How do you get from France Avenue to France? Dreams without action won’t get you on that plane. It’s time to get moving if you want to go somewhere this year. For all of you holding down the fort at home, it’s time to put down the “To-Do List” and start acting on a “For-You List.” Here’s the game plan.
Proclaim your decision to have a trip of your very own and communicate the dates (refrigerator magnet optional).
Keep it pure
It’s natural to think “Tie-In.” There will always be a friend’s son with a destination wedding, a school search trip or college graduations where you will be tempted to build in some “vacation” time. In the end, you’re spending the same amount of money to have half the experience you really need to explore, relax, learn and recharge. If budget is the issue, send the bride your regrets and take a real vacation.
Don’t take someone else’s trip
Your friends make a convincing presentation when sharing their vacation photo. Don’t go there. When destinations become popular, they become crowded and expensive. Truth be told, by the time a place hits the cover of Travel and Leisure it’s probably peaked. If it’s on your bucket list, let it cool off.
Find your own oasis. Travel advisors can help but I’m sure you already have some places in mind. It’s a big world and it’s constantly changing. Do your research, imagine your own experience.
Hint: Find the destinations and accommodations that have recovered from recent storms or resorts that are newly renovated. The pricing is based on regenerating interest and all the most modern amenities will be at your fingertips. Most advisors have a list, and many have done pre-visits.
Have a big helping of authentic, local experiences
Yes, there are times when you want a good all-inclusive getaway but the “For-You List” trip is not the time. You selected this destination to experience it. This is the trip where you’ll venture off the beaten path and immerse yourself in local culture.
You want a trip that delivers the true spirit of your destination. Go to the locals’ favorite parks and beaches, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. Get up close and personal with the real communities you’re exploring. Learn to cook like a local; try an indigenous craft or activity. With today’s online travel intelligence, local tour companies, and travel advisor networks, there’s less risk in being adventurous.
And remember, this is your trip. Don’t worry if anyone would enjoy it.
Where’s your “For-You List”?
When one looks beyond the stereotypes associated with our little town, you see the most dedicated and caring parents. Many are also devoting a great deal of energy in addressing the complexities of aging parents. This devotion lives in a To-Do List that is in constant rotation. Make your For-You List now. You only need one entry to begin. And, rest assured, the family you leave at home will be thrilled to see the refreshed you upon your return.
Mark Murray is a travel advisor at Newmark Travel, an Edina based affiliate of Pique Travel and member of the Virtuoso Travel Network.