Monday, 23 April 2012

Playing Favorites

As a travel advisor, I am often asked by clients “What is your favorite vacation you’ve ever done?”  My answer is always the same:  I really can’t say I have one clear favorite.”

The reason I can’t, or won’t,  pin point one specific holiday is this:  When people, myself included, go on holidays they generally have different needs, wants and wishes depending on where they are in their life and what has been going on leading up to the holiday.  There just isn’t one vacation that is a perfect fit for every individual.  Each of us is unique so shouldn't we have the option to customize what we do or don't do based on our personal interests?

The definition of holiday or vacation can have various translations for everyone.  From my experience it also depends as well on who you’re travelling with.  Is this a family holiday?  Is it just you and your significant other? Are you getting away with your friends?  Are those you are travelling with like minded and do they share similar interests?  Is the destination familiar or brand new for you?  Do you have planned itinerary or will you be fully independent and able to go when and where you please?  These and so many other factors contribute to understanding what makes a great holiday.

For most of us, when we think about relaxing and rejuvenating, we can picture a seaside retreat with a warm, tropical breeze swaying the hammock we’re lounging in.  For some, that exact scenario would spell boredom beyond belief! For those individuals, a relaxing time might be a golf vacation or driving through the back roads of Europe while for others recharge their batteries might mean trekking to base camp of Mount Everest!  Ok, so maybe Everest is slightly more energetic than most would ever imagine but my point is that each of us has different expectations from our holiday.  Sometimes we’re game for a little adventure, romance, maybe we’re looking to get off the beaten track and reconnect with nature or who knows, maybe we want a taste of the exotic. 

Now, all this is not to say that I don’t have some holidays that stand out in my mind above others. Don’t get me wrong - there have been a number of vacations that will forever be right up there -  vacations that have left a lasting impact on me.   I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel the world and although I’m still chipping away at it, every holiday (past and present) will be approached in the same manner:

·        Embrace the destination for what it is.

·        Open your mind to a new experience; be it people, food, culture.

·        Expect things to be different than they are at home. (if it was the same, what’s the point in leaving in the first place?)

I really do believe that every holiday has the potential to be a “favorite vacation”.  The potential is there every time you step on a plane, ship, car or whatever other mode of transportation you choose to take.  The key is understanding what your expectations are for that particular holiday.  Translate this insight to your travel professional and work together utilizing their knowledge to define your wish list and you'll be jetting off to your favorite vacation too!