As you prepare for your
next big adventure, why not make the planning process as fun and relaxing as
possible? If you set your intention on enjoying every ounce of your next
vacation, that should include pre-trip activities, too! Things like researching
beautiful destinations, shopping for new clothes, and taking plenty of time to
pack can be just the ticket for energizing yourself before you take off. Want a
few more ideas?
Here are seven specific ways to enjoy the trip-planning process, starting right now.
1. Stay Organized from the Beginning
When you're organized, your mind is free to focus on more enjoyable things. So, from the moment you decide to take a trip, keep track of the details. Start a fresh notebook, so your research is contained in one handy place. Write down location names, hours, phone numbers, and even confirmation numbers as you make arrangements for flights and tours.
Another helpful way to stay organized is to download a trip planning app on your phone or computer. Here's a great article that outlines some of the best ones to try, including TripAdvisor, which is considered the granddaddy of trip planner apps. Unlike other apps that feature only major cities, TripAdvisor offers listings of both top attractions and hidden gems in just about every corner of the globe, along with restaurants, hotels, and vacation rentals. You can even create customized itineraries. It's pretty slick.
2. Include Travel Partners in Your Plans
If you're traveling
with a companion, plan a time (or two) to chat about your ideas and interests. The most memorable trips are those where each member
gets to experience something they love.
3. Get Creative When Researching Your Destination
You may have heard of "armchair traveling," which is a wonderful way to research and experience a destination before you visit in real life. Armchair traveling includes activities such as taking virtual tours of specific locations, reading travel-themed books, listening to music from the region where you'll be visiting, and learning the language or lingo from that particular part of the world. These are not only exciting things to do but also ways to feel more prepared for your adventure.
4. Keep a Travel Journal
There are many benefits to keeping a journal, and starting a travel journal can be especially rewarding. It's your personal collection of adventures, stories, memories, and self-discovery. To get the most out of this type of journal, start taking notes before your trip has even begun. Write down why you're taking this trip. Include all of the things you wish to see and accomplish while you're away. This can be anything from a world-famous restaurant you'd like to try to a secluded waterfall you'd like to discover. Jot it all down, including why you chose the activities and how you feel about them at this stage.
5. Peruse Pinterest for Inspiration
If you're looking for cute and comfy outfits to wear or want tips for perfect packing, we suggest heading over to Pinterest. This social platform is a visual discovery engine for finding all kinds of ideas! Simply enter keywords, such as "packing tips," in the search bar at the top of the page and start exploring. Once you see something you like, you can pin it to a virtual bulletin board for safekeeping. For more suggestions or to find out how to get started, visit the Pinterest Help Center.
6. Pack Your Bags Early
As a practical tip, you'll want to start the packing process days or even weeks ahead of your departure date. This gives you plenty of time to assess what you have and purchase any additional items you might need. Packing early also provides emotional benefits. For example, with enough time on your hands, you can try on your clothes as you pack to ensure everything feels good (especially your shoes) before you go, and it helps you imagine the fun experiences you're about to have. Bonus points for putting an umbrella in your drink as you unzip that suitcase and start to fill it with all of your favorite travel items.
7. Send Yourself a Treat
Whether you're flying or driving to your destination, traveling usually involves a long day. You deserve a reward once you arrive at your destination, so send yourself a treat ahead of time. Arrange for a bottle of your favorite wine or snack to greet you in your room upon arrival. That way you have something indulgent to look forward to as you kick up your feet and relax.
If your trip takes you close to one of our Resort Lifestyle Communities, be sure to call and arrange a personal tour. We'd love to show you around, treat you to a complimentary meal, and introduce you to our Travel Program, which is perfect for adventure-seekers like you!