Take a moment as you read this article to reflect. When was the last time you truly felt relaxed and at peace? Was it in bed? In the bathtub? Or perhaps, on your last vacation? Planning, executing and paying for a meaningful vacation can be difficult…but as Magellan himself as my witness, it’s worth it. The potentially life-changing power of travel is real and peoples lives are changed everyday by this multi-bullion dollar industry that stretches beyond our planet (yes, taking a vacation into space exists). Therefore, each month in LB Spy I am going to do my best (in 600 words or less) to get you off the couch and into your next great vacation. I have spent my entire life traveling all over the world and I assure you, every trip was well worth the hassle of travel logistics.
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One of the first considerations in planning your next big escape is most likely your budget. We have the desire to travel…but not necessarily the financial freedom to do so. That’s okay. It’s time to set up a vacation fund immediately. Start small, but start today. And do not EVER, EVER use credit to pay for a vacation unless you can pay it off in full the day after your return. A 10% or15% surcharge for impatience is truly an evil proposition. It’s also time to plan a little smarter. Every place in the world has three basic seasons (in terms of tourism). These seasons are peak season, value season and shoulder season. These seasons determine how much (or how little) you’ll be paying for that particular experience. So an ounce of planning can save you big bucks. I suggest making plans to take your vacation in shoulder season. Not peak season, not “slow season” or value season…but somewhere in the middle
And finally, utilize the resources you know about…and one I’m going to share with you now. Every state in the United States has a state tourism office. This is an entire team of people dedicated to helping you choose to visit their state. Most cities have them too. They are called Convention Visitors Bureaus (or C.V.B.’s). A lot of regions, most countries, counties and everywhere in between all have these types of organizations. And the best part is…their services are FREE to you, the consumer. In a Google search, type the name of the place you’d like to visit plus the phrase “official CVB”. The official tourism bureau will have a wealth of information about their destination.
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You can do this. Pick an experience and select a destination that offers that experience. Decide when you’re going to go, how much it’s going to cost, how you’re going to get there, whom will be joining you, where you’re going to stay, and what you’re going to do when you get there. Be open minded, try something new…talk to the locals and cozy up to the idea that the trip you’re taking may just change your life for the better…forever.
So…what are you waiting for? Start planning today and get out there tomorrow!
Featured photo by @barka16 via instagram
– Jack Charles. LBSPY #72, December 2015.
HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.