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Need a Vacation from Vacation Planning?

Meaghan's Getaway Guide ~ October 12

My husband and I want to go on an anniversary getaway but the planning is having me wonder if hibernating in my bed for a week would be a better alternative. Sadly, it's not a new feeling. When planning a vacation, I've found there are three stages in the process.

  • Meaghan Coneybeare ~ GoGirlfriendMeaghan Coneybeare ~ GoGirlfriendStage one is the feeling of being overwhelmed. I find I am faced with so many exotic and breathtaking choices that it's hard to decide on just one.
  • Stage two is exhaustion. I get to this stage when I've spent endless hours researching locations and resorts and have begun to neglect the other work around me.
  • Stage three, the one I rarely get to but it has happened, is when I give up this idea of a vacation because my head just hurts too much to even think about it anymore.

I'm almost at stage three.

Where do I want to go

travel tips for easy traveltravel tips for easy travelMy first step in the vacation planning is to decide what type of vacation I want. Do I want to be on a lounger, 5+ hours every day with my collection of books, a tall ever-present fruity cocktail at my side and a sun that wants to bath me in golden warmth? Or do I see myself taking in the tropical jungles, zip-lining at extreme heights and coming across intriguing sights and an abundance of creatures?

Once I've found what direction I want to go, I start narrowing down locations. You'd think this would be the easy task but for me it never is. I want to see the world so narrowing it down to one location can be very difficult.

I start by researching the location and excursions. Will there be enough activities to keep me busy? Are they appealing to me and at what cost? Then I research the culture. I want to make sure this is a location I can leave my resort and explore.

Once I've narrowed it down to a location, I start on research that leaves me very close to stage three.

Narrowing down the endless choices

Are you an effective trip planner?Are you an effective trip planner?Finding the best resort for you and your needs can be a daunting task. There are just so many to choose from and the reviews are usually endless. I tend to cast my net wide and do a Google search to see if I can find a consensus or theme of multiple reviews.

To help narrow the list, I use keywords or phrases in my search. Great food, comfortable bed, up to date. These are my main concerns. I've been to a few resorts where I barely got a wink of sleep because the bed was harder than the floor and the food tasted mediocre. If I am about to spend a big chunk of change on my vacation, I want the best I can afford.

One thing you have to be careful with when doing all this research (and I'm guilty of) is knowing when to stop. There comes a point where you find yourself drowning in information and the excitement you once had for your vacation has been replaced with exhaustion.

best vacation spot - frustration!best vacation spot - frustration!I'm closing in on this stage and have realized it's time to take a break. Time to trust my travel agent friends and the review sights that have never let me down in the past, GoGirlfriend being one of them.

GoGirlfriend's experiences in Antigua and Puerto Rico have helped narrow my search considerably. The two locations that we have narrowed our vacation down to are Panama and Los Cabos, Mexico. Both are appealing with one being unique and uncommon and the other full of luxury and comfort.

I would love to hear the process you take in planning your vacation and what roadblocks you've hit along the way!

Share your stories here or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter. We'd love to hear from you!

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