When it comes down to vacations and the ratings of whether the vacation stay is great, average or poor, there are many amenities to take into account. The travel arrangements and their timeliness, the weather, the accommodations and the company found are all things to be considered. The destinations and whether or not they live up to their advertisements can be considered as well; sightseeing and the native cultural reception are well worth monitoring in any good assessment of a travel destination. I contend that the biggest barometer of how great a vacation is the mindset of the traveler. If that person is happy, the trip is going to be a grand success; a good time will be had by all. If the traveler is miserable at heart, then the greatest of accommodations will not suffice.

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Outside barometers of a great vacation start with a great destination. Many people have a dream vacation they have always wanted to go on; for some people that can be scuba-diving in the Bahamas, for others it could be skiing the hills of Colorado. The vast differences in vacation destinations have to do with the climate one is entering into. For a wintery, cold-sports loving individual, the Swiss Alps or the North Pole may make excellent points of entry. For that person that hates to see the hot summer sun go down, anything in the tropics is good; swimming, sunbathing and warm water sports would be the greatest.

The best of vacations begins with the planning and cost effectiveness one can obtain. A good deal precedes a great vacation; even a less desirable destination can become attractive if the price is tight. A dedicated do-it-yourselfer can spend endless hours on the Internet looking at deals, or one may obtain the services of a good travel agent. As long as the travel time, method of travel, and final accommodations live up to their promise, a great vacation can be the final outcome.

When it comes down to just an “average” vacation, the travelers’ dispositions can surely make the difference. If one is in a celebratory mood, minor delays or temporary loss of luggage can be seen as parts of the adventure, rather than sticks in the mud designed to destroy one’s fun and games. If a person’s disposition is leaning towards ill will or depressive feelings of any kind, then any ripple in the water will be seen as negative rather than positive. A bright and sunny outlook goes far to battle against bad feelings, and one can see their glass as half full rather than half empty.

The company the traveler keeps can be an indicator of the quality of the trip. Two people in love can make an “average” trip, even with poor weather or bad hotel service, or a cranky rental car seem like the most romantic getaway ever experienced. A family happy to be together taking a break from their busy lives can turn the average into the above average. Again, the demeanor of the travelers is what ultimately makes a vacation great, average or poor. That demeanor is determined by the overall quality of that person’s life, their mood at the time, and the company they are keeping.

What then, constitutes a “poor” vacation? Very simply put, a poor state of mind is all that can ruin the trip completely. Accommodations that were supposed to be five-star and end up being two-star can surely dampen one’s excitement. Traveling into weather something just short of a tsunami can be disappointing as well. Every destination has its tourists as well as people who lay in wait to victimize those same vacationers; being the victims of any crime while abroad is a low point to be sure.

Then, what of the destination itself? Is it all that the visitor hoped it would be? Spending a lifetime waiting to see Paris only to be disappointed by its lights is a letdown of huge proportions. Such disappointment hardly seems likely if the traveler has a good frame of mind. Again, I go back to the original hypothesis that states that the joy of the vacation is dependent on the mental state of the traveler(s). Happiness, or joy is an inside commodity that can only be enhanced by outside circumstances. A vacation is considered to be a joyous, happy event, but even the most sumptuous surroundings cannot heal a broken spirit or lift a depressed soul. The conditions of a person’s inside determine the quality of their outside circumstances, whether on vacation or at home.