Planning Your Vacation: Destination

Part I of the Travel Savings Series.

In 2009, 90 million Americans planned their travel online. Over 46 million of them were planning a vacation.

Why plan online?

Antique Globe

Throwing a dart at this?

  • Search engines
  • Travel agency websites
  • Travel websites
  • Discount travel packages
  • Information on delays, quarantine and restrictions

Save time and money by searching for your ideal vacation before talking to your travel agent. Or, save more time and money by booking your own vacation.

Choose Your Destination

Where do you want to go? This has to be the first question. Before making that choice, visit to ensure no medical restrictions or warnings prohibit travel. Some locations are not advisable due to outbreaks of infectious disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) keeps a current list of all countries the United States warns against for health concerns.

If your heart’s desire is to visit Spain, visit sites with information on Spain. One of the first places to find information is the national governmental website. Type your destination country and “government website” into your search engine. Learning the terrain, political climate, weather and current events will help you choose a restful destination. This keeps you from vacationing in the middle of an election stop city or the recent wake of a tornado.

Next, search your country’s tourism. Many national tourism websites contain links to city tourism websites. Here you can discover the locals’ best kept secrets. Theaters, community events and festivals are posted so you can plan your activities.

If you don’t have your heart set on a destination, do you have it set on an activity? Your choice of what to do on your vacation may dictate the destination. You simply cannot snow ski on Maui. But if surfing, hiking or kayaking is your bag, searching your hobby and “destinations” will get you reviews on the best locations.

Destination reviews and guides.

Websites with reviews and guides are helpful in making your final destination choice. Many sites offer reviews of popular or novel destinations. Professional review sites, like and, have reviews of destinations, hotels and resorts written by travel industry professionals. While generally unbiased, these reviews may miss some details important to you.

Compare the reviews on a professional site to a social media site’s reviews for a more rounded picture. Professional sites are not trying to deceive you, but when they review, many resorts will be on their best behavior., Trip Advisor and Virtual Tourist provide reviews from real travelers which reveal the everyday experiences travelers encounter, warts and all. Overall travel review sites, like the New York Times travel site, give reviews of all types of travel from cruises to micro-vacations, trips which last less than 4 days.

Now you know where you are going, tomorrow we will plan how you get there.

How do you choose a vacation destination?

© Red Dwyer 2011
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  1. Alas, I’m going to have to be satisfied with window shopping for now.

    You are offering some great advice. Who knows, maybe, your tips will result in my find a holiday I can afford.

    • I certainly hope they do. The series will uncover some of the ways to cut expenses as much as by half! Hope you took the poll! Next time, leave a link to your blog in the comments. I am certain others will find it as entertaining as I do!

  2. I like your step by step approach to holidays Red and for some travelling misfits this will be like finding Gold, indeed your attention-grabbing tips give one food for thought and a destination worth the view as it were, depending on what variety of holiday is chosen. The idea of being a virtual tourist will be a great advantage I think and by adhering to your superbly offered information one can be sure to find the exact location that one is looking for and also find some feedback, which is always worthwhile.

    The travel guides are something that everyone should think of but I guess there are those that just flick through the holiday brochures and choose a holiday at random, rather like having a blindfold attached and pinning the tail on the donkey so to speak, well on the holiday destination then 🙂 But you know what I mean. All in all I like your posting as it gives the holiday maker a very good chance to get it right for once 🙂 I will be calling back on the morrow to read part two my friend so get ready for another wittering comment 🙂 lol

    Have a funtastic rest of Thursday now Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • “The travel guides ATE something?” 🙁 lol
      How embarrassing… What a Typo… Sorry 🙂

      Androgoth XXx

      • Never fear, I eradicate typos for those who frequent to leave such glowing remarks.

        I will never ceased to be amazed at how many simply toss a dart at a map and call the holiday planned. Even in my gypsy ways, I know planning takes the stress from a vacation.

        Be stresslessly wicked,

    • Thank you for correcting my error Red, I do that on my Space also but while we are on this subject of editing comments, I had a run-in with another blogger the other day that has a very insulting manner, he finds it necessary to edit everyone that visits his Space (not that he had edited anything that I had offered, i found this out from another peep who told me about this insulting practice, and so I added my comment in retribution, well I wasn’t rude or anything) and if he doesn’t like the grammar that is offered then he e mails that person and insists that they use punctuation marks and the like so that his Space is of a very high calibre, however his reader base is virtually nonexistent, not surprising is it really with an attitude of that magnification?

      Now when I added a comment on his Space highlighting my own thoughts on his outrageousness he chose to send me an e mail and would not allow my comment, not that it was not correct in the English literature, oh no, it was because he would then be under scrutiny from the very few readers that he has, I doubt if anyone even knows that he corrects them all, but even worse he then sent me a useless and incredibly weak e mail trying to justify his reasoning and that I had no business to add my comment to his Space, which I find rather amusing. anyway to cut a very long story short, I e mailed him back but so far I have heard nothing, I guess his standards of English are not as good as he thought, well his ego was definitely the size of Manhattan but unfortunately his retort never arrived, indeed I would imagine that he is still whining over that hopelessness even now, I mean it is not every day that one learns a real lesson in good taste, but I sincerely hope that he has learnt his.

      I know it’s another long comment this one but what I was trying to say is that I am like you, if it is someone that calls by and offers a nice comment and there is a typo, then I simply correct it but what I never do, is change someone’s comment even if their writing isn’t correct, for instance I never add punctuation (Actually I hardly use correct English myself, WordPress is not for Wordsmiths and pompous loons like him, it is for everyone to enjoy, and he should have been grateful that peeps liked his postings enough to add a comment, but then for him to insult them like that, well he deserves to be Billy-No-Mates in my opinion ) or change a spelling unless I recognise that the person commenting has made a typo… Sorry for wittering on Red, I just know that you didn’t really need to know all this but hey, I told you that I waffle, and now you know for sure that it’s true 🙂

      Okay I am out of here, besides it is rather late and I have an early start, burning the candle at both ends has always been my way, but it can be rather tiring at times 🙂 lol

      Have a wonderful Friday Red 🙂

      Androgoth XXx

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