You want to get the most out of your trip – no matter if it is a short weekend getaway or your three-week-once-of-a-lifetime-vacation. It’s not only but booking the right flight (though that’s important, too) but also about packing, planning and getting into the mood. So this list should help you getting ready from A to Z!
- The booking – flight Don’t you think that some people always get the best deals while you are always stuck with what feels like the most expensive offers? No longer! I now reveal my little helpers in getting the best flights and hotel: google.com/flights is simply the best website to find your flight, it’ll compare not only prices, but also dates and you can track the prices getting a notification if they drop or rise. This is essential. Sounds like an advertising – But it’s not, at least not paid.
- The booking – Accommodation
Next: Where to sleep? I’m a lot into Airbnb – especially for longer trips. It makes me feel more at home, more local and at the same time more free. No breakfast hours, no reception – plus there are many pretty options and better location for a lower price compared to hotels. It depends on the destination of course – and if it’s only a short stay, hotels are convenient. I might come up with an Airbnb guide here.
Priceline is pretty cool – It only works in the US. You set a price, a star level and area and hotels are bidding for you here – chances are good getting a luxury hotel for the price of a budget one. Did it once and it works well.
- The packing Roll it! Not everyone read Konmari, right? Rolling your clothes will save space and make the pieces wrinkle less. Trust me! My favorite thing to pack are often dresses – because I am lazy. A dress is a whole outfit, can be taken from casual to chic super easily. Sorry boys. I try to make everything combinable, like matching colors or naturals & brights ones so all is a team in my suitcase. Easy one, right?
- My tan plan
I’m pretty pale. And I’m fine with that. But when meandering around – let’s say Venice Beach – I feel a lot better when melting in skin-color-wise. It’s the beauty editor speaking, sorry not sorry.
The headline sounds more intense than it is meant to be, trust me – But there are some thing you could fix before going on vacation to feel better. To turn my mozzarella skin (color and maybe even texture) into a caramel one, I start by taking “Sunific” by Lierac about 3-4 week before. This is a supplement that helps your skin preparing for the sun but also its ability to tan a bit. I even use it when I don’t have any vacation planned because it is really effective. If I know I am going to spend quite some time in summer dresses and/or swimsuit, I’d do a spray tan about 2-3 days before take-off. It just feels nicer (and probably looks better, too). The only downside is I look more tanned in the beginning of the vacation than in the end, but that is ok for me anyway. I also love the Vita Liberate self tanner because it lasts around two weeks – so you can do that at home before and leave your mozzarella-self at home.
- Make a playlist Music is essential to me and I hate random sounds or crappy tracks. If it’s a longer trip, I’m always trying to put together about 20 songs that somehow reflect the vibe of the destination (“Put them on the Ritz” for Paris probably?) – music can lift my mood (when feeling jet-lagged), give me a homey-feel and will always be part of the vacation-memory – which is for me the best part. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan all the music, but don’t you have some songs that would work much better when driving through California? See.
- Curate it on Instagram The more exotic the destination, the more research I do. And I love Instagram for that – I don’t look for certain place, but for people who share a similar style or seem kind of interesting to follow anyway, I find them via location (let’s say: Shibuya) and just see which picture speak to me. Then I start follow those – and see where they hang out. Did I just tell you my Ten Things To Do research trick? Probably! But this explains also my Instagram-Style: I want people to bookmark the pics so they’ll find nice spots easily.
- Timing I don’t want you to plan everyday of your three weeks Mexico vacation – But there are certain “events” that need a little planning. Want to go to a flea market? Only staying a week? And maybe arriving on a Saturday? Would be practical to know Sunday is a market, right? Same goes with concerts, exhibitions or maybe the next big summer sale (we all have our hobbies). It takes you a couple of minutes to check those things and will prevent you from FOMO (fear of missing out, this is like the Yolo of all travelers).
- Rethink your routine I like to work out when I’m abroad, not only because I want to fill myself with local specialties and still fit into my dresses, but because it can be exciting too! In New York for example I can so so many things I can’t at home – Boxing ballet (ok that was made up), or just running Brooklyn bridge is an experience itself! Plus you meet some locals aka your source for the next cool café to hang out. I also like hotel gyms where I can try different equipment and I also love doing yoga by myself in a hotel room or apartment. Especially Yoga relaxes me a lot especially on work-trips, so I always pack a super light travel yoga mat. Long story short: Pack some active wear in case you want to try boxing ballet.
- Check the room equipment My mom would be so happy if she could read it. She was the queen of travel-preparation – I know I got a lot from her with this. Maybe I’ll do a whole post about how she prepared for traveling (we did many holidays together and still would if she was still there), it’s very McGyver-ish. Is there a water boiler? Don’t laugh now, but you could bring a small heater yourself. Maybe a two-way-adapter, too? Than you can charge your phone and camera. Could help. Got some fancy dresses with you? An extra hanger won’t hurt. A camping cutlery set either. It can be so practical. And you feel so prepared for like everything. A good feeling, right?
- App it up There are tons of travel apps and I’m sorry I can’t give you a list of my top ten yet (working on it!). But what I find super practical in big cities are the train- and bus-system ones that work offline, currency converter is also essential. Just load it before you start your trip, see what can help you get around – regardless if it is Uber or HappyCow (finding vegetarian and vegan restaurants around you). When you arrive, you are all set ready to explore with searching for the right direction or anything.