Monday, February 15, 2016

Come away with me (Travel Tips)

My first real vacation was to New Orleans in 2013. I was finally able to do what everyone else had done. Request to use my vacation days on a particular week. Book my flight and hotel. Plan all the activities I want to do when I'm there. My excitement can not be described. In my family, we didn't take many vacations. We did trips. Day trips. Work trips. There was this one time my mom and her friend surprised me and her daughter with a Girls trip. That was probably my first real vacation. It was a cruise to nowhere and then we headed to Canada. It was awesome.
Easter 2016

What I noticed after New Orleans was, "I can travel if I want". For some reason, I think I always had this belief that I wasn't able to travel. I couldn't AFFORD to travel. I didn't have TIME to travel. I had NO ONE to travel with. You know, the stupid shit we say to ourselves and others all the time. But I had decide NO MORE. I was determined to travel. And you should too.

Here are some tips to help you on your way.

Destination
If you're anything like me, you don't want to go to hot locations in their hottest months. Therefore I take trips to New Orleans or Latin America in the Fall/ Winter. Trust me, it will still be hot, but not burning. A part of your decision should also be based on what you like to do. Are you into art? Activities like bike riding? Food? Use questions like these to help stir you in the right direction.

If you've gone to many countries already, well... aren't you lucky? I guess just cover your eyes and point.

Request your days off
Of course this is an essential part of your vacation. You have to be off from work. Or in freelancers' case, you have to decide when it's appropriate for you to take off from your clients or are you bringing the work with you? In my opinion, I don't mind checking my work email when I'm on vacation. I have the luxury of deciding whether or not I want to check them, and more importantly if I want to reply. Rather than demanded to. This to me is a great big perk of vacations.

Request your days off at least 6+ months a head of time. Minimum time frame should be 3+ months. This is especially if you work on a team of some sort. You want to beat out everyone else for the days you want. You should not be mad at your supervisor if they do not approve your vacation time you sent to them last minute. That is in poor taste.

Look for flights
Lately I have gotten into the habit of stalking flights on Google Flights. I love it. It tells me when flights dip, as well as, the history of prices since I started watching them. I save specific dates to my saved flights list. I would suggest to check on the list in the morning and evening.

I got tickets to New Orleans, LA for about $200 each by doing that. As soon as it dipped that low, I bought them. Another suggestion of mine is, have your credit card be a travel card. If you're going to go into debt, do it in another country. Let's be serious.

Accommodations
Airbnb is my go to. Probably always will be. To de-stress, I put places on my wish lists. Now that they added new features to these lists, I'm in heaven. I can even share it with other people as well. Now I don't have to send my boyfriend numerous links when I find new places. Or if you have a group of people going on vacation with you, you can also just share the wish list with them.

Keep in mind that there is a point when you have to ask yourself whether or not it is worth staying at an Airbnb location. When the price goes too high or it gets too difficult to find a place for your time-frame, start looking for hotels. Expedia and sites like it are best for that. Be smart though.


Those are all the tips I am willing to give away for right now, but I have a feeling I will be providing more soon. Go and plan a vacation today!


Since October 2013, I have been to Atlantic City, North Stonington,CT, Washington D.C., Jamaica, Philadelphia (numerous times), Landsdale, PA, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Toronto, West Hampton, NY, Seattle, Vancouver, England, France, and Mystic, CT. It's actually time for me to go on another trip soon. Guess where? Back to New Orleans. Woot woot.