Our Vacation Is All Planned! And Now……We Wait

I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who feels that the planning of a vacation is almost, or sometimes more exciting than going on the trip itself. There’s so much more that’s involved with setting up the perfect trip. Even more so if you’re planning a trip using points and miles.

I’ve been planning our trip to Germany for close to a year and I’ve hit a milestone. All of our major travel plans are set. The last one happened earlier this week when the message I’d been hoping for showed up in my email at 11:42 PM (while I was asleep)

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The last puzzle piece was finally in place.

Now what?

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The Four Things You Should Never Spend Your Money On At An Airport

When you’re at an airport, you’re kind of a captive audience. That’s all well and good, but unfortunately, the airport knows that just as much as you do. Now granted, there are some things you really can’t help but buy at the airport, especially if you’re stuck there for a long time (BTW, if you ever are, remember there are lots of free and cheap things you may be able to do while you’re waiting). But if you’re going to be at the airport for a so-called normal amount of time, and can plan ahead, DO IT. It’ll save you a bunch of money.

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Two Different Styles Of Travel Planning

I’ve been planning some trips recently and noticed how my brain will occasionally jump from idea to idea. I find this helpful because it means I’ll discover options that I might have otherwise missed. However, I also find that this can be a huge time sink as I’ll end up spending way too much time on booking a simple hotel and rental car.

Just like in story-telling, there are different ways to plan your travels. There’s a linear approach where you find a hotel, airfare and maybe a car rental and book your trip. You can save time by booking a package containing all three. Simply enter your information once and you’re all done. There’s also a more non-linear, or stream of consciousness,¬† approach. You’ll still get your travel plans made, but you’ll take some detours along the way while planning. Maybe when you’re looking at hotels, you’ll have an idea that a Bed and Breakfast or Airbnb might be a better choice for the stay so you’ll look into those for a while. This could also mean while looking at flights to a destination, you start wondering what options there would be if you drove? There’s that place where you could stop on the way that you’ve always wanted to visit or friends that you’d be able to meet up with. While thinking about this, you remember the points in a program where you can get a fourth night free, or have a free night, or have a gift card, or even a special promotion that’s going on. After going over all of these options, you eventually decide on the details of your trip and book it, (leaving open the chance you still change things around a few times before the trip).

Is one of these types of planning better than another?

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Why I’m Not Good At Spontaneous Travel

On our last trip to London, we planned the trip with only two months notice. I had requested time off of work for a cruise we were planning, but that ended up not happening. Having vacation time approved and no plans is just something that doesn’t happen to us. After seeing Hamilton in Orlando at the Dr. Phillips Center, we started to think about the next time we could see what has become our newest favorite show (but we’re not superfans, even if we did a podcast with our local newspaper about how much we like the show).

We’ve already seen Hamilton in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. While going to Chicago again would be the easiest trip, I just blurted out, “We’ve never seen Hamilton in London”. That’s all the inspiration Sharon needed and within hours she found us tickets for the London production coinciding with the time I had already requested off from work. Once I confirmed that I could find award space for flights, the trip was all but planned.

Once I booked the flights and hotel and Sharon booked the Hamilton tickets, the planning stopped. We were going to be in London for three full days. What were we going to do?

Besides going to see Hamilton, visiting the London Dungeon attraction and hitting some tiki bars, we had no idea.

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Road Tripping? Learn What’s To See Along The Way!

Last year I wrote about all the ways you could find out what’s at the next exit when you’re doing a road trip – rest stops, bathrooms, hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, etc. And ALL of those things are important to know ahead of time. But another nice thing to know is what’s on all those miles between Point A and Point B. Maybe you want a place to spent a couple of hours to break your driving day up. Maybe you’re into cheesy, kitschy tourist stops like I am and want to know what you’ll pass on the way. I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that there is such a website, and there’s an app for that, too…

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