When Lao Tzu said,” A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving”, he didn’t take a 15 hour flight with an 8 year old, only to have his luggage arrive 2 days later.
I plan vacations like Alexander planned invasions. Military precision. Tactical knowledge. Attack plans.
My planning skills are legendary. I mean legen-effing-dary.
The thought of “winging it” or “taking it as it comes” just makes me die a little bit inside. I can’t do it. Just can’t. *cringe cringe*
No man, I’m not a psycho-vacation-over-planning monster that you think I am. I just like to be well prepared, and I hate surprises.
I will, however, meticulously plan my to-do, to-see, to-eat and to-pack upto a month in advance. I’ll make restaurant reservations and viator trips. Basically, I’ll do everything to make sure I don’t spend my vacation being a cross between Godzilla and a weeping mess.
Mostly everyone I know is close to planning summers, or shortlisting destinations, or if you’re like my husband, you will cross that bridge when you come to it *eyeroll*
So, I thought I’ll share some of my travel favourites, to help you plan, and to simplify what should be a relaxing, pleasurable and well earned break.
Travel websites and resources, in my opinion, are paramount. My top resources are
And of course the usual suspect tripadvisor.com.
Rick Steves is also a fantastic resource, but is more subscription based.
Fodors and Frommers, both give relevant information without the giant, long, boring stories. And they even suggest itineraries spanning days to a week or two.
(I don’t use them for hotel or restaurant suggestions)
Pinterest is another great resource, with so so so many travel blogs, links, and resources.
The best place to find activities are tripadvisor and viator. They have a fantastic array of things to do, and viator allows you to book at competitive rates.
For where to stay?
Europe and the US, we always Airbnb or VRBO(vacation rentals by owner, same concept as Airbnb) it. It’s massively convenient to have a living room while traveling in a group, even as our family of three. And seriously, the washing machine means I don’t have to overpack (and I love doing laundry, ok?).
South east Asia? They have the best hospitality in the world!! Always pick a hotel, maximum bang for our buck guaranteed.
If you’re like us, and what you eat is as important as where you go, please research the restaurants.
I love Pinterest and tripadvisor equally. Pinterest has fantastic blogs and links on great restaurants. And it allows you to save them for reference later! Tripadvisor is also fantastic, but I like to read a lot of reviews and see the menu before I commit myself to the precious few meals I will have to enjoy the cuisine of where I am.
I can’t tell you what to pack, because I’m a compulsive overpacker. And closeted hoarder(of curious objects).
Another few websites/apps you will like to have handy?
Yelp/ Opentable/ Zomato
Everywhere we travel, we learn something new. Every trip throws a certain amount of unknowns. (Like what the hell a poke bowl is, or why my SIM card mysteriously won’t work till the last day of my vacation)
But I hope what resources I’ve shared above, help you to eliminate the unpleasant unknown, equip you a little better, and prevent meltdowns.
P.S. none of the websites listed above paid me a damn dime for writing such awesome stuff about them.
And also, write in if you have any questions or resources to share!