Travel futurists and keynote speakers are handy folks to have along on any vacation or business trip. After all, many have great hints, tips, and ideas (not to mention stories) to share. But you don’t need to be a travel futurist, hospitality keynote speaker, or professional blogger or journalist to come up with great trip plans and itineraries, as it turns out. The below insights can help you as you go about planning your next getaway.

Topic: Travel Confidential: What’s Hiding in Your Backyard?

Scenario: Have you stopped by Siesta Key, Martha’s Vineyard, Grand Haven, Ohiopyle, the Pocanos or Balboa Bay yet? Across America there are TONS of regional escapes that locals love, but remain largely unvisited by or unknown to 90% of the nation. After all, travelers love unique experiences, and they’re wanting to go shorter distances in the coming year for safety/convenience’s sake – it pays to discover where different regions of the country go when they need a quick escape.

Insight: It’s important to pick areas that have lots of great attractions, dining, outdoor things to do, and more that also won’t break the bank, yet also boast signature experiences and restaurants. For example: 95% of the people we talk to think Martha’s Vineyard is some ultra high-end destination for celebrities – when in fact you can drive your car onto a ferry for a minor fee then enjoy one of the most family-friendly and scenic destinations in America without having to spend a fortune. And did you know it has 3 separate towns each with their own vibes and signature things to see and do from 100 year old movie theaters to stunning cliffsides and the bridge from the movie Jaws, which you can jump off of? As you can see, it’s important to do your homework.

Topic: Surfin’ USA: 10 Best Beach Towns in America

Scenario: Ready to hit the beach and get your feet in the sand? It’s beach season – time to think about how to soak up the sun!

Insight: Look for top spots that offer a mix of things to do, lots of dining options, and loads of ideas for the whole family, with an eye towards doing a mix of destinations that cover the spread from relaxing daytime oceanfront activities to stunning natural beauty to top nightlife options. That may mean checking out Florida’s best beach towns (Clearwater, Captiva, Marco Island, Key West, Naples, St. Petersburg, etc.) or looking nationwide (Gulf Shores, Naples, Sarasota, Myrtle Beach, Santa Monica, Provincetown, Sanibel, Newport Beach, etc.).