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With more travel options than ever, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed planning your next vacation. But the world is your oyster, with possibilities to experience dream destinations the way you’ve always wanted. With a little bit of planning and foresight, your ultimate vacation is within reach.

1. Climate (and Seasonal Weather)

Weather is among the most important overall components of a vacation destination. Vacations are about relaxation and comfort and it’s hard to accomplish those if you are too hot or too cold. Even if you’re seeking warmer or colder weather, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. Heat exhaustion and dehydration are serious risks in tropical and desert vacation environments, as are the dangers of icy roads and frostbite when it’s too cold. Take a look at a location’s seasonal weather patterns to determine when it will be most comfortable.

2. Crowd Levels

Most vacation destinations, even those in temperate climates, are seasonal and see varying traffic levels at different times of year. These cycles impact how many people decide to visit a location at once. The weather can be one factor, with travelers tending to avoid a location’s rainy season or its excessive snowfall. For instance, beaches may be less crowded in August after their mid-summer peak, when others have tired of the seasonal heat.

Holidays and other cultural forces impact crowds. For instance, east coast beaches see more young visitors during spring breaks. In places like the US and Great Britain, families typically take vacations prior to kids starting school.

3. Types of Activities Available

While there’s nothing wrong with spending a relaxing vacation sleeping in or lounging by the beach, some travelers desire a more active or experiential vacation. When choosing a destination and type of vacation, consider what activities are available. Many modern, all-inclusive resorts include activities directly on the property. Tropical locations might have exclusive areas for snorkeling, while a higher-end hotel may have a guests-only spa.

For activities off hotel or resort grounds, you might enjoy lower-key boat tours over jet skiing. Some love to travel just to experience dining and shopping options normally unavailable to them. With the range of options available nowadays, there are accommodations that provide access to your favorite activities no matter your preferred activity level. A diverse and varied Mediterranean vacation can easily include a combination of high-energy and relaxing activities ranging from vineyard tours to skiing world-class mountain slopes.

4. Your Budget

While budget can be the biggest factor in a vacation, there are always ways to experience destinations more affordably. All-inclusive resorts with unlimited food and adult beverages can be a great way to save. Finding a destination with all the accommodations and activities you’re looking for off the beaten path could be another. Also consider visiting a location in its off-season to make the most of a travel budget. Try all-access passes to popular sites and attractions in cities like London and Berlin. These getaways can be even more affordable in groups.

5. Who Are You Traveling With

Maybe you are preparing for a vacation with your large family or a solo trip overseas to Western or Eastern Europe. Either way, who you are traveling with can have a big impact on how you prepare for your vacation.

All-inclusive resorts can be great options for families because there’s usually a range of activities appealing to varying ages within the safety of a resort property. Those with small children will need to take extra steps when boarding a plane, like ensuring easy access to proper documents and leaving for the airport a little earlier than usual. Those traveling with the elderly or with someone living with a disability may want to take extra precautions, such as bringing extra medications or arranging expedited security check-ins.

Plan Your Escape

Begin your adventure by filling out the form below or calling 1 (800) 245-8326 to contact one of our dedicated travel experts.

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