Get Ready, Get Set, JetSet!
The prep for a trip is always such a perfect combination of excitement and anxiety. Excitement because you are getting away, you are doing it. Anxiety because, well, what are you going to do? Where are you going to go? Who are you going to meet?
Hopefully a few of my tips will help lessen the anxiety and boost up the excitement for your upcoming trip.
The most important thing to do is a little bit of research. This can come in all different forms, and I have noticed there are many different types of travelers. There are the travelers that plan a trip months in advance, and the type that’s a little bit more spontaneous. The type that plans every days itinerary out, and the type that flies by the seat of their pants. None of these types are wrong by the way, just if you are are travelling with someone else, make sure your different travelling type compliment each other in order to have a great trip.
Who are you travelling with?
I have traveled with a few different people and have learned who I would do a million trips with, and who I wouldn’t spend more than 2 hours in a car with. That doesn’t make any of them worse friends or people, they just don’t compliment me and how I travel. Make sure you are travelling with someone that can understand what you want out of the trip, and visa versa. This way you both walk away with great experiences and memories from your vacation.
My friend Allie and I try to go a girls trip every year, and no matter how many vacations I do with her, we always have a wonderful time. We have never cramped each others vacation style in any way and are always up to experience different things. We meet before hand to discuss things each other wants to do and we try to cross off at least one or two items off of each others lists. Some of these items are things I would have never thought to do myself but wound up having an amazing time! I think Allie would agree as well. I remember dragging Allie to a bar called Cowboy Up in Fort Myers, FL a few years back, and it definitely wasn’t her scene. By the end of the night, we were table drumming to “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, while sipping watered down vodka cranberries as the thick Florida air hit our sunburned skin. Our next stop is New Orleans, so that blog will be coming soon….
My friend Nicole and I hadn’t traveled together until 2017 on a girls trip with many other girls. This was one of those trips I was talking about knowing who you are travelling with. The trip wasn’t planned the normal way I would plan int (trying to make the most of out the days and hours flight and hotel wise) and we were booked on Basic Economy which doesn’t even let you take a carry on. Needless to say, it wasn’t an ideal situation….it was 36 hours in Vegas but somehow Nicole and I looked at each other at the end of it and said, “We are doing this again the right way”. Nicole and I have done 3 trips together since then and always have a great time.
Where do you want to go?
Are you trying to get a tan? Are you trying to get a taste of culture? Do you want to eat your way through the city?
All of these things will help determine your destination. Its true in the modern day of internet and social media you will always be able to find out if a restaurant is good or not, but some cities aren’t “foodie” towns. Some cities don’t have a lot of tourist attractions if that is what you are looking for. Some places aren’t beach towns year round. Try to do a little bit of research, this doesn’t need to be a lot, because where is the adventure in that? Sometimes the extent of my research is googling “Is January a good time to go to London"?’ and seeing what the responses are.
Are you trying to do this on a budget?
If you are trying to do this on a budget, which who isn’t, its more important to keep an eye on the airfare and hotels. if you are really trying to keep the price down, book your airfare at least 2-3 months out depending upon where you are going. Additionally I’ve heard that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best day to book flights. That being said, a lot of airlines have deals and such for low fares every once in awhile, so keep an eye out for those as well.
Hotels, those are slightly another story. You can find some deals depending upon where you are going, but if you want the true hotel experience, you might need to splurge on this. There is always Air have as well, but depending upon your destination, you might have a varying experience as well.
What are you trying to do on this trip?
No matter what you are trying to do, I’ve found it helpful to purchase a guide book if it’s out of the country. (I might even start doing this for US locations too). The Eyewitness travel guides come with maps, short walks to take in the neighborhoods, places to eat and drink, etc. They have been useful to look through even if I don’t follow them to the tee.
Additionally, hit the social media hashtags to find places to eat and check out. For example, when I decided to go to London I checked out hashtags such as #london, #londoneats, #mysecretlondon, etc. Same with Paris. It will not only give you great hidden gems, but great ideas for photo ops and places to go that may be off the beaten path.
Pack light, lighter than you think you should.
Everyone always packs like they are going to change outfits 5 times a day. It is never the case. I’ve learned there is a ratio one must discover to casual, dressy, cold, warm, daytime and nighttime looks. The best advice I can give it try to layer as much as possible for warmth as well as daytime to nighttime. If you can wear black jeans during the day and just swap out the shirt for a dressier one for nighttime with a change of shoes, that’s one less pair of pants you have to pack.
This will also give you more room in your suitcase to bring home unique gifts and souvenirs.
Create a travel playlist.
Create a list of feel good songs that you enjoy, that get you pepped up and happy. I listen to this playlist while I’m packing, I listen to it on my way to the airport and I listen to it when I need a little pick me up while on the vacation. I know this sounds like a silly one, but I swear by this.
Every few trips I go through the list and add and remove songs as needed depending upon my mood or anything I’m currently into. You want it to be a reflection of what will make you happy, and those things change every so often.
Hopefully these little tips get you into the wanderlust spirit and make your travels a little bit easier and more enjoyable.
Get Ready, Get Set, Jet Set!