The Internet has made it possible for people to book their own hotels, airfares and cruises. But if you're trying to plan an actual two-week vacation, making your own travel arrangements can be complicated. This is especially true if you're visiting a spot where you've never been before. As you no doubt know by now, photographs online can be markedly different than actual conditions. Even if you're really careful, you could wind up in a place that doesn't meet your expectations.
Book a Tour
If you're vacationing in a spot that is previously unknown to you, your best bet is to book at least one tour during your stay. Preferably, schedule the tour on the first or second day of your arrival. That way, if you are shown someplace that you'd like to see more of, you'll have time to explore it on your own.
If you envision a tour as taking place inside a hot bus or atop a trolley while a guide yells at you through a megaphone, think again. Quality tours can be as sophisticated as a leisurely wine tasting tour through the Bordeaux region of France, or as thrilling as a spin around the shores of Key West on a jet ski.
Head Aboard a Cruise
Another less complicated way to travel in an area you're unfamiliar with is to take a cruise. Though many cruises spend several days at seas, with most of the entertainment being onboard, there are other cruise options. Weekend and day cruises usually travel up and down coasts, with interesting narration offered by the captain.
River cruises last longer and are more lingering, with a lazy feel about them. On a river cruise, you can expect to travel closer to the shore, at speeds that allow you to truly take in the ambience of the city or town you're touring. To best take advantage of a meandering river cruise during your vacation, organize your hotel room stay to accommodate the cruise, since you'll be overnighting on the riverboat for several days.
Both these tours and cruises options make it easier for you to get a real sense of the place you're visiting, without the need for you to walk miles each day with a tourist map trying to make sure you see all the sights. You'll be in the safety of a planned trip, and at the same time, you'll be educated about places you might want to visit independently. Bon voyage!