What’s a Vacation to You?

June 28, 2013

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[ UPDATE: Voting is now closed. ]

By Gabrielle.

I was talking with Ben Blair about vacations and mentioned how much I care about the accommodations — for me, a good hotel room feels like the ultimate luxury. But I realized, it’s not the hotel room exactly, it’s that I want to relax on vacation, and the hotel room helps to facilitate that. Though really, I know there are plenty of people that would choose the beach for relaxation over a hotel room any day!

So now I’m curious: When you think about and plan vacations, are you most drawn to the food scene, relaxation, culture & museums, or adventure? I’d love to know! Add your opinion by clicking on a checkmark above.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shannon June 28, 2013 at 8:20 am

I’m looking for the “all of the above” button!

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2 Andrea Freeman June 28, 2013 at 8:45 am

I love this question! I’m in such need of a vacation. I’m a stay at home mommy with 2 year old Finn. So I have been thinking about what’s important in a vacation. Before finn, I would have said food, a great room, the sights. Now, relaxation is key. I want to entertain Finn but still be able to enjoy my time with my husband and alone. Oh – a 2 room hotel room is important. Finn goes to bed at 7. Then we can watch a movie and not worry about him.

Thank you for everything!

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3 Sarah June 28, 2013 at 9:10 am

Yes all of the above! Mostly I go for sights and scenery!! It’s my dream to go someplace that vegetarian is more prominent. I seem to always end up in places where it is very uncommon and end up eating French fry meals while my husband has gorgeous dishes!

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4 brittney June 28, 2013 at 9:17 am

oh man – this spring we went to Puerto Rico for a week because we wanted the “adventure” part. We went zip lining, and did private beaches, and scuba diving, and all of it – but there was no. good. food. We tried SO HARD to find something tasty, but by the end of the week we couldn’t wait to leave just so we could eat something that wasn’t terrible. I felt like we were trapped in a super beautiful prison. The point is: food has become a more important part of our vacation priorities

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5 Meaghan June 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm

We are going to Puerto Rico in September for our honey moon! Really looking forward to the beaches and the zip lining but super bummed in regards to your comment about the food!

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6 brittney July 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Meaghan – I’m SURE you’ll find something – I shouldn’t have been such a downer! We had such a great time, and congratulations on a) getting married and b) your honeymoon.

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7 Nicole Devereux June 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

I’d like it all, too! But, if I had to rank, I’d say adventure and relaxation, followed by food and culture. I’d love to frolic and explore all day, and then be able to sit back and relax with a drink and good food at night.

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8 Karin Katherine June 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

This is such a great question. For my Mommy Sabbaticals I’m all about the relaxation and privacy. I plan on being in or near my room so the room/resort is highly important.

When it’s travel with kids then I’m looking for adventure. What we can see and do. The hotel is also important (not easy to find accommodations to accommodate our family). But activities are high on the list.

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9 Marian June 28, 2013 at 10:12 am

The company followed by activity are key. Really the company is number one, anyplace is wonderful with the right people.

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10 Tasha June 29, 2013 at 6:19 pm

I second that! I just spent a BEST day at my parent’s gorgeous home in the woods and pool with family – like every weekend…and it felt like a vacation!!!

But for a destination trip I’d say the scenery, privacy (when possible) and food are important to me:) A beautiful room is a bonus! ♥

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11 Chase @ The Smell of Summer June 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

For me it is a mix between Relaxation and Adventure. I like to avoid all technology & work while on a vacation, while mixing in a few adventure activities that I don’t get to do during my normal week at home.

Chase Miller
The Smell of Summer – A Boutique Lifestyle Blog

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12 Christy@SweetandSavoring June 28, 2013 at 11:48 am

Ooh, this is difficult! My top three would be culture, food, and relaxation- adventure I can find if I’m at home. The top thing that came to mind for me is a change of scenery- I get so restless and tired of seeing the same things every day, that what I look forward to on vacation is just seeing different things! Different vegetation/animals, different architecture, different people, etc. So that’s my answer- a vacation to me is a change of scenery :)

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13 bdaiss June 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm

As someone who travels for work quite often, I understand the vital importance of a good hotel. My definition of vacation is any time work isn’t involved! I’m fortunate to work in the National Parks and often get to take my family along. UNfortunately, that means they play while I work most of the time. It’s a blessing, but also exhausting.

But we’re heading out in our new camper for a few nights in the woods. Even that counts as a mini-vacation to me! No phones, no internet. Just us and nature.

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14 Jenni Bailey June 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Adventure all the way! Even if it doesn’t involve scaling the side of a mountain (as in the photo above), I feel like some kind of discovery is essential to a good vacation.

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15 CMN June 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm

It’s really such an interesting question, isn’t it? I think it depends on what sparked your interest in a location. Some cities, it’s all about the culture and arts. Other places, it’s all about nature and relaxing… Or maybe adventure and discovery… For me, the hotel choice usually follows the activity list. If I’m going somewhere that I’ll be out all day Site-seeing, then the hotel needs to be convenient, comfortable, and safe. The hotel is the place where you sleep and store your stuff. But if I’m going to spend the day AT the hotel — a la the beach or a wilderness destination — then I want an awesome hotel that raises the bar. Some place that’s a luxury compared to my regular real life. And then there’s that rare gem… When the hotel itself is The Destination that caught your attention in the first place! (Though, lets be honest… Most of us regular folks aren’t able to afford Those particular hotels! LOL!)

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16 Marille June 29, 2013 at 9:43 am

Above all else, I need to be able to relax. This means a comfortable hotel that is well-located–ideally near a subway or public transit if I’m in Europe. I need to be able to get to a couple of good restaurants nearby, so that even if I’m too tired to go out and do much, I can still grab a quick bite. I’ve started to realize that I like to be able to work in a decent amount of lounging on my vacations, so a good hotel is key.

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17 Chris June 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Gabrielle,

Yes! We talk about this all the time since it’s our job. We are always seeking to improve our rooms at the Inn which means we have to stay in them ourselves sometimes…I didn’t think it would be relaxing because I see the to-do list but it was! It also gives me such a good perspective on what our guests see. I also so appreciate a good hotel room now. Even when I go to a chain hotel, I notice every little detail.

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18 bettijo @ PagingSupermom.com June 30, 2013 at 12:59 am

Such a good discussion — my husband and I have different views on this for sure!

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19 melissa June 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm

As Christy said above, for me it’s also a change of scenery or even just beautiful scenery that makes it a vacation for me. Geographically beautiful places that are different from where I live are what inspire me to relax and think differently. Second would be food, because I’ll go anywhere in search of good food. Third would be a comfortable hotel- by no means do I mean luxurious, but just a decent bed and curtains that block out too bright sunlight!

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20 natasha July 1, 2013 at 8:56 am

I now live a location independant lifestyle.I love choosing a location where there is great food. eating different food is very important to my experience in that country.
Btw i have only discovered your blog and i am loving it :)

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21 dervla July 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm

we’re in the middle of this dilemma at the moment. Not sure what elements to prioritize … but really need to make a decision and just go!!

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22 Felippe December 2, 2013 at 8:42 am

I preffer go shopping or ride my motorcycle. I know i have so different tastes but I think we have to enjoy as much as we can in our hollidays. Enjoy Christmas time friends.

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