Jun 30, 2010

Vacation Planning...off to Mexico We Go!

Portland, Oregon at night...Convention Center Towers!  Our current location!
Mazatlan, Mexico
Dragon Boat in ChinaImage by Always at Home via Flickr Shanghai, China
Mediterranean Sea from Benalmádena Pueblo, Spain
Three Word Wednesday
 hassle, inject, wealth
   Where oh where to begin...can I help you plan a vacation?  Maybe not but I can let you know how we do it and you will need to take it from there.
     We are in the process of planning a 50th Anniversary vacation to Mexico.  It is one of those "is the cup half full or half empty" kind of decisions.  Don't get me wrong, we have done this many times and with the wrong attitude, it can be a hassle!  The half empty part?  It takes time and planning to get it even halfway right.  On the half full side...we get to take time to plan and study to get it even half way right!  We think a lot of the fun is in looking forward to the vacation.
     Believe it or not, our tastes do match up with our money...we do not need is a big injection of wealth into our bank account.  To our credit, we were smart enough to buy a time-share vacation exchange 15 years ago and we have been reaping the benefits ever since.  Our agreement with World Mark is the real estate value time-share and can be willed to our children...a double plus in my book.  
     So now the fun begins.  We are taking a good hard look at Manzanillo.  The temperature is about the same year around in this city and because of it's location, we are closer than we would be in Ixtapa or other more southerly resort locations.  We will be in Tucson when we take this trip.
    My husband researches weather, restaurants, locations of resorts...he is just a fanatic when he begins the hunt.  I love it...it is a no-brainer for me!  
     We try to keep the tasks in order when we do this sort of thing...first we will have to buy back into RCI, check on availability of resorts, book what we like and THEN we will look for the best airfare.   There are a few things that I have come to believe when it comes to this sort of thing:
  • Sometimes, talking to a real person works a lot better than a computer search.  I have had agents for World Mark help me find some great hidden resources.  Taking the time to do this could save us money and discomfort if we are armed with the correct information.  I believe that I will never know if I don't ask a real person what they can do for me. 
  • It is not always about the money.  Paying more may be paying less in the end.  I do think of time and discomfort in money terms.  A hard bed, bad food or midnight travel is just not worth the money you save!  We are too old for pinching our pennies.
  • The shoulder of the season...those times of the year just before and after high season...can be the best travel dates.  We have always traveled on the shoulder. This time we will go in November no matter what...but we are celebrating 50 years of marriage and this may be a time when we will just go for the prize. 
  • Don't whine!!!  No one likes a whining traveler.  Merchants and local will be cross with a whiner.  We love to just sit back and watch.  We have been in Manila, Philippines where the delicate should not go. This kind of travel has made us tough and we have gotten very humble when it comes to judging the way the rest of the world lives.   We love a cold beer in a very small restaurant with no walls and no floors.  I don't eat food what is not cooked...steaming hot is good.  I am even less likely to drink out of a water glass.  I have seen too much!  But we don't whine about inconvenience or cleanliness.  It is not ours to judge.
  • I always see a trip to the airport as an opportunity for an adventure...we will drive to a city, park the car and travel from there.  The savings could be substantial if you are in a place where the commuter flights add up.  You just need to weigh the +'s with the -'s.
  • I like Lonely Planet travel guides.  If we are going to Europe, we buy Rick Steve's books.  Other books are great but smaller the better so far as I am concerned. 
So let the adventure begin...I am on a diet and I will change the color of my hair.  Who knows maybe I will do henna this time.   I love to go...well almost anywhere.  It is so much fun! Travel for me is injecting a wealth of experience with no hassle...life is good.

b

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