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How I Plan a Trip

May 28, 2016 No Comments

The way I plan a trip is part old-school, part social media fury.

I keep all of my travel magazines. Every single one. If I’m a hoarder in anything, it’s travel magazines. I’m constantly trying to find new places to store them and cute new ways to style them around the house. One of my favorite things to do in planning a trip is to go through all of them and rip out articles or little snippets about the new destination. I do this mostly because it’s relaxing and I enjoy the ritual. Alternatively, you can log onto Travel + Leisure’s website and search a place and get an entire archive of all their articles. However, I feel like sometimes those Internet searches miss the little bits on the best new place to get a martini that might be just a little commentary in a box on the edge of a glossy page.

I also love travel books and even better, if I can find a travel book store {swoon}. Going into my favorite book store and picking up that first publication makes the trip finally seem real. I go through books well in advance, mark all of the things that I would like to see in pen, and then use sticky tabs to mark the pages. This help me visualize locations and plan an itinerary. I often take this in my carry-on luggage to peruse while on the plane; it just continues the excitement for what’s to come.

Seriously though Pinterest is your best friend (or worst enemy-just don’t get caught pinning at work). It’s a super easy way to cluster hotels, restaurants, other event pages as well as all of the other “must-do” pins that already exist for your destination.  I tend to pin everything that looks interesting and then as my planning continues I will focus on my specific interests and search accordingly.  A few weeks before the trip, I will go through and weed out anything I decided not to check out or the more useless pins.  This makes for clean access when you are checking it out during the trip. 

I also love to utilize Instagram to search hashtags that may interest me (#montrealpoutine, #aarhusartscene, #mauihiking, etc.) and then go back and make note of something via Pinterest so it’s all in one place.  It’s always a good idea to follow the official tourism page of the city you are traveling to or search for accounts that highlight parts of the city or region.  It’s better to do this sooner rather than later in order to spend sometime following the account and work interesting sites into your itinerary.  I find that it’s worth it to put a shout out on Facebook to see what friends have been there and what they suggest to do or stay away from (because you know they’ll be honest).    

The hardest destination to find information on was Ibiza, Spain. Through Facebook, I got one connection that happened to have traveled there several times in recent years and she had fabulous recommendations, but spent most of her time at sea and not staying on the actual island.  All the travel books really focused on more well-traveled parts of Spain or the bigger islands. It was during my search for a book that I found a really cool resource. The Big Book of Ibiza was an e-book available through Amazon that gave wonderful, detailed information on the areas of the island in which to stay and how they differed, the variance on the clubs, and reviews on beaches and restaurants. It was my bible when planning my trip because I wanted it to be just right for my 10th anniversary/bucket list vacation.  It was also obvious that it was a passion project for the author and it was spot-on.    

Be open and tenacious when finding information on places that can seem daunting.  As someone who wouldn’t be able to stand leaving the planning to a tour company or jumping on and off a bus, the planning stage is essential yet I always remain flexible.  Nothing wrong with over planning, but go for uncharted walks, pop into gritty pubs, and above all be safe.    


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About Me

About Me

Dr. Shiloh

Travel has always been a part of my life and I have found the key to making it a part of my professional experience. Expect recaps of great destinations, advice on incorporating travel into your work & tips on making travel with a family easier. Cheerio!


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