Planning Your Summer Vacation Has Never Been Easier!

Spin the proverbial globe and decide where you want to go. If your goal is a tropical vacation (like mine), it can include many places: the Caribbean, the South Pacific, the Central American Coast, or islands in the Indian Ocean among others. Search MrOwl to find inspiration. Our Social Cloud Storage™ platform brings together the best of search, social, and the cloud together in one easy-to-use platform. View pictures and videos. Read reviews and travel guides. Become part of a larger travel network, sharing ideas, experiences, and journeys – all coming together to create a larger shared experience.

Your research can help you make or pare down your list of possible vacation spots. Other things to think about when deciding on your ultimate destination are: why you’re traveling when you want to go, and who you are going with.   If your trip is during the spring, check out Josh B. Williams’ Spring Destination Guide at https://www.mrowl.com/user/joshbwilliams/springdestinat.

If you are traveling in order to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life you may want to pick a less populated tropical island. Planning a trip to Aruba?  You definitely want our own Stacey Finkel’s thoughts on her 30+ trips there.  You can find it all on her branch at https://www.mrowl.com/user/stacfinkel/aruba.  For an adventurous vacation, choose a destination with lots of physical activities on or near the beach. Maybe Cancun, Mexico.  For a bit of both, you could choose a tropical cruise. Also, the time of year you go can have a large impact on any vacation. Going in the offseason may be cheaper but could have less than desirable weather. Feeling like staying stateside?  Check out Vanessa Smith’s U.S. Beach Branch, https://www.mrowl.com/user/vanessasaprincess/beaches__u_s__.  Here, you’ll find everything from tide tables to local eateries that are oceanfront.  Her information may be all U.S. beach-based, but it rivals some of the best travel guides in Barnes & Noble!  And, when you find something that you like, grab it to save it for later.

Think about the factors that could impact your trip and research them on MrOwl.  You’ll find informative data and recommendations from our community, as well as throughout the web.  Oh, and by the way, if you’re traveling “in season” expect your cost to be higher and the waits for activities longer.  Take the advice of some of our savvy travelers and plan far in advance.  This includes everything from day-long adventures to dinner reservations.

Regardless of what you decide to do, your decisions may also be affected by your choice of companionship. Are you going to travel alone, with family, with friends, or a mix? Unless you’re going alone, you’ll need to take everyone else’s opinions into consideration. So, why not create a branch of your own, which you can keep private?  Invite any travel partners to post and review what you’ve found on your branch, and make decisions that work for everyone.  It’s the easiest way to ensure your trip begins before you leave!  And don’t forget to create a branch to post pictures to when you’re back…leaving memories and thoughts with them.  You’ll be so happy to have them, all in one place, digitally.  It’s a great way to ensure your memories last a lifetime!

Making The Plan

After you’ve decided where you’re going and when, it’s time to look at some travel hacks to help you get the most out of your travel budget (before and during your trip).  https://www.mrowl.com/user/stacfinkel/toptraveltips gives great insight into travel planning and preparation.  For us, it’s a must-read!

Once you have decided where to go, you must decide on transportation. How will you get there: airplane, cruise ship, driving yourself? This will mostly be determined by how far away the vacation spot is from your home, the cost of the travel, and your personal traveling preferences. However, your transportation needs don’t end here. Think about how you’ll get around once you arrive at your destination. Is there adequate public transportation or will you need to find your own mode of travel? Should you rent a car or rely on hired drivers, if they are available? Of course, if you are not planning on leaving your destination, you may not need any of those and can simply get around on foot.  Oh, and if you’re headed to a place that requires a tour guide, will that guide have transportation they include in the cost of their services?

Once your transportation needs are satisfied, you have to think about where you will stay.  Will you do an Air B&B because you want a kitchen and a laundry room, or will you stay in a hotel or resort?  They all have pros and cons. Pick the one that best fulfills your travel needs and your travel budget.

Other Considerations

Since you’ve never been to the location you’re headed to (most likely), think about and do some research on what to bring.  Stacey Finkel’s Aruba branch highlights almost anything and everything you need for a tropical vacation and more. Make sure you have your identification with you. This includes driver’s licenses, state ID cards, and/or passports. If you do not have a passport, start the application process the day you book your trip because if you don’t have enough time to do it the easy way, you will incur a significantly higher cost to expedite your passport and/or have to spend an entire day in the passport office waiting to get it done. Should you get travel insurance? Most likely you won’t need it but if something does happen, it can be invaluable.  Feeling concerned about illness, weather, or other things?  Then travel insurance is likely your new best friend.

It’s also important to let people know what you’re up to.  Develop an emergency plan. If you are traveling alone, leave your itinerary and contact information with someone you trust. It may be wise to do the same even if you are traveling with a group; but, it’s also important to make a plan with your traveling companions as well. Decide how you will contact each other if you are separated, and set-up check-in times with each other.

Finally, make sure that you can pay for things while on vacation. Provide your bank with when and where you are traveling if you plan to use a debit or credit card. Otherwise, they could mistakenly put a hold on your account for fraud. If you’re taking cash, make sure to get enough money before you leave from a currency exchange. It’s far cheaper to get this done before you go, rather than when you are in the airport in another country and realize it when you want to purchase a snack.

These things are not glamourous, but they will make your trip run smoother in the long run. Frankly, they are also things we should make into standard travel procedures for all travel, not just tropical vacations.  By saving and documenting everything – ideas, plans, documents, itineraries in one easily accessible branch, you can simply invite your friends and relatives to access it all for safekeeping. And when you can’t get a signal on your cell phone but want to connect, you can always chat through our platform, the easy way, never missing a moment to share your amazing journey with loved ones.