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How to Plan the Perfect Vacation

After returning from a 2-week vacation in Italy, I have some tips for you…

There is a huge demand for travel right now and if you don’t plan appropriately, your much deserved vacation can be a flop.

We met some families at our hotels that had planned trips on their own – with the help of a Rick Steves guide. And that’s all great. However, they thought they would be able to book a boat tour on arrival or a driver for the day. Guess what? That was not possible because they are all completely booked months ahead of time.

So here are my tips…

Plan ahead…

Book excursions and all your transportation as early as possible. Availability is very scarce everywhere this summer. And I expect this trend to continue for a while based on the current demand for travel for the remainder of this year and already for next year. Do not wait to plan activities when you arrive. Make dinner reservations ahead of time as well. We provide clients with a list of suggested restaurants 2 months before travel and are happy to assist with making dinner reservations.

Private Guides bring cities to life…

Seeing a city with a private guide brings everything to life. Sure, you can wander around a city and see beautiful things and take pictures. However, the stories, the backstreet tours, and the history puts the city in a whole other dimension. In a 4-hour walking tour (which we customize to include food tastings or museum visit, depending on your interests), you will have an entirely different perspective on any city. The guides know about your family and personalize each tour. For example, one of our guides in Italy knew my son is a huge soccer fan so she managed to bring that into the conversation with stories and anecdotes about a local soccer team.

Leisure time…

As much as we want to see everything in a city or country. Don’t! Take it easy and don’t move around every one or two days. Spend several days in each city, wander the streets, and take day trips from each destination. If your hotel has wonderful amenities such as a pool or spa, make sure you have enough time to enjoy them. Everyone will appreciate the trip more and be much happier without running around each day.

Logistics & Transportation are so important…

This can totally make or break any vacation. Ensure the timing of your transportation makes sense. Whether by train or car, don’t have super long transfers. The logistics of an itinerary are super important. For example, being in your departure city last so you don’t have to worry about a long transfer to the airport and possibly missing a flight. Or, if there is an attraction you can see on the way between destinations, we incorporate that into your private transfer so you don’t waste time. On our recent vacation, we visited Pompeii on the way from Sorrento to Rome. Our driver picked us up, took us to Pompeii (where we enjoyed a 2-hour private tour), then enjoyed a leisurely lunch before continuing to Rome.

If all this feels overwhelming, don’t worry, this is our specialty. We only design private and highly personalized itineraries. Everything selected for you is based on the travelers’ interests and preferences. No cookie cutter packages here.

Are you ready to begin planning your next vacation? Start by completing our Travel Planning Questionnaire.

Working with Distinct Vacations in reserving at any of our preferred properties, you may have access to flexible cancellation policies and special amenities (such as a spa credit, complimentary breakfast, and room upgrades).

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