Life Saving Hacks for Planning Your Next Trip
Growing up, my family vacations were always very organized. My mom was great at finding hotel deals and we always booked our flights months and months in advance. It amazes me how organized we were seeing as this was before iPhones and navigation apps and there was no such thing as Uber and AirBnB. We always had a blast and were able to fit so much into the time that we were on vacation.
Now that I’m older and most of the trips I take are sans my organized family, things can get a little more stressful. This post is actually a little backwards for me because rather than taking a trip this summer, I am hosting my very best blog friend Rachel when she comes to visit me in two weeks! (I’m sure if you follow either of us on Twitter, that you’ve heard a ton about this already…and we’re sorry – kinda.)
So here’s the deal – itineraries can give you a headache and budgeting sometimes needs to get a little tricky. Whether you’re going on a trip or having someone come stay with you, these tips should do the trick!
Skip the itinerary – make a master list
For my trip to Boston last summer, my dad left the planning up to me. I think I spent 5 minutes trying to make a legitimate itinerary that was even color coded, but threw in the towel. When you’re visiting most new places, you really only know a slew of things to do and maybe where they’re located, but you don’t know if on Day 3 of your trip your feet are going to hurt and you won’t want to take that Freedom Trail tour.
I make a master list on my phone (you could use a cute notebook) of things I want to do and see. I also include the location of each of these activities so I can group them.
Check the weather for packing purposes
this is seriously the comfiest swimsuit and it’s so fun for summer trips!
Before I even put a shirt in my suitcase, I make a packing list. I outfit plan (and this is the only time I do so) according to the weather. If Day 1 is going to be a low of 65 and a high of 82, then I know what outfit is going to work best for the weather. Since you have a master list rather than an itinerary, just make sure whatever you have packed is versatile – skip the wedges and opt for comfy flats or try the sneakers with a dress trend. Also, pack outfits (like this t-shirt dress or this romper) that can be dressed down for exploring and dressed up for dinner on the town.
Rachel and I in Boston
Consult with your hosts or your guests
Rachel and I have been chatting back and forth about what we want to do. I don’t think it’d be any fun for her if she showed up and I just took her around to do what I wanted to do without checking with her what she likes to see. In the same sense, if you’re staying with someone, you may pick their brain about the best things to do where they live. Often I find that the local places are the best treat, and only true locals will be able to point you towards those.
If you’re going somewhere where you don’t know anyone or have no one to ask about local spots, do a Pinterest search. Example: Boston local’s guide to travel. That’s how I find really neat places when I’m exploring a new place!
When Cameron and I went on spring break together last year, we were lucky enough to be staying with some family and didn’t need to pay for a hotel or any Ubers. The only thing we had to purchase was food, so I made sure to set myself a budget of how much I should spend each day on meals. If you’re able to, it’s great to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things that you can keep in the hotel fridge or in your purse. I’m a snack girl, so I like to grab meal bars, nuts, and healthy on-the-go snacks to munch on when I’m out exploring. Scout out the nearest convienence or grocery store on your way in town and stock up!
I always check the prices online before I head to a new restaraunt. It’s totally ok to spend a little more than you would if you’re really wanting to try a special spot, but it’s also good to make sure you’re not going to be sad when you leave because you spent all your money! I’ll do a Yelp search, scan through the comments, and then visit the place’s website to view the menu.
Ask social media!
Back to that trip to Boston – almost everything I ended up doing I can thank you guys for! I remember posting a picture on Instagram and asking in the caption if anyone had any Boston recommendations. I would wake up in the morning, get dressed, and then check my comments to see what fun thing I’d be doing next! Haha! So, make a Facebook status or send a tweet – I’m sure you’ll get some great reccos!
Where are you headed this summer? Hope these tips can help you plan a fun trip!