Monday, June 4, 2012

How to Plan a Vacation: Part 1

So I have been rattling my brain for the past few weeks wondering what to talk about on the blog. I haven’t seen any good articles I am just dying to talk about so I figured I would fill you in on how I plan a vacation from start to finish.

WARNING: You might think it’s a little on the extreme side :P

Step 1: I start by making an excel spreadsheet with how many days we'll be on vacation and insert the times from 6AM to 9PM.



Once this is done I simply start Google-ing the activities we want to do while we're on vacation. I'll look up things such as, "snorkeling in Kauai", "kayaking in Kauai" and a slew of companies come up. I write them all down and start pulling up their websites and pricing them. Then I start to research what others have to say about the company; I use both tripadvisor.com and yelp.com to see what people are saying. When reading these reviews I take a lot into consideration, first, how often does this person review? If they have only made a few reviews and they are all negative then they are most likely complainers and are only giving out bad reviews (you can look at their other reviews to see their reviewing patterns). Second, are they complaining about the weather? Surprisingly a lot of people complain about the weather. Hello! People cannot control the weather! One review I read about a boat ride to the Napali coast in Kauai said that it was the worst ride of their life and the water was so rough and they got sea sick and blah, blah, blah. It really sounds like a you problem and not the company's problem. The company clearly states on their website that the waters are rough and if you get sea sick that’s not really their problem is it?!

Step 2: Once I have all the companies I am going to be booking with I start to map it out on the schedule to see where things can go based on schedule restrictions by us or the tours. As you can see below I have a color coding system I use as well. Tours at are 100% a must (green) vs. tours that we are thinking about (red) vs. free activities (blue), when we're traveling (orange) and what restaurants we're interested in (purple). And the red text indicates the location on the island.



Visit the blog next week to see step 3 and 4 and how I pick what restaurants to go to!

Read Part 2 here!

Happy Travels!


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