With the gas prices hitting $4.00 plus a gallon this summer, people are going to be looking at ways to shave a few bucks off of their vacation expenses. The internet has opened up a new world for travel and allows each of us to be our own travel agent. This can be good and bad. The good is that we can find our own deals, do research and put together a vacation that meets our own personal needs. The bad is that you can get information overload and also become a bit frustrated if you get into BAD review overload.
I have spent hours pouring through travel reviews and I have found that most so called bad reviews are from people that are either just plain old negative ungrateful people and/or people that had such high expectations about their trip that any small glitch sent them spiraling into negative review rage.
I caution and challenge each of you to remember that vacation is a time to relax, enjoy time with family and the chance to zone out and spend sometime with your thoughts. While things can go wrong, remember that;
1.) You are blessed to be able to take a vacation.
2.) Allowing a unfortunate incident to consume you will only ruin this time that you have taken to relax and decompress from everyday life. Thus, defeating the purpose of even going on vacation.
3.) Don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember that these unfortunate issues will be things you laugh about years from now!
One of the best ways to save big money when vacationing is to rent a condo. My wife and I went to the Cayman Islands and stayed in a newly remodeled 2 bedroom condo, on the beach, for 7 days and paid 40% less than a hotel would have charged. When you factor in the ability to have a full kitchen for preparing breakfast and lunch, you make that number jump exponentially.
I have used both of these sites to rent condos and have always had great experiences. I like renting directly from the owners. Take your time and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are going to spend your hard earned money, make sure you are 100% comfortable with the person you are renting from and the accommodations they are providing. Make sure you ask for the most up to date photos. You want to see what it looks like today, not what it looked like 4 years ago. A lot can change and deteriorate in that time.
To futher research the property, take the time to do the following;
1.) Google the property name, (i.e. BeachFront Villas) to look at the properties website.
A.) Google the property name with the word “reviews” after the name.
B.) Google Map or Google Earth the property to see the property and area that surrounds it.
2.) Call the property office and see if they have any up to date exterior pictures.
3.) Check out TripAdvisor.com (remember, don’t get to consumed with all the Negative Nick and Nancy’s.) (Obviously look for common threads each review and make your conclusion based on those common comments.)
Good luck and I wish you the best and most enjoyable vacation this year!