Planning your best vacay ever

Leenika Belfield-Martin | Lifestyle Editor

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Leenika Belfield-Martin

As a child, going on vacation was as simple as helping your parents pack. As adults, we are tasked with the duty of actually having to plan out and finance our vacations. This is definitely easier said than done.

Here are some tips from planning your trips and even some places in Virginia to check out if you’re still in the area this summer.

The first tip is to plan within your group’s budget. Not everyone is going to be able to afford Cancun, and that’s fine, because they are cheaper options. Just keep in mind that during a vacation you will spend a lot of money on food, excursions and attractions. Sites such as Groupon can help you save a little money and figure out the discounted places in the area.

Pack wisely and try to limit the valuables you bring. Items you absolutely can’t leave at home are money (cash and card), I.D., cellphone and chargers, an itinerary and a passport — if you are traveling abroad. Observe the weather trends in the area to help you select reasonable clothing.

Research your hotel/resort beforehand to understand if the hotel is the best fit for you and your party. Some hotels also won’t let you check out of a hotel room until you’re 21, so keep that in mind. Choosing a hotel is more about comfortability and amenities than flashiness. Yes, staying in a five-star, fancy hotel is fun, but you aren’t on vacation to stay in the hotel room.

Always have a form of transportation beforehand. Nothing ruins a vacation quicker than being stranded in an unknown place. Become familiar with the local public transit options and taxi companies. But, if you want some independence when it comes to traveling, consider renting a vehicle. However, people between ages 21 and 24 may experience a “young renters fee.”

Now that you are ready for your trip, here are some Virginia venues you can visit on your trip.

If you like the beach and the boardwalk, then Virginia Beach is your spot. Because so many of the restaurants, hotels and attractions are close to one another, it is easy to walk from one to the other. You can even visit the aquarium in the area while you are there.

Virginia as a whole has a rich culture filled with historical landmarks. Williamsburg is the hub of history in the commonwealth. Colonial Williamsburg is a live, interactive museum that takes you back to the 18th century.

Williamsburg is also the home to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, two popular attractions in Virginia. There’s also a family-friendly indoor water park and resort, Great Wolf Lodge.

Say you are tired of traditional resorts and hotels, try going camping. Virginia is a perfect state for camping because of its temperate weather and diverse land. Shenandoah River State Park is one of Virginia’s many camping sites. This park features beautiful views of mountain ranges and water streams. You also can choose between camping in a cabin or in a tent on the camping grounds.

Planning your vacation may be hard and frustrating, but in the end you will have lasting memories with your families and friends. So start planning your next getaway today.

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