What Kind of Vacation is Right For You?

If you are reading this blog, you already know you don’t want to travel where there you are going to share the space with a ton of kids.  But exactly what kind of vacation do you want?  There are many different kinds of vacations.  There are the eco-vacations, the trips that involve the outdoors such as hiking camping, and sailing adventures.  There are the destination vacations that explore new places including the sights, museums and food such as visiting parts of Europe a traveler hasn’t experienced before.  Then there are what I like to call the relaxation vacations where travelers are pampered and do as much or as little as they wish such as resort or cruise ship vacations.  There are even study abroad or teach abroad journeys that allow people to study or teach in other cultures such as teaching in China for a year.

I have done all of these types of trips.  When I was growing up, my father was the outdoors type who loved camping, sailing and fishing.  My mother, who grew up in the Big Apple, was always up for the adventure.  We camped at many state parks, sailed Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway and docked at the Canadian Thousand Islands where there often weren’t any restroom or water facilities.  (I still remember bathing in the St. Lawrence River.)  For my Dad’s 60th birthday, my sister arranged for the whole family to go white water rafting.  At 78 Dad insisted the whole family climb Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica and was hauling my 71 year old mother through the falls.  He’s still a bad ass at 80.

I’ve done the study abroad trip too.  In 2004, I received a Hays-Fulbright scholarship to study in India for 2 months.  The University of Central Florida professor who led our group was a Brahmin and took us all over India, including places most tourists don’t get to go.  We studied at both the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai and Anna University in Chennai.  There was no rest as we trekked through India.  We had all of two half days to rest in the two months we were there.  Phenomenal journey of a lifetime, but exhausting.

I have also done the destination trips.  I’ve done Vegas a number of times as well as many places in the United States.  I’ve done Spain, France and Italy and took in the Vatican Museum and did tapas tasting on the island of Mallorca as well as investigated the cathedrals.

I’ve also done the pampered relaxation trips where I just relaxed, and had drinks on the beach at a Sandal’s resort or the cruise ship deck on our favorite cruise line, Celebrity.  On the relaxation trips, I have indulged in the spas, especially at Sandals.

The question now is, what kind of vacation do I really want now?  What kind of vacation do I need now?  When you plan your next vacation, these are the same questions you must ask yourself.  You also must ask yourself who else is going on vacation with you and what their needs and wants are.  Maybe you are in great shape and nothing makes you happier than being outdoors, and you have a partner who is up for the adventure.  If that’s the case, go for it.  Maybe you’ve been working too hard and you’re exhausted, and so is your partner.  If that’s the case, then maybe a cruise or a Sandals vacation is what you really want right now.  Maybe you want to explore new places and you’ve got the money and the time to plan a destination vacation.  The point is, think carefully before you schedule a trip.   One person’s ultimate vacation could be someone else’s nightmare.  A perfectly good vacation for someone else, might not be what’s right for you.

This year, I have to admit, my husband and I are both overworked and tired.  Adventurous vacations are out.  Considering I have psoriatic arthritis, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to do white water rafting or even another climb up Dunn’s River Falls, even though I might do those things again.  Camping in a tent is certainly not happening!  I really want to do a destination vacation, but I don’t really have the proper time to plan a trip to Germany and Austria, which was my ultimate goal, plus I’m not sure we’ve wracked up enough miles on our Capital One Visa to get there.  I want to be money smart about our vacations.  So, Jim and I decided that this year, it might be best to relax.  We have a spring break cruise scheduled on the only Celebrity Solstice class ship we have not been on yet, and another Sandal’s resort this summer.  We put money down last year when we were at Sandals to reserve a vacation, but have over two years to use that vacation.

In the meantime, there is a possibility that I can apply to teach for a month in China this summer.  I found out about that opportunity through another local professor who did it last summer.  As tired and overworked as I am, I am so intrigued that I don’t think I can help applying if the Chinese university needs any composition instructors.  It’s hard to know what to do sometimes, because like so many other travelers, I want to do everything.  In the meantime, Germany and Austria will certainly happen next summer.  What is your ultimate vacation?  What is right for you right now at this point in your life?  What is right for the others traveling with you?  These are important questions for all travelers to ask.  So now I ask your advice.  What advice do you have for other travelers like me who want to do everything?