With Memorial Day under our belts it is officially summer! Hallelujah! Pool covers have been rolled up, BBQs have been rolled out and boats have been dragged out into the water. It’s time to sit on lawn chairs, drink lemonade and grill up a good time. Kids are almost done with school (or maybe they are already; it’s been a while) and it’s time to make your summer vacation plans. So what’s the best way to go about planning a trip you’ll never forget?
I remember as a kid the months that would go into planning a vacation away from home. First you looked in the phone book for a travel agent (or just went straight to AAA if you were a member) where you stood in line to talk to a rep who gave you handfuls of brochures. Then you’d spread them out on the kitchen table and look through them to pick a place. Then back to AAA for a map that would help you get from home to (insert trip destination here) and back. Next came the roulette game of finding a decent hotel, though without knowing the area or hearing any first-hand accounts of people who had stayed there. Certainly this could be a dicey ordeal: more than once I remember backing out of a reservation at a place that looked better in the brochure.
Now-a-days the whole travel process is expedited by the internet. Want to go to Florida? Type it into Google or Bing, not only can you find airfare or a driving map, but there are your hotel options as well. “Disgusting rooms” or “near a noisy expressway” writes a fellow traveler on the first hotel site you visit: next! You can plan your entire trip through the aid of search engines in a matter of minutes without leaving home. Where should you eat dinner while you’re there? The internet is going to help you with that too. It’s even where you will probably look to find the weather forecast, so you know if you need to pack that extra sweater and an umbrella.
If you’re in the hospitality industry it pays to have your sites optimized with high positioning and good reviews. This will provide travelers with fast, easy access to your info, and help them book their reservations and get back to their day. The easier and more affordable it is to plan a vacation, the more likely people are to take another soon.
Still don’t know where you actually want to go on vacation? Ask your Twitter followers or Facebook friends. The integration of social media into our lives has sped up conversations and helped to make a simple shared thought like “where should I go this summer?” into an interactive conversation between you and your 200 closest friends.
So what are your summer plans and how did you make them? Go ahead and share in the comments. If they sound really exciting don’t be surprised to find me as a stow-away in your suitcase.