Travel: Trip Planning
Trip planning is a bit of an art – like event planning, or even hosting dinner parties. It’s not for everyone and there are many different styles to choose from. For me, I love trip planning and I’ve gotten a few questions on my process, so I thought I’d put together a post on some tips, tricks, and things that work for me.
Getting a reasonable deal on flights is key – yet it’s not the only factor. Flights to New York City might be $300 less than flights to Seattle, but don’t forget to factor in the cost of hotels and local transportation.
For flights, I like to use Hopper. Even just to keep an eye on ticket prices. You don’t necessarily have to book through Hopper, although their experience is pretty quick and easy.
Once I know where we’re going I usually visit Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor to get a list of some of the top things to do, eat and see.
After that I’ll visit Instagram and Pinterest for some ideas that aren’t so mainstream.
Map things out.
I love using Google Maps – the feature where you can create your own maps is so awesome. No sense wandering form one end of Chicago to the other end, only to make your way back to where you started for lunch. No, don’t do that. Maximize your time by mapping out where you want to go.
Another great function of Google Maps is the scheduler. Especially if you’re using public transportation. You can set it to departure time or arrival time and it gives you the times the trains run. I love it.
Don’t over plan and don’t under plan – it’s like Goldilocks – you want the balance just right (and each of us is different).
We’ve gone on trips and planned nothing. It works for camping and hiking, yet if you want tickets to see an attractions like Alcatraz, or Buckingham Palace, there is a chance that tickets are sold out weeks in advance.
The balance that works for us is making sure we have hotel downtime around 4pm-5pm before we head back out for dinner later in the evening. Not only does it give us the time to freshen up, but also to relax and talk about all the fun stuff we did that day.
Do what you like to do. Love cruises, go on a cruise! Don’t like big crowds, don’t go to Disneyland.
For us, we like to go-go-go with downtime. We’re big on aquariums, museums, and fun attractions. We’re not big beach sit around people (a few hours is okay). That drains my energy and rather than fuelling me up.
The key to successful trip planning is to know what you like to do and have fun.
Thanks for visiting and happy trip planning!