In order to have a fun vacation, you need to plan the trip. Dreaming about the location of your latest Netflix binge is fun. But instead, you could be planning your next trip to see that destination in person.
You can create your dream, money-is-no-option vacation, or plan something in your budget. The best part about creating a future vacation is the ability to dream. If you are unsure how to start planning your next trip, these tips and resources will help you get started:
Start Planning Your Trip By Picking a Destination
First, decide where you want to go. This may seem obvious at first, but this can be the hardest part when planning a trip. Maybe you have a bucket list item in mind. But if foreign travel is not available to you, it can simply wait for now. Remember, travel is more than hopping in an airplane and flying to a foreign destination. You can “travel” where you currently live.
Travel can be done in your own area, so reframe your thinking about what travel is. Start by visiting a new neighborhood or the next city/town over. If you own a vehicle, start by visiting a location up to 3 hours away from your home base. Chances are, you will find a fun restaurant or trail that you never noticed before.
If you are still stuck on where to go, search social media. Pinterest is a great platform to use when planning a vacation. Just type in your location and you will instantly have hundreds of travel ideas right in front of you. Many people will spend their entire lives at a destination, only to never view the tourist attractions at home. Now’s the time!
Location, Location, Location!
Next, choose where you are going to stay. Are you going to stay at a campground, hotel, or all-inclusive resort? The type of accommodations you choose will set the mood of your trip. You don’t have to choose the exact property today, but you can decide how you will sleep at night.
If you choose to stay at an all-inclusive resort, chances are your trip will include lounging by the pool or beach. These trips are not designed for the traveler to leave the property and visit the location they are visiting. Whereas, if you stay at a hotel or hostel, you are more likely to see the area and try a local restaurant. If you are camping, you may go hiking and eat by the campfire. The accommodation you choose will dictate the rest of your trip.
Plan All the Fun Activities for This Trip
Now you need to pick out the activities, restaurants, and points of interest for your trip. Start by researching the local tourism office, these websites typically have full itineraries designed for travelers. You can find 3, 5, and 7-day itineraries to help you decide how to visit the location. If the location you are visiting is smaller, they may not have the budget to promote tourism. In this case, try a guide.
Travel guides are great resources when planning a trip. Lonely Planet has quality information for destinations across the world and can be purchased in both physical and digital format. You can also visit your local library, they often have guides you can check out with your free library card.
TripAdvisor is a great resource for travelers. It is known as the world’s largest travel site, where you can find reviews and opinions on hotels, restaurants, and activities from other travelers. TripAdvisor will show you the highest-rated points of interest, hotels, and local guides. Not only can you book these straight through the website, but you can also make restaurant reservations through TripAdvisor.
Choose at Least One Local Restaurant to Support
Next, download apps to your phone that will help you eat locally. The Find Me Gluten Free app is a great resource for anyone who eats gluten-free. This platform shares reviews from other users, so you can make an informed decision on gluten-free options. I found an amazing gluten-free restaurant in MSP within 5 minutes just by using this app. Download it and save yourself some headaches on the road.
In summary, planning a trip can be a fun, relaxing experience. There are no rules that you have to go on your planned vacation this year. You can plan for your bucket lists, a dream vacation, or a tour of the nearby city. Simply dreaming and planning your next trip will help you create a dream for your future.
All you need is a location, some vacation mood plans (start that Pinterest board!), and a list of places to eat with things to do. Remember, you do not have to hop on a plane to travel, your next trip could be in the next county over. With that in mind, your next trip will be easy to plan. So have fun creating your next trip so future you can have a blast!
Let me know where you are planning to go in the comments below.