Welcome back. As you might have noticed my site had a little face lift. Type A gal knows there are others like me, working and playing in the city and looking to enjoy the world. So while I share some of my best cosmo tips (best food spots, makeup, travel) also join me in my journey in concurring cooking, worklife and relationships…with a Type A twist of course!
So to start the new year off right, I thought I’d begin with some tried and true tips on planning a getaway. Hey, I’m cold, its dark, where’s the beach? You can’t be a type A without being a planner but if that’s not your thing or you are overwhelmed at just how to plan a fun vaca, here are a few tried and true tips.
1)Start with the flight.
Sure some trips are cheaper if booked together with the hotel. But not all. In general, you are saving if you book hotel and flight together if you go overseas. My go to website for that is virgin vacations . For island getaways, southwest vacations has some good deals. However, if you want to book a short trip state side, kayak really is your friend. You can compare flights from many different airlines (except southwest).
* The earlier you book your flight the better. Most travel experts will say book stateside trips around 2 months in advance. Overseas, say to Europe, I’ve seen most say six months in advance.
**If your dates are flexible, check the month you want to go and see which days or weeks might be the most economical. Some sites show the cost of flights on each day. Kayak,as well as other sites, allow you to do a search agent which will give you a daily or weekly alert when flights you want are around a certain price.
*** And according to my research Tuesdays and Sundays are best to actually book the flight (cheaper).
I don’t just leave it up to price or location for a hotel. I look to ratings tripadvisor is your friend. I also search based on interests. If I want the party life or to be near the sights or quiet or beach etc., I’ll search through the tripadvisor forums to see what other travelers say about hotels and locations (or pose my own questions to get answers) that meet those requirements. Who wants to end up on a couples resort if you are going with a bunch of single pals or party it up but you are located 20 miles from the fun.
*Sometimes calling the hotel directly is cheaper than going online or even through the discount sites like expedia so just search and call around.
This can be the forgotten piece. Don’t leave it up to chance to arrange travel to and from the airport, particularly when going to the islands. Sometimes winging it can be good. Going to Ireland or Vegas? Eh, grab a cab when you get off the plane. Going to Jamaica? Book that baby in advance (see my post on Jamaica). It’s cheaper. Also consider a hotel walking distance to a metro or bus for easy/cheaper transport while in town.
4) Fun Stuff.
Okay this is the part that most people don’t like to do because it involves loads of research. The length and depths of my research all depend on how far I’m going. If it’s state side I usually just check Yelp or Trip Advisor, and maybe a local paper of my destination. If it’s overseas, I’m doing all that plus reading travel websites like Fodors and Lonely Planet for the touristy things to do and for tips about the culture. Check forums for non touristy stuff and to find fun places to eat, shop, and nightlife that might meet your specific interests. Other good sites: Time out and WikiTravel. I also search Instagram for amateur pictures of where I am going that might give me more exposure on what to really expect. Now is the time to book the bigger excursions (cheaper sometimes and avoids wait times) you’ll want to do on the trip.
Finally… have fun.
Sure I might make a loose itinerary of things to do each day but I don’t care if I go off the list. Planning is more of a backup in case I am overwhelmed about what to do. But once you’re there be in the moment and enjoy! Till next time…