If you haven’t noticed by now, I have ALWAYS been the party planner, trip planner, and flight booker not only for myself and work but for my friends and family! I honestly should have been (or maybe I was?! LOL!) a Travel Agent in my past life! I mean, if we’re really getting honest here, I DID go to school for travel and tourism for a short year!! LOL!
There’s something I find so satisfying about sitting down with a coffee (or a glass of wine!! 😉) and seeing if I can find the best flight and hotel option I can … it’s almost turned into somewhat of a game for me … except for the fact that I’m the only player! LOL!
In all honesty, though, my friends and family often laugh at how serious I take my travel planning! For example … I just miiiiight have been doing a little planning for my Bachelorette party (yes, I know what you’re thinking but this is a PRIME example of just how much I LOVE this stuff!). I started a massive group chat with all of the girls and threw out a bunch of dates that would work for everyone. I should mention here that I also love taking this stuff on because our household is very busy and my schedule is jam-packed (go figure! 😂 ) … so I think it would end up being MORE difficult for someone else to try and find dates that work with everything I have going on.
Anyway, I asked the girls what dates WOULDN’T work for them then I grabbed a big felt marker and drew out three calendars and put big red X’s on dates that were a no go then circled the possible dates in big green circles … lol … this is just the beginning of my trip planning and just one example I thought I would share! LOL!
Well, since I am smack dab in the middle of planning a couple of trips I thought I would share my 4 handy tips for pulling off the perfectly planned trip and I may have just exposed the first step already! LOL! Ok, let’s dig in before I continue to get ahead of myself here!
1. Nail Down the Dates
When it comes to booking a trip, it all starts with nailing down dates that work for you and whoever you happen to be travelling with. Start by selecting which month you would like to go on your trip. Once you have determined what month (or months!) would work, immediately rule out dates that are off-limits as this helps narrow things down VERY quickly. Once you’ve gone through this process you’re ready to move on to step number TWO!
2. Explore Costs
Once you have determined your ideal dates you’ll want to start looking at airfare and hotels and compare costs and availability! I use Expedia to do this and it’s my FAVOURITE travel hack ever!! If you plug your dates into Expedia it’ll pull all of the results for both flights and hotels (yes, you can even book your all-inclusive vacations through Expedia!) for you. Then … are you ready for it?! You can SORT your results by prices, flight duration, airline, departure time, the list goes ON! It’s so easy to quickly check pricing and find something that is most cost-effective for you without having to go to every single airline or hotel page to search individually.
When my best friend Shannon and I went to Europe (and when I took my mom, dad, and Justin, to Scotland and Ireland!) I used the Expedia app exclusively along the way to find the closest hotels and organize them by price and location while we were on the move and it was the easiest thing and that was 7 years ago!!
Not to mention, I also love that you can make an account and save all your trip details! It’s so handy to be able to log back into your account and pick your search up where you left I and easily add or change details. This also makes it VERY handy to find your travel details when you book your trip (especially when your as busy as me or if you tend to lose emails and forget and everything! LOL!). All of the details you need to access are available right in the Expedia app or within your profile so if you are wondering about something … just jump into the app or log in from your browser!
3. Draft Your Itinerary
Okay … I get that this step might not be for everyone but it’s something I LOVE doing. It helps me stay organized and eliminates any questions when travelling with a large group! Before I left on my trip to Hawaii with the girls I actually created a “Maui” calendar for us in my iCal and invited everyone to it. I added everything we had planned in this calendar from our Luau to dinner reservations and beach days!
I should also mention here that you can actually book experiences and car rentals via Expedia as well (it really is a one-stop-shop!) but make sure to enter ALL of these details into your itinerary so you have them on hand … and you always have the Expedia app as backup! LOL!
4. Pack Accordingly
What you pack and HOW you pack depends quite a bit on WHO you are travelling with. If you are travelling with your entire family it may look quite a bit different, especially if you have kids like us (I’ll be sharing my toddler travelling/packing tips tomorrow!). Keep your itinerary in mind when you are packing … are you planning to just lounge on the beach or are you going on some excursions? Make sure you have the proper clothing and footwear (plus everything else in between for your time away!
There you have it! I hope that helps! What are some of YOUR tips for planning the perfect trip?
Thank you so much for doing a packing section. I’m the worst packer ever and we travel so much as a family. It stresses me out!