When the ball dropped at midnight on New Year’s most of us had our resolutions all planned out: we’re going to lose that extra 15 pounds, we are quitting smoking (for real this time), we’re putting 10% of every paycheck into our savings accounts and we are definitely going to spend more time with our kids, or dogs, or both.
According to www.statisticbrain.com, “Enjoying Life to the Fullest” is the 4th most popular 2016 Resolution. It might seem like a vague goal, but think for one moment about how much time we all spend instagramming, tweeting, tumbling (or whatever the kids do these days) on our phones instead of talking to each other. It makes a lot of sense. Another huge part of enjoying life is travel and 2016 is shaping up to be an excellent year for your travel dreams to come true!
Most travel-industry studies indicate that about 40% of Americans closed out the year with unused vacation time. According to a study carried out by research firm Harris Interactive, 61% of Americans even work while they are on vacation (which doesn’t really bode well for fulfilling resolution number 10 – to spend more time with your family).
2016 is the year to break the cycle! With low gas prices projected to stick around, the family vacation that you’ve been meaning to take cannot be put off any longer!
Where should you go? What should you do? Where should you stay? And for heaven’s sake, where should you eat?? (Maybe that extra 15 pounds will stick around a bit…)
Set your budget and then look at your options. A huge reason why Northwest Florida and the Emerald Coast are such wonderful vacation destinations is the fact that they are within driving distance of a big chunk of the continental United States. A family of four flying across the country can get pricy… but with the average Florida gas price opening the New Year at under $2.00, if you can drive there in under a day, it is a cost efficient and fun way to get where you’re going!
Find the trip that’s right for you! There are theme parks, aquariums, museums, nature trails, beaches, eco-tours… What does your family value? Where will they have the most fun?
When picking a hotel, I have three words for you: TripAdvisor, TripAdvisor, TripAdvisor. Guest reviews are an honest and candid way to get a snapshot of the “soul” of a hotel and the people that work there. Trust me, you don’t want to waste your time in a place where you’re going to feel unimportant. You are on vacation. A vacation that you earned (that you should have taken last year, but you didn’t. Don’t worry we’re done making you feel bad about that). And what about amenities? Do you want four walls and two beds and that’s it? Or do you want an experience?
Do you want to go YOLO boarding with your daughter and watch the sun rise on a coastal dune lake?
Or do you want a free day-old bagel?
So take your time. Call ahead and ask questions. Book direct. And turn on your Out-of-Office.