The power of Vacation Planning!
To be honest I do my vacation planning throughout the year - I love it, and it gives me a clear focus on what I truly want in my life. We all know what obstacles are and how easy it is to get distracted.
How ever difficult the challenges I meet are - and how physically and emotionally affected I get - I keep my vacation planning on top of mind as a physical act on working towards things I like. Visualization is a key factor for success, and vacation planning is for me the way to really SEE what I'm aiming for. Even though it may be a distraction for some.
In this blog post I will give you some key factors for a successful vacation.
To make a successful vacation, you need to know more than - that you want to go on a vacation. You need to know who you're traveling with, what the purpose of your vacation is and what you picture yourself doing.
For example, if your main goal is to go shopping, you need to know that many of the Greek islands doesn't have that great shopping. Many only have a few nice shops, or maybe even none.
If you prefer sandy beaches, there are many places you can't go. Therefore, start by getting some inspiration and figure out what you really want. For many people this summer will be about traveling safe due to the world situation the past two years and now. For families it will be important to book their vacations as early as possible, and to be very smart with their money. So here goes.
When traveling safe
Google is great, so spend some time on Google maps to brush off your geography skills, and check out local government pages. This way you can learn more important things about your destination than which hotel to stay and what dress to wear. Not all countries are open for tourists yet - so make sure to check your travel details thoroughly. I always say; you are allowed to think, so trust your gut and make sure to answer all your questions while Googling and talking to friends. When checking the following links make sure to check the rules from your country, and with your personal situation (vaccinated or not etc). Here are a few links worth checking out:
These things are important for your safety
Expectations for the summer of 2022 and 2023 is sky high, and I am sure there will be jammed places and covid-cases. I recommend you to prepare your own travel restrictions, and prepare your self well:
In case of increase of Covid or other situations, what contingency plans does your destination have?
In sudden situations, what insurance to you have and what does it cover?
Do you have your first aid kit and your Covid-kit ready? With changes that may come during the summer, new orders on self-tests, face masks and disinfectant can become relevant again. Traveling with children, you will always meet situations and it wont always be easy to find a pharmacy or doctor.
It can be wise to register at your countries Embassy in the country you're visiting.
Digital chargers isn't always easy to find, so be prepared and bring an extra plus a power device. Remember to do your backups before your vacation in case your internet connection at your holiday destination isn't fully covered. These things are important for your safety as your phone may break down if it gets overloaded.
Practical inspector gadget stuff might be handy; Your personal burglary and fire alarm (remember mounting equipment - double sided tape is handy), good quilted jackets (usually for autumn/spring) keeps you warm when traveling in air conditioned air crafts, trains and busses - and are a lifesaver for tired children) etc.
Many destinations and hotels hasn't adapted to the world situation where you as a traveler no longer can know if you're actually going to reach your destination. We've been traveling the past two years during the pandemic, and the world, rules and possibilities change by the hour. This can be a problem, so make sure that you are updated on the cancellation policies. This particularly goes with the airline companies - even the companies you trust - you will be surprise how unprofessional and how difficult it can be just to reach them. Remember that it is better to be safe than sorry.
How to make your booking and When to start
Even when the world is locked down and everything seems impossible, keep going, make your plans and book destinations with free cancellation options. Make sure to decide wether or not you're going, before the deadline of your free cancellation. Don't keep free cancellation bookings longer than necessary - specially in Greece many hotels are family run and you want to respect their business.
Start your vacation plans as early as possible, the price difference are enormous, and free cancellation are features that makes it possible. Don't worry so much, making plans are a process - they grow with you while your creating your dream vacation!
Always contact the hotel by sending them some practical questions, their answer will show you how professional they are and what level their idea about being serviceminded is.
Very often a family with two grown ups and two children are recommended two rooms, this makes the vacation really expensive and unbearable. As a family you want to have a vacation together and not separate. So make a cancellation free reservation and send them a message to ask if you can add an extra bed.
Many family run hotels are just upgraded homes or have cheap building construction - therefore you might want to check if the rooms have soundproofing. Remember, you ARE on your vacation and you're back at the office before you know it! So make sure to keep your standard high, even when traveling economy class.
Some hotels offer you a better price when you book directly from their own booking system, this might come in handy.
You need to know that many hotels are really off the grid during winter season, because the people who run it are doing completely different things during winter. So make sure to make your reservations before you leave the hotel if you already know that you're coming back next year. And be aware that some hotels are late bloomers, they start to prepare their season in March and April and wont have their hotel on engines like Booking and Hotels before that.
Google it - and check ferries, your travel route and more
Traveling to a new destination? Always Google Map the area, even though Google Map can be outdated it will give you a feeling of the area. Some hotels might not be as great as they look on Booking and Hotels.
Check Tripadvisor and other social media and Google reviews. People tend to speak from their gut, so you will learn about their truth. Just be aware, that some things unfortunately comes from haters.
When booking your hotels, and settling for the different destinations - make sure to check the travel route before you close your deal. Great sites for this are https://www.directferries.com/ and www.letsferry.com I also check the ferry company directly, for example www.bluestarferries.com or similar.
Be smart, when possible get some rest as you travel. Why not save some of your hotel budget, and sleep and travel at the same time? Destinations like Piraeus (Athens) to Ios are eight hours - why not book a cabin? That way you can shower, sleep, charge your devices and enjoy your own food and drinks without worrying about cryptical viruses and beyond. Blue Star Ferries are really great - we even experienced to get the same cabin each time. A great choice really.
If you like a place - say it out LOUD! Share the word and show it in your social media and Instagram or Google-Review it!
I'm just a girl passionate about traveling, and during these years I travel a lot in Greece. You might not agree with everything I write here, but these are my experiences and my opinions. Also have in mind that if you are good, your vacation becomes great!
Never stop exploring, and always ALWAYS follow your heart - 'cause truth is, we don't know if tomorrow ever comes.