Cold and confused and lost I flopped down on a stone bench in Russia. With my toes frozen to the thin shoes I mistakenly wore, I tried to decrypt the bewildering characters on a map. I did not know a word of Russian, yet I was there miserably trying to figure it out. Going out to see the unique buildings in Moscow sounds fun, but it is a nightmare when considering the language, weather, and demeanor of the country. A wise person would have left right then and went into the glories of Europe. With a few steps I could choose a much more exciting country to visit than Russia. From personal experiences, I know the good and bad places to vacation. I like to try to crazy things and other people just want to relax, and either way a vacation can be the best moments in someone's life. When they return to school or work, they are more productive because it boosts energy. The only thing someone needs to plan a vacation is a phone or computer to do research on. Most people would like to take a vacation, and if they know how to choose the perfect place by considering their interests, budget, and safety, they will make memories, save money, and be problem free.
The first step I learned about choosing a vacation spot was to find a region that has everything I want in a vacation. One time, I chose to travel to Mexico to relax because I was exhausted from a year of high school. Mistakenly, we assumed Mexico City was an equatorial tourist town like other cities in Central America such as San Jose or Panama City. I went with only a seat on the plane reserved. Without knowing the language we struggled to find where things where located. We crept around the city asking for hotels to stay the night. If we found a receptionist that understood us, the receptionist would reveal they have no rooms left. My mother finally found a barren room in the bad side of town that we were unaware we were in. After a long night plagued with strange noises, we drove around town to find a spa. Little did we know, that side of Mexico city did not have a single spa. We ended up not doing much at all except driving around in a clunker. I should have done research to find a city with the specific relaxing activities I wanted. Since then, I have always chosen places that were next to the ocean with had fancy restaurants and lively evening activities close by. Those make the strongest memories.
Another step to choosing a location I learned was to determine a place that is within my budget. Back in my early days, my family and I only went to places that were cheap except for one vacation. I remember the trip clearly. We brought extra money and splurged at Vail, Colorado for a skiing trip, but we still underestimated the cost of the trip. We were naive vacationers and since we were out of Illinois, our credit cards were denied as fast as a dog can smell onions. We thought our cash on hand would be enough. Wandering through town, we investigated the most reasonably priced places to stay for the week. Unfortunately, the town rejected all hotels and only had expensive loges. The cheapest one was one hundred forty-nine dollars a night which used a huge chunk of our money. We rented skis, poles, and helmets which added up quickly. The next day we got up early and arrived at the slopes. We asked for four one-day tickets and the employee handed us the massive 756 dollar ticket. Outraged, my father, knowing we were almost out of money on day two, handed it back asking if the decimal place was in the right spot. The employee informed us that their rate has always been 189 dollars per person per day. Devastated, my mother attempted to unlock our only credit card with us, but they said it would only be reopened when she provided her identity which was at home. We walked through the malls in town the other days instead of skiing, because we had no choice. A whole trip and thousands of dollars were mostly wasted because we chose a trip far outside of our budget. If we researched cheaper places to stay, we could have chosen to ski in Wisconsin for half the price. Our following vacations were all within our budget because, I researched the price of flights, hotels, and activities. I also created an estimated price by adding up as many expencises as I could think of.
Average area of town
I have also learned to choose a place that is safe. Without bad intentions, I chose the wrong country and it ended in one of the worst experiences of my life. I traveled with my church mission group to Venezuela after a hurricane to help them recover. We tried to keep all of our belongings locked in our van, but that only kept some of our stuff safe. Items in our pockets were slowly snipped away at. More of our phones, IDs, and cash were mysteriously missing every time we checked. Do you know how hard it is to get into America without a valid ID? We tried to convince the custom agents that we were Americans, but they were sceptical because a large portion of us didn’t have IDs. After being interrogated by multiple officials, we were finally sent through. I was thrilled just to get back into the US. How much longer would have we been stuck if there was another hurricane? What if the Venezuelans had stolen the keys to our van? What if someone was kidnapped? There are many things I should have kept in mind to be problem free in that vacation. I looked for safer areas so I would not have a worry about being stranded away from home, and I researched homicide rates, terrorism, and violence for my following vacations.
Considering all of my vacations from Russia to Venezuela, my favorite ones were chosen based on my interests, budget, and safety. With just a few hours of research my vacations were a hundred times better. They included everything I wanted to experience, because it makes strong memories. They stayed within my budget so I did not spend all of my money. They were safe so I did not endure problems. I learned that both terrible and amazing memories last a lifetime.