Vacation Planning: Think Beyond the Basics

(ARA) - Travelers often think of their vacation time as an opportunity to break the day-to-day pace that can leave us feeling uninspired. And yet, we often fail to think beyond the basics of our vacation -- accommodations and transportation -- ultimately overlooking the very activities that will leave a stamp on our memories for years to come. By thinking ahead, taking advantage of knowledgeable resources, and scheduling a few experiences before they arrive, travelers will often find their vacation a more fulfilling departure from the routine of every-day-life.

Sifting through the plethora of travel resources as you seek out the comings and goings of a particular hotspot can become an arduous task. A few key tips can steer travelers in the right direction, helping them identify and arrange activities for their vacation.

Think Like a Local

When you arrive in your destination, seek out the local tourism office. Many of these local resources, often funded by local municipalities, create detailed online guides for visitors. Outlining everything from the best eateries to the top attractions, visitors bureaus have their finger on the pulse of the community, and will point you in the right direction. Often, calendar listings can help travelers unearth local events that they might have otherwise overlooked, thus capturing the flavor of the community.

Online Surfin' Safari

Surf the sea of online travel agencies, the best of which highlight activities and events in your location of choice., for instance, has an extensive “Event Tickets and More” tab, that allows you to book vacation excursions while also booking flight and hotel arrangements. A “one-stop-shop” for travel planning, if you will, these types of online services saves planners both time and money. Heading to Vegas? Why not arrange for a nighttime helicopter tour of the city and snag tickets to the hottest sin-city show via the site’s new ticketing service. Coupled with hotel and airfare research opportunities, it doesn’t get much easier than that.

You can also visit ticketing sites such as where you can search for tickets to popular sporting events, concerts and Broadway shows to almost anywhere you are traveling.

Read Between the Lines

One-half of all U.S. adults (101.9 million) say that they use the travel media to help plan their vacation, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. Why not turn to the local reporters for a tip or two? In advance of a vacation, travelers can subscribe to their vacation destination's online newspaper and local magazine newsletter to receive the latest updates and stay in-the-know. A new hot restaurant has just opened its doors? Upcoming vacationers will know to make a reservation in advance. By reading-up on the local travel attractions in their area of choice, travelers can feel like a local rather than a tourist.

The bottom-line: Planning a vacation is more than booking the travel basics.  Researching and booking activities in advance will make for a richer, fuller holiday experience.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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