If we're being real - everyone knows how to plan a vacation
but with our spring vacation days away, I'm kind of in a vacation mindset already
So today I have for you, my tips and ideas about vacation planning.
Starting Out: Narrow it Down
Some people can decide that they want to go on a vacation and know exactly where they want to go.
We aren't usually those people. Our travel bucket list is never ending (Currently we're on a domestic only kick) so our goal is to get in one or two big vacations each year then a couple smaller ones. We first decide WHEN we want to go away and next comes WHERE. This works out pretty well, at least for us it does :)
Nothing Beats a Recommendation
Whether it's reading Trip Advisor reviews or asking around to your family and friends - people who have BEEN to your desired locations know best and that's usually how we find our best tips for the vacation ahead.
Research: Top Two or Three
Once we've narrowed down our favorites for the upcoming trip - we research our top two or three favorites and look for things like the weather during the season when we want to go, top attractions/ what there is to do, flight prices, hotel prices, etc. We pick whichever is right for the time we're going. (Again, if you know where you want to go right away - skip right over this).
Accommodations: Where to Stay
Once we've locked in on our location - next up is one of the hardest parts for us - where to stay! Some people go with the motto "it's just a hotel, just for sleeping" but I like to be comfortable in where I'm staying, enjoy the room and have a nice mix of eateries/activities to pick from too. More times than none, I usually can barely pick (hence why we stayed at two hotels on the Bora Bora leg of our honeymoon - both had great and different things to offer). Being able to walk to a lot of places is also a huge plus for us.
Now, it's Time to Plan: Must Dos + Itinerary
Right off the bat we check out activities and pick out our "must dos" and from that start to make an itinerary. We never like to over book ourselves but at the same time we want to make the most out of our trip and get in all that we want to do. We do our share of laying on the beach, lounging around the hotel, etc. but we like to stay active as well. Starting out an itinerary from the beginning helps to make sure we get everything you want to do in but not over do it.
Leave Some Free Time:
Based off the length of the trip we always like to leave at least one day fully open. (Some short trips don't levee time for this though) Once we arrive at your destination as we explore for yourselves, it gives us time to add in something we might have seen and/or just plain relax for a day. We usually leave the first and last day pretty open to explore and then do or redo any last minute things we want to get in.
Take your Travel Folder:
We always take the important things like flight information, hotel information, any excursion activity with us in hard copy form because by the time the trip rolls around - I don't usually still have the confirmations on my phone and you never know what could go wrong. Always better to be safe than sorry.
Once You Arrive:
Unplug: We usually disconnect ourselves from social media for the most part aside from posting a few instagrams of a couple photos on Facebook - there's plenty of time for all the details when you get back. We still keep in contact with friends and family but phones aren't usually as frequent as when we are at home.
Enjoy: Make the most of your trip - we try to make sure to sleep in but not over sleep. Make sense? We like to refresh while we're away but don't want to miss out on maximizing our time.
Indulge: Whether it's treating ourselves to a special activity, enjoying delicious meals, relaxing at a spa treatment - we enjoy doing something to treat ourselves and make the vacation even sweeter.
Always Ask About an Upgrade: It never hurts to ask - and we've found that if the rooms are open, the hotel will sometimes be happy to complimentary give you the upgrade.
If You're Celebrating - Let Them Know: Hotels are in the hospitality business and they key to that is pleasing your customers. Staff will usually go a little bit above to make sure your trip is memorable. Honeymoons (especially), anniversaries, birthdays, bachelorette parties, etc. - let them know what you're there to celebrate!
What are some of your favorite travel planning tips? Ideas?
What's your plan of attack once your trip begins?