Sunday, June 10, 2012

How to Plan a Vacation: Part 2

Click here to read How to Plan a Vacation: Part 1

After I have figured out all that we want to do and see I start to research places to eat!

Step 3: I really use to help me out here. People post pictures of their food so I am able to see portion size and presentation. It also helps me find the local restaurants and diners; we like to stay away from the hotel's money pits and restaurants are one of them! While planning our last trip I ran across this awesome café called Hawaiian Style Café and it was so good and inexpensive we went back twice! Those are the places I love and it gets us away from the tourist traps (even though all the locals look at us a roll their eyes…they totally know we're tourist). I am really hoping we can find a few places like Hawaiian Style Café on this next trip.

I make a list of the restaurants we want to go to and some that look interesting as backups and other options. I write down their addresses and phone numbers so I have them with me and I'm not searching on the phone last minute for an address or number. I also do this for other things such as farmers markets and art galleries. 

When I plan vacations I plan WAY in advance, like 8-6 months in advance (sometimes as far out as the airlines will let me!). So step 4 doesn’t really come until about 3 months before departure.

Step 4: Time to commit and pay! When the 3 month mark comes around is when I usually start to make down payments on all the activities we'll be doing and getting them all officially scheduled. Three months is far enough out that things shouldn’t be booked up yet and it's still close enough for them to actually accept your reservation. I secretly want to book everything right way and get it all paid for but I wait. Another reason why it's good to wait on this is because you may end up having to cancel (I hope not but you never know) and you'll either A) have to call all those place to get a refund or B) you don’t get your money back at all (boo!).

And don’t forget to make reservations for the nicer restaurants you plan on going to. You want to make sure you get a spot to watch the sunset and the stars!

When it's all said and done it looks something like this!

Happy Travels! 

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