Strategic vacation planning

Directional signs on a wooden pole by the palm tree at Long Bay Beach, strategic vacations, holiday planning


Six months ago we had absolutely no idea where we’d be on vacation today. None at all. We couldn’t have imagined it.

When we started to look at a holiday, I wanted to go to Canada and take the kids canoeing and bear-watching. There’s just enough time to get it done in two weeks. Of course, she fancied Costa Rica, and the kids put in a bid for Florida. But really, Orlando in hurricane season?

We knew we’d have to suck up the cost of going in school holidays, so the dates were set. And then we heard that our friends were going to Florida, so we settled on that. I guess the kids won that one.

Oh, and the Disney hotels are so close, but you know what you’re going to get because they’re pretty similar to Disneyland Paris, so we figured it would be cheaper for us all to stay in a house and get a pool too.

We thought about the time we’d lose on the parks, in the traffic, but decided it was worth it and we probably wouldn’t move for the second week. We’d have a pool for the kids right there.

We knew it was a gamble with the weather. I looked at the reports of the damage from Hurricane Irma last year. But prior to that, only two hurricanes have made landfall in Florida in the last 25 years. I took that as a reasonable gamble.

I couldn’t have guessed just how much fun the kids would have, but the cost of food took me by surprise. There’s nothing healthy to eat at the parks, so we had to buy a bag and carry lunch every day. But the second week has been perfect. To get away from theme parks and just sit, while the kids play in the water, has been total bliss.

Clues to the future and the shape of the market are everywhere. It just depends how (and if) you look for them. Read the holiday websites, and everything about Florida is great. Look at TripAdvisor, and maybe your plan needs to be thought through a bit more. Look at local planning notices, and you can see if the route between your house and the parks is disrupted with roadworks and what that does to travel time. Even the weather is relatively predictable from historical data.

Do you know what you’ll be doing six months from now? Probably not exactly. The signs are that it’ll be pretty much the same as you’re doing today, for most people. Unless you look at it differently.

Seeing it differently. Future-proofing. It’s what we do.

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