*Editor’s Note: Here at The Travel Belles we believe that when it comes to travel preparation, there are many ways to do things the “right” way with few absolutes. So for this month’s question, we are asking the Travel Belle writers, “How do you prepare for traveling?” (besides reading The Travel Belles for inspiration, of course.) To get it started today Cailin Szczesiul gives us her answer.
A Successful Trip starts with a plan.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of person. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to planning my husband’s and my trips and vacations, I don’t leave anything to chance. Although it really depends on the type of trip, I always plan our activities right down to the exact date and time. Planning our agenda in advance ensures that all places of interest are visited and that our time is maximized.
For me the first step in creating a successful itinerary starts with a book. Travel guides can be worth their weight in gold. I personally use the Eyewitness Guidebooks. They are easy to carry around and breakdown destinations into sections that provide outstanding hotel and restaurant recommendations. I love that the books contain so much information including images and helpful maps. They are the perfect starting point for planning itineraries and a helpful resource during our travels.
Over the past several years I have learned that for me the key to planning a successful itinerary is organization. In order to ensure that all attractions, museums, and monuments are visited, I create an itinerary using a program such as Microsoft Word. In addition to a guidebook, websites (such as The Travel Belles!) can provide a wealth of knowledge. Almost all countries and cities around the globe offer comprehensive websites featuring attraction and even restaurant information.
Breaking down a given day by time really ensures that we can make the most of it and see as many attractions as possible. I strongly advise you to check and make sure that your attraction is open the day you have scheduled it. For example, the Louvre in Paris is not open on Tuesdays, so when making our itinerary for Paris, I made sure we went to Musee d’Orsay that day instead. I like to include addresses and phone numbers within the itinerary document, to make it easy to both find and contact the attraction or restaurant if need be.
I have found that using these trip planning tips in advance ensures that our travels go off with as few hitches as possible. By avoiding last-minute planning, more time can be spent taking in the beautiful sites!
* Thanks, Cailin! Now we’re curious: What kind of travel planner are you? We really want to know! Please tell us in the comments!
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