I am writing this as I am quarantined in my room, dreaming of the open roads, the mountains, the long hikes and the smell of campfires. When it
comes to traveling, it is much more than just packing a suitcase and showing up. Traveling is an art, from budgeting to booking, to researching to planning.
This past summer my family traveled to four locations in 12 days. I spent three days researching the locations we were going, finding the best hikes
and places to go and efficiently creating a schedule that would allow my family to get the most out of our experience.
Here are my top eight tips to master the art of traveling: pick the date and location early, create a budget, book your flight, find places to stay, research your locations, plan an itinerary, make a packing list and a few special notes.
Pick your dates and destination at least four months in advance. This will give you time to do the next seven steps!
As a college student, budgets can be tricky, but that makes them that much more important. Set your budget early on so you know exactly what you can spend.
A general rule of thumb for booking flights is to book early in the week and two months in advance. This should give you the best prices!
Camping is a great way to save money! Kayak.com is also super useful when it comes to looking for hotels or anything in regards to your traveling needs.
To get the most out of your experience, research is key. When I planned my family’s trip out west, I spent lots of time reading blogs and talking to friends who had been to the places we were going. I compiled a huge list of any of the places we wanted to go.
Plan out each day of your trip, leaving some room for spontaneity of course. Star the items you definitely want to hit! Use the maps app to calculate the time it will take to drive to each place so that you can maximize your time.
Packing has to be my least favorite part of traveling! I always worry I am going to leave something behind. I suggest Googling a packing list for what you need for every type of trip you are going on.
Lastly, I have a few special notes for anyone getting ready to plan their next trip.
If you are traveling to National Parks more than twice a year, get a National Park Pass! It is only 80 dollars and gives you access to the National Parks,
which usually costs 35 dollars per entry. If you’re looking to fly for even cheaper prices, sign up for Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program! You can
earn points towards your flights for every dollar you spend.
If you are traveling internationally, this takes a lot more planning! Make sure you educate yourself on the place you are going to visit. Most importantly, have fun!