I was recently preparing for my adventure in Costa Rica and realized I was quickly running out of time to get everything done. I got super busy a couple weeks before, between life and work and I procrastinated more than usual, making my week before a fun vacation, much more stressful than it needed to be.
Because of my experience, I wanted to check in and have you ask yourself: Are you prepared for your next trip?
Unfortunately, for many people (including myself), the answer is no. Why? Because it’s more than just packing a bag, and taking off. It’s okay though, I have you covered! Below are a few things you simply cannot forget to do before you travel. Hopefully, it will inspire you to create a to-do list before your next trip, so you can relax knowing everything has been taken care of...
Here’s what you need to do before you leave:
There are several more items that could be added to this list. Like I said at the beginning though, the goal is to get you thinking about the things you need to do before your next trip.
Speaking of trips - I hope when you’re ready to book your next getaway, you think of Destinations HD! Just call (913) 244-9195 and let us handle the logistics so you can just enjoy yourself and explore the world!
It's always a good time for a reminder on the importance to slow down and enjoy the moments living life. Build those special memories before they pass you by! This is also so true with the vacations you plan...
Consider for a moment what the purpose of a vacation is. It’s to rejuvenate and renew. Still, a tale that has become a sad trend these days, is travelers coming home exhausted, if not more exhausted than when they left for their vacation in the first place.
Here’s why: They leave to these new and exciting destinations and want to cram as much as they can into their getaway. The fear of missing out takes over and before they know it, they have an itinerary so packed that sleep is lost because rest takes a backseat to the “thrill” of seeing something new. With that in mind, here are some things to consider so you can enjoy your vacation fully, and come home refreshed:
1. Be cautious of the tourist traps
Not everything that a destination offers is right for you. In fact, you might find that doing some of them is boring, or even uninteresting to you. For example, if everyone swears you have to visit the museums of a city, but you loathe museums, why put yourself through the torture?
Don’t do every activity available at the traps either. For example, if you want to go the popular beaches, that’s all well and good. But, but do you really need to plan every activity possible while there? Instead of jet skiing, and an evening cruise, and snorkeling, and intro to scuba diving, and all the other things you could schedule, why not pick one or two and leave the rest of your itinerary open?
2. Don’t try to see every city in a 20-mile radius
Just because you are visiting one city in a country, doesn’t mean you need to try and do excursions to all the cities that are surrounding it. Even a visitor to Disney World couldn’t see the whole park and get the “full Disney experience” in a day or two. Therefore, trying to see all of an entire city in one day, and then another the next, and another the next will leave you tired and missing most of the best aspects of each destination.
Give yourself time in one destination to check out the cool coffee shop that all the locals visit. Or delve further away from the tourist spots and tap into the true flavor of the space, rather than the “expected” hot spots.
Besides, it’s important to keep in mind that all the traveling from city to city is going to take up precious vacation time. So stop stressing about trying to cross off more destinations from your bucket list, and give yourself a chance to truly enjoy the surroundings and culture.
3. If you want to destination hop, make it a faster trip, or a better one
For example, if you simply can’t stand the thought of only seeing one country on your trip, in lieu of driving or taking a train, take a flight. Flying to Paris from Rome is 2 hours, but driving will take 14 hours or more. And, a train isn’t that much shorter at 11 hours. Then again, if you insist on a train ride from one destination to the next, at least get one that will be scenic, and relaxing. In other words, instead of taking a train ride at night, take one during the day with a window seat so you can see all the sights along the route.
4. Don’t plan an activity for every hour of the day
Leave several empty spaces in your schedule to avoid stress and overwhelm. Avoid trying to see every landmark too. A better choice is to pick between one and three hot spots you really want to see and leave wiggle room for the rest.
Besides, travel never goes exactly as we plan for it too. Long lines at tourist spots, and transportation between places that takes more time than you thought it would - these are two things alone that can cause many people to begin panicking that they are going over the time they have allotted for the experiences on their itinerary.
Don’t forget the time you lose if you get lost trying to find your way around. I have personally been lost in many major cities trying to find my way - which can end up as one of the best and most fun travel memories! Therefore, give yourself time for those unexpected detours that may lead you to something more enjoyable.
Bottom line - the more free time you give yourself on your trip, the more you will enjoy yourself.
Remember, the whole point of a vacation is to calm down, and take things slow. Recharge your batteries, don’t burn them out. Don't try to squeeze too much into your trip. If you’re going to hustle to the point of exhaustion, you could have stayed home and gone to work instead.
When you are ready to plan your next adventure - call Destinations HD (913) 244-9195! Let us handle the logistics so you can just enjoy yourself and explore the world!
It's almost been a month since my Mexico trip to scout resorts and I'm already trying to figure out my next getaway. Reality is just not as fun, is it?! :)
There is a saying that goes something like, “Travel is the only thing you spend money on, that makes you richer.” The trouble is most people spend too much time wondering if they can travel, when they should be wandering the planet instead! Travel has so many benefits including the fact it can improve your mental, physical, emotional and even your spiritual health.
Are you curious if you can travel more? Today, we’ll explore exactly how you can add more travel experiences to your life faster than you may have thought possible...
Stop Wondering and Start Wandering...
How to Travel More
The first thing people think of when it comes to traveling, is money. With that in mind, here are some money saving tips you can use to travel more:
With our daily careers and work life, some people find it very difficult to set time aside for travelling. However, you can still travel more by:
I hope you have been having an amazing summer thus far! I head to Cancun, Mexico next week to do resort site inspections at 12 different luxury resorts, so be sure to follow me on facebook or instagram for some vacation inspiration! I have an amazing resort line up to see and can't wait to share my experiences.
If you are thinking about putting together a group trip with your family or friends, I have a great idea below on putting that together...
When organizing a group getaway, there are many moving parts. Some of the things you'll have to think about include, but are not limited to:
All-inclusive means less hassle!
For group leaders trying to organize a vacation, hosting a trip such as this becomes remarkably easier when everything is included for one all-inclusive fee. With the exception of how people will get there, everything else is pretty much taken care of for you. The meals, the lodging, sometimes even alcohol - it’s all lumped into one sum so there are no surprises when it comes to budgeting.
Dining is just one example of complications you could endure while on a group getaway if you don’t go all-inclusive. Let’s say you go out together for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. What happens when the bill comes? First, there’s the awkward moment where everyone tries to remember what they ordered. Next, comes the calculations related to who owes what. And, inevitably you will have at least one or two people who doesn't have enough cash, and they’ll ask if you can spot them and pay you back later. For the group organizer that means you might end up being stuck paying for more than you initially planned on.
With an all-inclusive vacation however, everyone's meals are already included in the upfront price. If they happen to add on additional items that did cost extra money, you'll never have to worry about that - it will be charged to their room/cabin, and you'll be none the wiser.
Another benefit of doing an all-inclusive vacation for your group getaway is that much of the entertainment and/or excursions will be managed for you as well. Sure, there may be optional fees for adding on activities related to these excursions, but all of the organization of things like transportation, timing, and other particulars will be handled for you.
Imagine being able to just send one or two emails to your entire group letting them know who your travel agent is and your dates of travel, and then being able to just show up at the resort or on the cruise ship and simply enjoy yourself! No running around trying to track arrivals/departures, managing payments or handling any special requests/needs, as the itinerary is set up already and your travel agent is coordinating the behind-the-scenes details. No hassling with opinions from friends/family on what they want to eat because everything they could possibly want to eat is most likely already on the resort property or the cruise ship.
Make your trip even easier by hiring Destinations HD
You likely now see why all-inclusive is the way to go for your group travel. Want to make things even easier on yourself? Hire Destinations HD to manage the rest. When you book a group with us, we handle everything related to your trip on your behalf. We help match you to the all-inclusive resorts or cruises that fit your expectations and needs to assist you with picking the perfect one to make your group vacation the most memorable!
All you have to do is give us the contact information for the people in your party, and we take care of the rest! Their flights, accommodations, transfers to/from the resort, special requests, group tour/excursions, and any additional help anyone may need along the way. I manage your entire vacation, so that you can just focus on relaxing and enjoying quality time together!
As an added benefit of you being the group organizer, you may qualify for complimentary nights or even a completely free stay. To learn more about what resorts and cruises offer the best complimentary accommodations for group organizers, call us at (913) 244-9195 today. I can't wait to help you create the perfect vacation for your group!
I can't believe it's almost summer - where did this year go to already?! With the upcoming graduations, mother's day, father's day, etc... I thought it would be a great time to think about gifts that will make a lasting impression.
Whether it’s for graduation, an anniversary, or some other occasion, these days "experiences" matter more to gift recipients than things. Sure, you can buy expensive jewelry, ties, or clothes, and your recipients may like it. The trouble is those gifts may sit in the drawer more often than worn. Instead, how about arranging a special vacation to create memories that will last a lifetime? If you can't afford a trip, make it as simple as just getting them a passport and having them think of the endless possibilities they can explore and they can plan something on their own!
Travel Is Better Than Stuff
Travel is memorable and gives pleasure that simply can’t be created from commercial goods. The truth is most people can’t remember gifts that were given to them for any given occasion, regardless of how much money you spent on them. But, ask them about trips they have been on, and they will likely be able to tell you with unbelievable accuracy the details of that trip!
Stuff comes and goes, memories are there forever. Traveling gives us stories to tell, and inspires new dreams within us. Travel helps us to share experiences in a way objects cannot.
Travel Yields Deeper Bonds
Consider for a moment what happens when you give the gift of an object. You hand it to the recipient. They may or may not light up with joy in the moment, but then it’s over. You have nothing further to discuss other than a comment if they wear it or use it from time to time.
Now consider what happens when you go on a trip... You can plan it together. You can visit the various sites together. You share the views, the culture, the food, etc... You’re experiencing the trip together. Then, when you get back you have memories to call upon together. It’s not a one-sided experience anymore. It’s something you can truly bond over.
As we travel and interact with new things, we are mentally stimulated. We ask more questions. We feel more engaged. We feel present in the moment, and more excited to be with those we’re experiencing the trip with.
Now, I know what you may be thinking - what if you give the gift of travel to someone, and you’re not going on the trip with them? You’ll still enjoy many benefits that you wouldn’t get to have with gifts of objects. For example:
Would you like help creating the perfect travel gift? Just call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195 today and see how we can. We even offer travel gift certificates!
I am currently on an adventure in Europe... and I always get so excited to explore foreign lands, as I love learning about other cultures and our history!! It gets me thinking how powerful travel can be when it comes to meeting new people and discovering new experiences.
Does travel create better humans? That's the exact question that a study by Contiki tours recently posed. The company believes that “life's greatest lessons are learned through travel.” Therefore, it's no surprise that this company decided to do this study to prove what they believe. Below you'll find some of the results of their research, and it may just inspire you to take your children on a trip abroad sometime this year!
What Contiki Concluded From Their Study:
People who travel tend to have higher self-esteem, and are more willing to think outside of the box when it comes to how to solve problems. Those who travel also have better satisfaction in their relationships. They’re more likely to seek out new friendships, and tend to donate more time and money to their communities than non-travelers.
Bottom line: Travel helps make for more well-rounded individuals. And, when you start traveling from a young age, you are better able to cement these positive traits within yourself. However, you don’t have to take our word, or Contiki’s word for it. You can test out these positive conclusions for yourself simply by adding more travel to your life.
Call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195 today. We’ll help you design the perfect trip to expand your mind, and open you up to the positive power of travel!
After all the fun stories of parents enjoying their wine while the kids were out on spring break, it inspired me to discuss wine vacations :) March is almost over and summer vacation planning is now in full swing, so what better vacation to plan than one that involves wine?!
Everyone's heard of Napa Valley, and it's all but become the number one place that people in the United States think of when they think of a Wine Vacation. However, what about places outside the states?! Below you will find some of the must see wine destinations beyond our borders that will have you reaching for a wine glass faster than you can say vino tasting!
1. Bordeaux, France
One of the world’s most respected wine production regions, Bordeaux boasts that it has the most prestigious wine in the world. Is it true? That depends on your palette I suppose, but it's certainly worth visiting to find out. I think you'll find that the tasting rooms are exquisite and elegant. Fitting considering most of them are found in some of the most grand estates the region has to offer.
2. Mendoza, Argentina
Known for its Malbec, Argentina has in recent years worked to establish itself as one of the top wine producing countries in the world. Many of its wineries offer paired dinner tastings, wine flights, and tours. The kicker is that you must have a reservation because these wineries are in high demand. Without a reservation, you'll likely not be able to get in.
Another Argentinian option for wine is Cafayate. Also known for its Malbec, what sets this area apart is the scenery some have called magical, and their local crafts and cuisine.
3. Tuscany, Italy
If Chianti tickles your taste buds, Tuscany is the place to go! Not only will you find stunning medieval castles to visit, you'll also find amazing tours of old wineries that offer a peek into the old ways of making wine, including wine-makers that still crush the grapes with their feet. Do you prefer mineral-rich white wines rather than Chiantis? If so, consider visiting Alto Adige, Italy instead.
4. Cape Town, South Africa
When many people think of a trip to Africa, they think of going on safari, but Cape Town lands are renowned for their moderate climate and fertile soil that enables wine makers to produce some of the best Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Savinon, Shiraz and Pinot Noir the world over.
5. Yarra Valley, Australia
Located just an hour outside of Melbourne, Yarra Valley features many restaurants, craft shops and lots of wineries amid a lush rolling landscape. Though Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir are the stars here, the region is also known for their amazing line of sparkling wines.
While this list is only a taste of the stunning wine destinations in the world, there are dozens more to choose from. When you're ready to start planning your vino fueled getaway, call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195 to learn more about the wine destination itineraries we could create for your unique desires!
We are under way into the new year already, but there is still time to act on your resolutions, or even if you're just looking to improve your 2018.
If you’re like most people, one of your annual desires is to travel more. Let 2018 be the year that you act on this goal! Set the intention to go on new journeys, break out of routines, and finally explore more of all this world has to offer. Learn why it's so important to travel (even if it's just a local trip, away from your daily routine)...
As the Huffington Post reported, traveling can make you happier, give you a boost to your self-confidence, lets you make new friends, and actually helps you appreciate your family and home a lot more.
In our daily lives, we have so many responsibilities. When we’re traveling though, it’s all about relaxing and enjoying every moment. We can press pause, and tune into what we really need and want.
Have you ever noticed how when you’re on vacation, you seem to have extra energy? You wake up early, you eat when you’re hungry, and you do what feels good. It’s because you don’t have anything pressing on your mind. All you are required to do is have fun, see some interesting things, and take it all in on your schedule.
You also get introduced to new cultures and experiences. One of the reasons you get such a boost in self-confidence from traveling is because of those new things. You see that you can handle more than you may have originally thought. You will also witness first hand that no matter where you go in the world, everyone is struggling with something. We’re all just trying to live our best lives and have as much fun as possible along the way. Breaking out of your routine and traveling more can give you so many revelations, understanding and patience!
What is it about travel that makes you appreciate family and home more?! Well, that one’s easy. Absence makes the heart grow fonder as they say. In some cases you’ll realize how good you have it, and see others spending time with their families which will prompt you to want more intimate time with your own. Think about it - doesn’t your bed feel extra comfortable when you get home from a trip?
There are so many amazing reasons that people should make travel more of a priority in their lives. Are you ready to make it more of a priority for you? You deserve some new journeys, and we can help you have them!
Call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195 today, and we’ll put you on the path of finally crossing some of those dream destinations off of your bucket list!
ow that it's almost February and the busy holidays are well and truly over, I thought we'd talk about how to transition back into the daily work routine.
If you are anything like me, when you get back from vacation, it's hard to get right back into work. You are swamped with projects and e-mails that piled up while you were gone, and all you want to do is get back to the destination you just left.
So, how do you get out of vacation mode after taking a week, two weeks, or even longer off of work?
Think first about your top priorities. Sometimes just thinking about your priorities, and the consequences of letting them slip is all it takes to get your head back in the game. Consider what dropping the ball will mean for you. If you don't snap back into work mode, will you...
Some people come back from vacation and simply feel like they don't want to be at work. As a result, they start acting like it, and using vocabulary like "overwhelmed" and "stress." These words become self-fulfilling prophecies, and are not going to help you do what you need to get done. Instead, change your vocabulary to words like, “I choose to,” or “I want to” do whatever your tasks are. Even if you're lying to yourself, saying it out loud will trick your brain into being in a more positive state making your tasks ahead easier to undertake.
3. Get organized, and start over:
If the first hour or even the entire first day back to work didn't turn out as productive as you would have liked, get organized and try again. Take out a piece of paper, and write down everything you know you need to do. Then, organize the list of items in the order of importance and try again. Having a starting point is often all one really needs to get things rolling again.
4. Think about your last vacation, and use it as a motivator for the next one!
Now, just because you have to get back into work mode right now, doesn't mean you can't relish in the memories of the vacation you were just on. Give yourself five minutes here and there to zone out, and go back mentally to the destination you left. Then, think about how much fun your next one will be, and use the momentum from that excitement to give you the energy to get your work tasks done. In fact, you should go on a mental vacation a few times a day. Force yourself to do an hour of uninterrupted work, then give yourself five-minute breaks before you start the next task. Before you know it, you'll be laser focused, knocking out your list, and getting ready for another vacation.
We hope this helps you get out of vacation mode and back to work! Then, when you're ready for your next getaway, call Destinations HD at (913) 244-9195.
We look forward to helping you plan another escape!
I'm in Jamaica right now doing resort site inspections and about to return home tomorrow. I'm realizing I really need to plan an actual vacation for myself :) Follow me on Instagram or Facebook to get some inspiration for your upcoming vacation plans - I've seen some amazing resorts this trip!
As I enjoy the 85 degrees on my last day in paradise, not wanting to go home, it inspired me to write about a common question I receive when planning vacations: How many days should you vacation?
Believe it or not, the number of days might be longer than you expect. There's been a considerable amount of argument over the years, but thanks to a scientific study out of Finland, we have a science based answer to this age-old question. Spoiler alert: It's 8-days!
The study, as reported in Inc.com, stated that a Finnish university followed people on vacation throughout the entirety of their getaways. They measured “highs and lows of their happiness and satisfaction as their vacations progressed. The researchers discovered that vacation-related joy didn't climb ever upward as tourists' tans deepened and work receded to a distant memory. In contrast, happiness peaked after eight days away.”
The article went onto say that “The idea that a little more than a week is the perfect vacation length sits well with other seasoned vacationers.”
Consider this – the first day of a vacation never truly feels like an actual vacation. Why? Because it's mostly filled with transportation. This is especially true if you're going overseas where there are not only time-zone changes, but also changes in altitude, multiple hours (if not days) of flying, and potential culture shock on arrival. The last day presents the same challenges – it's at least another full day of travel. So, before you have even actually started your trip, you're deducting two days from your actual time on your vacation.
This is why three and four day vacations may seem like a decent idea in theory for a long weekend or a short getaway, but won't actually provide you with any real time at most destinations. It permits you merely enough time to leave work and come back without really enjoying the place you traveled too. Sadly, this leaves many vacationers feeling duped, or like they didn't get to see enough of or do enough in their dream destination.
Conde Nast Traveler recommends that you add even more time to your vacation days if you will be jumping multiple time zones. How much more time? They recommend an extra day for every time zone you travel through. While this is impractical for most people, it is a good idea to still consider that your body will need time to adjust to a massive time change. It's kind of like how many of us feel off the week after daylight savings time ends or begins – the body has to get used to the change. By the eight-day Finnish study logic, you should still be able to see at least some of the city you're traveling to, and enjoy yourself while you're at it.
Are you ready to plan your eight day (or longer) getaway?! We'd love to help you create the perfect trip, so you can truly rejuvenate and enjoy yourself, just give me a call at (913) 244-9195.
Destinations HD is a different, better kind of travel agency that offers a one-of-a-kind travel planning service!