Pro travel tips. Part 2.
Welcome back! In case you missed Part 1, last week I gave you some of my favorite tips for packing and getting through the airport easier. This week we’ll cover booking your travel plans and some of the benefits of group travel. And you’ll understand why it works to discuss these two together shortly.
Ready to book?! Let’s do it!
Destinations… When you have the whole wide world to choose from, choosing a destination could be a daunting first step. I like to start with looking at the map for countries I haven’t been to yet; then I look at flight prices and search for any interesting festival or events going on during the time I’d like to travel. (Other considerations include your flying tolerance, food preferences, length of vacation, etc.) This definitely deserves its own post; look for it in the coming weeks!
Flights and hotels… Now that we know where we’re going, it’s time to make travel arrangements. I like to look at both flight and hotel at the same time to ensure both are actually available. (You may be able to book a flight to Rio a month before Carnival, but finding somewhere to stay may be nearly impossible!)
- As I mentioned last week, choose a couple of primary airlines and join their membership programs so you’re eligible for all the perks and deals they may offer. When you’re ready to book, do so directly with them via their website (most cost efficient) and select flights based on price and what best suits your schedule.
- When selecting a hotel, you’ll have a wide variety of options from very budget-friendly to “money is no object” offered by a variety of booking sites. Here I recommend you choose the site with the best rate for where you want to stay. Choose the hotel based on where you think you’ll be comfortable for the duration of the trip. If you’ll be spending a fair amount of time at the hotel, you’ll probably want something a little nicer. And always remember to read the hotel reviews! The pictures are made to sell you on the hotel; the reviews give a better idea of what to expect.
Adventurous activities… Now that the essentials are booked, it’s time to figure out how much fun we’re going to have. And you could spend A LOT of time on this last step. Internet searches and various travel communities provide access to an endless number of ideas and suggestions for just about any destination. How long you choose to spend researching is totally up to you. That said, there are a few of approaches I use for planning activities that I might actually do…
- One way is to make a list of all the interesting things that I found during my research and narrow that down to things that are a reasonable distance from my hotel. Once I’m there, each night I pick one or two things from the list that I want to do the next day, in no particular order.
- Another way is to create an itinerary for the trip and include advance reservations to some of the more popular attractions. This is especially useful for activities that may be hard to access otherwise. For example, access to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland books weeks in advance, I had to scramble to find an alternative.
- The last way I’ll mention requires no research. If you’re staying a hotel that has a concierge, they can suggest places nearby and even help you join a group for a day trip to activities further away. (It’s like a mini group vacation.) I found this method very useful on a long weekend trip to Costa Rica a few years ago.
I know what you’re thinking… If booking a trip is that easy, why travel with a group?! Because that is what the Travel Club is all about… In short…
- Someone else does all the work of planning and researching all the trips details for you!
- The most obvious answer is that not everyone likes to travel truly solo.
- Also access to places and experiences is one thing you might want consider.
Wanna know more? Check back next week for more details on the benefits of group travel!
To see more of what I do real-time, follow me on Instagram @tamara_wanders and @ws.travelclub