(NewsUSA) - Vacation only comes around once a year for some folks, so it has to be both relaxing and rejuvenating. Finding that balance, however, can be a tall order to fill -- unless you focus on the basics that make vacationers happiest.
To find out how to make your next vacation a happier one, check out this five-step vacation guide based on a recent survey of U.S. and Canadian travelers, commissioned by the iconic hotel brand, Howard Johnson:
1. Invite good company. This seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes we need a little reminder. According to the travelers surveyed, having the company of friends and family on vacation is the most important factor to ensure a happy trip. Other must-haves? Experiencing something new and "good, ole relaxation."
2. Prepare to indulge. If you're likely to spend extra money on delicious restaurants and fun activities on vacation, set aside money just for that. Budgeting specifically for transportation, hotel accommodations and activities can ease some anxiety when it comes to pulling out the credit cards.
3. Find hotel deals. With a little digging, families can save serious bucks on hotel deals and discounts. Plus, sometimes you just get lucky. Howard Johnson recently ran a promotion surprising random guests nationwide with free stays. Also, don't forget to ask about discounts on staying consecutive nights or possible room upgrades, too. One-third of survey respondents named a free night stay as the best arrival gift from a hotel.
4. Plan for bad weather. Vacationers detest when bad weather rains on their plans -- in fact, it's the second biggest fear for travelers. So, if your itinerary lists nothing but beach time and waterpark rides, triple check the weather, and brainstorm alternatives just in case. If the weather isn't cooperating, look up exciting museum exhibits, plays, movies and shopping trips.
5. Eat healthy. The number-one fear while traveling is getting sick; some 40 percent of traveling adults fret over falling ill. While it's okay to cheat on your diet during vacation, try to eat extra-healthy before you leave. Eating plenty of antioxidant- and nutrient-rich foods, like leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and whole grains, will boost your immune system to fend off germs on your trip.
To plan your next vacation, visit www.hojo.com.