What to Know Before Planning a Big Trip
Today I’m sharing the two main lessons I’ve learned from traveling & what I’m keeping in mind for 2019.
In 2018 I was lucky enough to travel to Iceland, France, England and the Dominican Republic. In Iceland, we had planned tours every day, in Paris we had no plan and wandered around every day, in London we planned our days around our reservations and in the Dominican our plan was solid: lay on the beach, everyday.
Every trip I took was different from each of the others, giving me insight into how I like to travel. I learned that I love to have a little bit of everything when I travel. Guided tours can be so valuable and provide so much insight into the history of a place, but there’s something to be said for exploring a city by foot.
I’m definitely not the first person to come up with this piece of advice but I’m passing it on for good reason: pick one big activity per day. When I went to London I was visiting my best friend and she was so excited to have someone to try new restaurants with that we went a little overboard. With up to 3 reservations a day we had too little time in between to do anything else. If you want to enjoy your trip and not feel stressed about getting from place to place decide on a tour, an area of the city, or a single reservation to center each day around and go from there.
Another key component of travel is timing. I think I really nailed this one this year and went on all four of my big trips at ideal times.
In general May is a great time to travel, especially if you’re in, or just out of, college because it’s pre-busy season. If you have the luxury of not waiting for kids to get out of school, the weather tends to be mild as it’s in-between seasons, and if you can travel before Memorial Day weekend you’ll likely see pretty low price points on airfare and hotels - especially if you book early.
My family has never done a big Thanksgiving making it a great opportunity for me to take advantage of the days off work and go to London for a long weekend. London jumps right into Christmas after Halloween so by Thanksgiving the streets and shops were decked out in holiday decorations. Since most of America is traveling domestically I was able to get great flights to London and beat the major holiday crowds that swarm in December.
My last trip of the year was a true vacation - a quick getaway to the Dominican Republic filled with lazy beach days. We went the second week of December and got an AMAZING deal on flights and hotels. We stayed at an all inclusive and paid almost nothing between great rates and miles. If you can take the days off work it’s the perfect time for a getaway to warmer weather before the craziness of the holidays.