5 Tips to Planning a Successful Trip

 Some of my bestest friends and I became friends because I had researched and planned an entire itinerary to Greece 3 months ahead and randomly asked them if they wanted to come when I first met them.  Guess planning ahead lands you some amazing friends hehe  . [Athens, Greece]

Some of my bestest friends and I became friends because I had researched and planned an entire itinerary to Greece 3 months ahead and randomly asked them if they wanted to come when I first met them. Guess planning ahead lands you some amazing friends hehe. [Athens, Greece]

 Found out about this incredibly cheap tapas place through a blog post I came across while planning my trip to Italy. [Venice, Italy]

Found out about this incredibly cheap tapas place through a blog post I came across while planning my trip to Italy. [Venice, Italy]

With Spring Break on the horizon (if it hasn’t already started for you) and summer just around the corner, you will inevitably find yourself planning some, if not a number of trips whether it is to another country or even just to a neighboring state. While trips are always so much fun and a nice get away from your daily routine and life, it can get stressful and messy when you do not plan accordingly, for me at least. So today, I want to share with you some tips based on what I live by from the moment I click “Book Ticket” on an airline website to the moment I board my plane to a new destination.

5 Tips to Planning a Successful Trip

 Searched high and low for the best vantage point of the Caldera in Santorini and finally found it thanks to a local! [Santorini, Greece]

Searched high and low for the best vantage point of the Caldera in Santorini and finally found it thanks to a local! [Santorini, Greece]

  1. Research ahead of time
    • I am putting this as #1 because I cannot stress this tip enough. Whether you are a Type A, OCD planner like me or even just a “go with the flow” kind of person, it is so incredibly important to research ahead of time. Whether it is a month before or even a week before (I’ve done both), give yourself ample time and create a running list of things to do, see, eat, etc. If you do it ahead of time rather than the night before your trip, you have some time to leisurely find more hidden treasures to add to your itinerary. There is nothing worse than getting to a place and having nothing planned and having to figure it out there. You’ll waste precious time that you can be using to explore your new destination.
  2. Look for local recommendations
    • While I love checking out the popular, must see landmark attractions of a new city, my most favorite part of any trip is venturing away from tourist central and checking out local recommendations. Why? Well, I think the only way to truly experience a place is by living how the locals live and doing what the locals do. Think of it this way, in your hometown, are your most favorite places where all the tourists frequent or a hidden gem away from the tourist traps? Plus, I can guarantee you it is way cheaper!
  3. Book Travel, Lodging and Excursions 6 weeks ahead
    • This is probably the biggest hack I have learned throughout my travels. 6 weeks is the magic number. Before that is too early and the airlines, hotels and excursions will overcharge because they know that if you are looking that far in advance you already definitely want to go. Plus, only some airlines have released their flight routes, so you do not have as many options. If you wait to book too long after 6 weeks (I say too long because sometimes you can still find good deals just a couple days after the 6 week mark), then they will overcharge you even more because they now know that you are desperate and are willing to pay anything.
  4. Set a daily budget for yourself to avoid overspending
    • This tip is incredibly important especially if you are a college student (on a college student budget) or just anyone who is on a budget in general. I cannot tell you how many times I have overspent on a trip because I was not being mindful of how much money I actually could afford to spend. This allows you to know at the beginning of your day (or trip) what you can afford to do and what you might have to skip out on this time around.  Just make sure that when you set your budget, you actually stick to it! Otherwise, there is no point in having one.
    • Side Note: Sometimes, there are circumstances where it is okay to go a little off budget (that will be up to you to decide what is worth going a little over).
    • What I do? If I set a budget of $60 a day today and know that tomorrow there is an excursion that will cost $40 (and I only intended to spend $20 on activities), I will try to save $20 from the day before so that I can “loan” that amount to my next day’s budget. I’m telling you, the little things count!
  5. Read blogs about the place(s) you are visiting
    • I think this is my favorite thing to do before a trip mostly because I hate reading the same “10 Things to do in (insert city here)” list. Like I said above, I am all for local recommendations. But since I am obviously still not in my destination, I can’t speak to a local. So what is the next best thing I have? Someone who’s just been there!
    • What I do? Search on Google “(Insert name of City) travel blog” and the possibilities I get are endless.  

Well there it is! The top 5 things I ALWAYS do before embarking on an adventure. Do you have any other tips to add?

 Scored an incredibly cheap hostel stay at this  super cute and quaint straight out of a postcard town  because I booked 6 weeks in advance. [Portovenere, Italy]

Scored an incredibly cheap hostel stay at this super cute and quaint straight out of a postcard town because I booked 6 weeks in advance. [Portovenere, Italy]

 Found out about   how   to get whisked away to lunch on a boat by an Italian man through a blog post I came across while researching for my trip!

Found out about how to get whisked away to lunch on a boat by an Italian man through a blog post I came across while researching for my trip!

HAPPY TRAVELING!

Til' Next Time, 

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