Best-Laid Plans

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One of the hardest things to do when planning your vacation is planning your vacation. It is no easy feat. It is an endeavor fraught with peril and the more people you have to plan for the harder it becomes. Pleasing everyone is out of the question so the main goal is to make sure that everyone gets a reasonable amount of enjoyment out of each activity.

Now that we have the unpleasant truth out of the way, let’s talk about how you can make your life easier while undertaking this daunting task. I have been involved in the tourism and hospitality industry for quite some time. Drawing on my years of experience I have a few tips that will help you plan a wonderful vacation no matter where you go.

First: What kind of vacation are you looking for? Are you bringing children? Is it a romantic get away? Do you want to relax or are you looking for extreme adventure or a little of both? Making these decisions ahead of time will help you narrow down your research.

Second: Look for a visitor page for the state. I have posted a link to the NH visitors website before and it is one of my favorite sites to visit. There are so many things to do in this state that I don’t even know about! The site breaks the state down by region thus narrowing your search for you again and making the research process that much easier.

Third: When you have decided where you are going and what you want to do, visit the Chamber of Commerce website for that city/town. The Chamber is an excellent resource and will often have activity calendars, lodging listings and other helpful area information.

Fourth: Social Media! I can’t think of anything that is updated more often than social media. Websites are a great place to gather information, but for the up-to-the-minute updates, social media is the way to go. A business will likely post last minute specials, schedule changes, etc on facebook and twitter before they will go through the lengthy process of a website update. 

Fifth: When you arrive at your destination don’t be afraid to ask questions! Maybe the hotel you chose has a concierge you can talk to. If not, the folks at the front desk will have information and will be able to make recommendations.

*Quick Tips:

Have some idea of what you are looking for when you ask someone for a recommendation.

Instead of asking, “Are there any good restaurants in the area?” Ask, “Could you suggest a casual restaurant for our family? We have 2 small children.”

For example, in this area, there are several wonderful restaurants to choose from, but there are some that more popular with families than others. If what you are looking for is a place to grab a pizza, say that. Be as specific as you can and someone will be better able to direct you where you want to go.

Instead of asking, “Is there anywhere to hike in the area?” Ask, “Could you recommend a short hike that would be good to do with small kids?”

For example, in this area, there is no end to the hiking trails, but you are probably not going to drag your small children up a 4,000 ft mountain. You are probably looking for something like the Basin in Franconia Notch rather than Mt. Flume.

*When finalizing your plans and booking a hotel, shop for rates through all of the travel channels, but be sure to shop the hotel’s website and call their reservation line. You may find the best rate when you go direct.

Sixth: Relax and keep an open mind! Things may not always go as you planned, but maybe you will stumble into some wonderful unplanned memories. After all, you know what they say about the best-laid plans?


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July 5, 2014  |   Share: