Thursday, September 13, 2018

Travel Planning According to Me

Total Travel Necessity - Sunglasses!
There was a time, not too long ago when planning a trip required a trip to a travel agent, or purchasing all sorts of guidebooks and maps. That time has since passed. We're in a new age where technology reigns. There are loads of sites that assist you in itinerary planning and vacation dreaming. As someone who once loved guidebooks, I welcome this new age because what I would pay for, I can now get for free.

Sites such as Travelocity, and TripAdvisor make travel planning as easy as clicking a few buttons. However, some sites exist that you wouldn't often associate with travel fun. These are the sites I tend to gravitate to. While I may not have a completely logical approach to organizing where I'll be going on vacation, my way has served me well. So, without further ado, I present to you the Kristen-approved travel planning process.

First up is Pinterest. Honestly, you can find anything and everything on Pinterest. Plug in a destination, like for instance, Spain, and you're provided with hundreds of blogs and articles about the best things to see and do in the countries to which you're traveling. For visual learners, it's the best possible outcome. As an added bonus, you sometimes come across awesome travel blogs that will help you plan future travel. 

Now that you have these blog posts, you need to put them somewhere. That's when I create a board for the trip I'm planning. It's the best way to organize all the amazing things you'll be seeing and doing on your trip. The really good stuff then leads me to Yelp. I use Yelp to look at gorgeous pictures of food at the many, many restaurants that I've pinned. I'm less likely to care about the reviews and much more likely to drool over the photos. If the food photos look delicious, then the restaurant gets added to the list.

Once I have a few ideas organized in Pinterest, and favorited in Yelp, I create a spread sheet that's full of all sorts of wonderful ideas for when to go where, and what to eat when. I get a little overly-organized, so having a full blown schedule in front of me helps me to map how long certain things will take. To do this, I head over to Google Maps. I love the directions function on Google. I add two destinations to the site and in a micro-second, I know exactly how long it takes to get there and back. It's a modern marvel!

Lastly, after I've gotten a good schedule and know pretty much where I'm going during the course of the trip, I have one last site to visit. I head over to Instagram, where I follow the cities/states/restaurants/attractions I'm going to visit. The purpose of this is two-fold. One, I often discover places to add to the itinerary that could be fun. And two, it helps me to happily dream about my upcoming vacation - in other words, it makes me smile.

So there you have it. Thanks to modern technology, my desire to plan trips grows by the day, but thankfully it makes the trips I do have planned so much more fun!

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