• The Rural Legend

Fail Proof Tips to have an amazing vacation

Updated: May 7


Whether you're traveling with kids or with your significant other, planning a trip can be STRESSFUL. These tried and true tips have helped me reduce the stress of travel and make the most of our time away. And now I'm sharing them all with you!


Research Your Destination



One aspect of travel that is most important to me is making our experience as special as possible - even if we aren't jetting off to a luxury destination. I don't want to have a cookie cutter trip to somewhere everyone else has been. I want my experience to be unique! One way to achieve this is to find the local gems that make us feel like we experienced the best of the best. Here are some simple ways I make this happen.


Use Pinterest



There are loads of travel blog posts already out there on the world wide web, so I look for posts specifically about our destination. Last fall, we traveled to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and I found some great posts that mentioned local gems that ended up being the best parts of our trip! We also discovered some hole in the wall local restaurants that weren't widely advertised on some of the big travel search engines like Trip Advisor. Those ended up being the BEST meals of the trip!



Chat with the Locals



My husband and I honeymooned in Maui, which was amazing in and of itself. We rented snorkel gear for the week from a local shop, which offered us a map of all the snorkel locations on the island. Instead of randomly choosing a few spots, we asked locals about their favorite places to snorkel. They shared some incredibly special locations that weren't even on the map! Knowing where the locals spend their time or eat their food is a great way to make sure you're getting the most out of your trip!


Read Reviews and Look for Patterns



If you take the time to read the reviews of the hotel or resort where you are staying, you start to notice reviewers mention more than just the comfort of the mattress. By reading reviews, I have been able to make note of restaurants or sites that others' enjoyed or warned to stay clear of. This way, I know everywhere we explore or eat has been a crowd pleaser.


Don't Forget Food


If you're off on an all inclusive vacay - good for you and I'm jealous! We have gone all inclusive in the past and it is amazing, but not budget friendly. Here are some ideas for domestic and international travel to save you some time and money!


Order for Pickup



If you are staying somewhere with access to a kitchen and plan to cook some or all of your meals, shop online in advance for your groceries! Find a grocery store or Walmart close to where you will be staying and pick up your groceries on the way into town. They'll load everything into the car for you, and you will avoid having to hunt through an unfamiliar store for your items. Some stores may even offer delivery for an additional fee.


Pack Breakfast



Even if you have no desire to cook while on vacation, packing easy breakfast items in your suitcase will save you some money for your food budget. We always take a bag of our own coffee to use in the room along with instant oatmeal or breakfast bars.


Even before kids, we always packed some nonperishable staples in our suitcase when we traveled internationally. We traveled to Cancun during my first trimester of pregnancy so I made sure I packed some of the foods I knew I'd actually eat - bagels, peanut butter, and cereal. We ate all of our meals at the resort, but I didn't have to worry about finding something at the resort grocery shop or spending $10 for a jar of peanut butter.

Scout it out



Don't forget to use my first tip to find the diamonds in the rough! You can eat at any old chain restaurant at home - try some of the local flavor!


If You've Got Littles, Don't Count Out the All Inclusive



Yes, they can be pricey, but most resorts do not charge for children up until the age of 5 or 6! We have taken our son to multiple all inclusive destinations and he could order smoothies and nachos to his little heart's content without paying a dime.


Relax



This may seem like a no brainer, but most of us are guilty of jam packing our trips with lots of adventures and things to do or see. Have you ever found yourself saying, "I need a vacation from my vacation?" Make sure you take the time to rest and recharge. You worked hard planning this trip, you deserve to sit back and enjoy it!

Planning a family trip? Don't miss my post on the best tips for family trips!


Do you have any other tips for traveling? Please share them in the comments! And don't forget to subscribe at the bottom of the page so you never miss an opportunity to be inspired!


xoxo, L



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