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Planning Out That Vacation Itinerary

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You want to get up and go, see the sights and experience the local flavor; your companion wants to lie around the beach. Hopefully there’s time for both and here’s how you do it.

It’s Time to Relax
After dealing with today’s transportation hassles and delays, the first day is a good one to relax, unwind and decompress. If you’re at the beach, spend the day there. The first day you’re still unwinding and trying to forget all your troubles. A nice day at the pool or the beach, preferably with a cocktail in hand is a great way to accomplish this.

Come Prepared
If excursions are your thing, you should do a little research before you go. Google the area you’re headed to and look up reviews and suggestions online. If you’re headed to a popular area, Trip Advisor has hundreds if not thousands of reviews on everything from hotels and restaurants to excursions in the area. Sort them by date so you get current information. A good rule of thumb is to read numerous reviews before forming an opinion. Some people will complain about any and everything so read quite a few before you make up your mind on what trip to take and which company to use.

Is Booking Early Best?
If you wait until you are actually at your hotel to book excursions, you will definitely pay more. You usually save money by booking directly through the tour company. On the other hand if you book early you are locked in to that day and if that’s the one day of rain, you’re stuck. Playing it by ear gives you way more options. Although, if you want to do an excursion that is very popular, you may not get a seat on that bus or boat at the last minute so keep that in mind when deciding whether to book ahead of the trip or not.

Short and Sweet
There are plenty of excursions wherever you go that are only half-day trips. If you want to explore and your companion wants to relax, perhaps you can compromise. A lot of the trips offered in vacation spots are half-day trips. Get up early, get a trip in and be back at the pool or beach by lunchtime. Sleep in and do an afternoon snorkeling trip and still be back for supper. If you’re at a spot like Cancun with lots of entertainment options, relax all day and do a nightclub tour all night.

The Big Trip
If you absolutely, positively must do a long day trip and insist your partner come as well, make it in the middle of your stay. It’s much easier to persuade someone to tag along on a grueling day in the jungle if they have a day before and a day after to relax. It helps if you spring for extras like a private driver, or a trip with drinks and food included which will help make the day trip of your dreams bearable for the one just tagging along.

Bundles
A lot of tour companies offer multiple stops on an excursion. You can hook up to a zip-line through the jungle, ride a horse on the beach and tour a rum distillery all on the same day. This breaks up the day so no one gets bored and enables you both to see a lot of the area and can knock off all the things you wanted to do in one day.

It is a Vacation
Some trips get so grueling you need a vacation when you get back. If that’s what you both desire, then go for it. Most people prefer a mixture of adventure and relaxation and there is no reason to not get both. If you or your companion are the type who like everything planned out, or you just want to save some money, then research online and go ahead and book it. Sometimes though, it’s nice to just go and wait until you’re there and see what you want to do. Other people who have been there for a few days will let you know what was fun and what was not. If you do miss out on something because it’s all booked up or because of the weather, well, that just gives you a reason to return.

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