How I Plan Our Travels
This is a sponsored post with TripAdvisor, however, this is how I’ve always planned my trips so this partnership couldn’t have been more perfect!
Vacation season is coming up soon (it’s kind of hard to believe it’s only a few months away!) so I thought I’d share some travel planning tips that has helped plan all our travels in the past!
Who, when, and where!
This might seem pretty obvious but when you’re first starting out, you may not even think of the obvious! Who – well, this is pretty important because who are you going on this trip with? Is it a family trip? A romantic getaway for two? A friends trip? Figure that out and then you can move on to the when! When – obviously finding a time that works for everyone might be challenging, but a quick money saving tip: you can use TripAdvisor to research/plan and compare prices for various dates. If any members of your travel group are on a budget, this could really come in handy! Where – DUH! Where do you want to go?! I would suggest making a list of three and researching prices and comparing which would make the most sense for the current year. For example: that whole Greece economic crisis vs. London. I heard that Greece is desperately wanting tourists and everything there is pretty cheap right now since more tourists visiting = more money for the economy. London = always pricey. The British pounds is almost double the U.S. dollar. So, while you would love to go to London (I mean, I know I would), to save money, do some research on TripAdvisor and compare Greece vs. London.
Airfare is pretty tricky because it seems like it’s always fluctuating. Personally, for us, I tend to book them really early cause I seem to find the cheapest prices that way. Some people might disagree but it works for us. If the flight schedule changes, it’s usually not by much.
You’re going to want to do your research (on TripAdvisor, of course!) on where you’re staying. You can even book on TripAdvisor now! While staying in a centrally located area is desirable, it will also drive up the cost of your stay. I suggest looking for somewhere a little outside of where most people stay but also trying to find a transportation line near where you’re staying otherwise those cab fares could add up! Hotels usually only require a 24-hour cancelation so you can honestly shop around for the best prices up until you leave for your trip! TripAdvisor has the best hotel reviews and photos. I’ve always used them when I do hotel searching. I feel that it’s way more honest than other travel sites.
Sights & Eats
I typically like to plan this stuff about 3-4 months out. This ensures that you can get reservations for highly popular restaurants, however, I’ve even gone as far as 6 months out to reserve a place I really want to eat. Some places don’t take reservations until 30-60 days prior to when you want to dine so keep that in mind. TripAdvisor makes it super easy to look for restaurant reviews, too. I know since this is a sponsored post you might not believe me when I say that I’ve also always used TripAdvisor when I planned my meals. It honestly has great reviews of travelers and they don’t hide anything (good or bad!). Not only do that have restaurant searches, they also have sights/landmarks/museums/tours that you can search on there too to see if you’d be wasting your time or not. From there, I make a daily itinerary in a Word document and try to piece the puzzle together! I try to do things that are centrally located to one another so we aren’t running from one end of the city to the other. I also try to place restaurant or cafe’s along the way. I give ourselves about 2-3 hours prior to our dinner reservation to get back to our hotel room to freshen up and to get to the restaurant on time.
Some other useful tips…
If you’re going international, don’t forget to bring an outlet convertor! That would totally suck if you couldn’t charge any of your electronics while there! Also, bring an ATM card with you to get the country’s cash out at the airport. It’s cheaper (in my experience) exchange rate than going to a travel currency exchange booth.
Take advantage of TripAdvisor forums! I used it for my Bali trip last year. I asked whether or not a Korean Air connection would give me enough time or not through customs and what others’ experience was. It really helped me decide which airline route to fly because of that forum!
I hope that helps you a bit for your 2016 travels! If you’re in the midst of planning trips for 2016, it’s the perfect time to book on TripAdvisor with the Trip‐A‐Day Giveaway! Book any hotel through TripAdvisor.com in the month of March and be automatically entered to win incredible prizes: 31 winners from every day in the month of March will receive $1,500.00 towards their next trip booked on TripAdvisor, and 1 grand prize winner will receive $15,000 towards a getaway of their choice, anywhere in the world, booked on TripAdvisor.
How To Enter The Trip‐A‐Day Giveaway:
- Option 1: Book your hotel on TripAdvisor during the entry period and automatically be entered in the Giveaway.
- Option 2: Find your hotel on TripAdvisor, then click from TripAdvisor to book on another site, then complete the entry form.
Good luck with the giveaway and happy 2016 (and beyond) travel planning!
Posted on March 06, 2016