There’s a lot of advertising pumped into getting people out of their zip codes to go see something else. |
What interests you? And by you, of course, I mean everyone interested in going, whether it’s a spouse, family, tailgating friends, or twenty-year kindergarten class reunion. If you’re into castles but your spouse thinks the beach is the ideal destination, there’s some compromise needed. A great way for folks to find a common interest, if it’s not obvious (i.e., ski enthusiasts in winter), is for everyone to send you their ideas. Or give them: no need to email your spouse within the same house! Then come up with the top three ideas and have everyone choose from them. Still deadlocked? Hmmm… I suggest tampering with the votes and—no, no, never mind. At least you’re all working from a short list. In the castle vs. beach issue, may I recommend a sand castle competition in South Texas? Obviously, it you’re looking to go solo, please don’t have any of the above arguments.
Interests can be geographic, such as a camera safari. Or cultural, like seeing Aztec temples and ruins in Mexico. Hobbies like birding and archaeology are big draws for which there will be travel packages. Ideally, a travel package should engage all the above: an interesting place with a history, connecting with your interests and going beyond bus and walking tours and hotel chains. As an example, touring Fredericksburg, includes seeing everything from naval museums to antiquing to wineries to neat B&Bs.
Where are great places with what you’re looking for? Okay, you know what you want. Next: where to go. This is an easy question if there’s a specific destination. Let’s face it: there’s only one Taj Mahal. Same goes for pilgrimage trips to Jerusalem, Mecca, and Graceland. And if you don’t know? That castle situation? Well, there’s… EUROPE. Depending on your definition of castle, they’re everywhere, including in the United States. A narrower focus would be good. Stick with places where there are a few things to do and see in a small area: more bang for your travel buck. For destination trips, look for packages including all the places you want to see, and some you hadn’t considered.
There are themed travel packages to consider as well. (Heck, there are entire cruise ships with fourteen decks of theme!) For railroading fans, the Canadian Railway has tours from a week to more than two. Exploring Celtic routes? Lots of packages to choose from—even if your real reason for touring is for the whiskey distilleries.
When the travel package includes a guided tour, consider whether the tour guides are licensed by the country/area where you’ll be touring. Many foreign countries have accreditation so the guide doesn’t only know where his cousin’s tourist trap is, or were he remembers was a neat place to see. Licensing matters.
Which travel packages fit your time and money budget? First stop: the calendar. Does everyone have the free time on their calendar? Second stop: check your wallet or purse and see which groups or companies might help you out. Costco member? AARP? USAA? Credit card companies offer travel packages as well. Another great source for discount tours is a religious group. Churches, mosques, synagogues have all manner of packages heading Middle Eastward. A travel package should be within the budget for everyone involved. Remember, like holiday shopping, no bank accounts or credit cards should be harmed in the making of a good time for all involved!
To discover great travel packages in Fredericksburg, Texas visit the Fredericksburg Inn.
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