotel near the Termini, that way we could make our way all around town by public transport. After speaking with people around us and taking a closer look at the map, we realized that it would make the most sense to stay in a hotel that is close to one of the main attractions. This would in turn allow us to walk pretty much everywhere we want to go. We ended up choosing a hotel right by the Trevi Fountain and we were able to walk to every attraction we wanted to see- even to the Vatican!
- Book with a trusted/reputable airline
This tip is mostly for when booking an all-inclusive vacation. I have been on several all-inclusive vacations, most of them with Air Canada Vacations and one with Transat Holidays (Air Transat) and I really do think that this is the way to go. There are “bargain vacation” websites that exist, but I don’t think I would ever book with them, or if I did, I would really make sure that the trip itself is operated by an airline. A phone number is always provided when you get to the resort, should you need any assistance at all from the airline during your stay, so you know you can always count on them.
I hope you enjoyed all these tips and let me know if you have any that you’d like to share!