For those who follow my posts, I go on vacation a few times a year. Some of the time, I visit extended families while other trips involve a weekend trip to destinations that are a few short hours from my home.
One concept that planning a vacation has taught me is how to set a budget. I often choose places that are inexpensive and during the spring or fall when children are in school and lodging is cheaper during those times.
Another idea I learned is to put some imagination into picking where I would like to vacation. Where I live, when people go on vacation, it is often to Panama City Beach, Gulf Shores, Gatlinburg or Disney World. While there is nothing wrong with those places, I prefer visiting off the beaten path places that are not so crowded and overstimulating.
Some places I would like to visit in the Southeastern United States over the next couple of years include the Bible Archeology Museum in Lagrange, Georgia and The Lost Sea, Shiloh National Battlefield, and Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. My goal later this year is to attend Jacksonville State’s homecoming weekend in October and on the way home stop by a natural rock garden between Birmingham and Gadsden, Alabama called Horse Pens 40.
As much as I want to visit places such as Gatlinburg, those destinations are often expensive, and more importantly, many of the attractions are not authentic. Maybe authentic is not the right word, but for example, Disney World and Universal Studios could be in a cornfield in Iowa instead of Orlando and those attractions would not be unique to the region. Whereas, smaller show caves and rock shops outside of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky are unique to that part of the United States.
Due to my sensory issues, I don’t think I could handle Walt Disney World or Universal Studios. The places I visit need to be sensory friendly. Watching YouTube videos of an attraction, I am interested in visiting lets me know what to expect and whether I could handle that particular place or not. Watching YouTube videos of one of the more extended tours at Mammoth Cave helped me decide that perhaps sticking to shorter tours might be my best option.
When planning a vacation, my best advice is if one does not have kids, save traveling for when children are back in schools as crowds are smaller and hotels are cheaper. Also, don’t limit yourself to popular vacation destinations just because these places are familiar to most people. For example, instead of visiting a big city or a popular resort area, go hiking at a state park or visit a smaller beach.
If one is going to visit a popular destination, Air B&B is an alternative to expensive hotels if staying for several days. Although I have not used Air B&B, those who have used their service can let me know how enjoyable that experience was in the comment section.
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