Today I’m jetting off on a quick getaway to Temecula, CA with some of my favorite ladies. So pumped for a
Not because of the number of places I’m visiting but because of the purpose behind a lot of the trips. Let’s take this week for example. A 3-day trip to California is nothing special but what is special is surrounding yourself with amazing, passionate, inspiring, REAL women and just celebrating those relationships. I won’t lie, anytime you throw me into wine country and promise me a hot air balloon ride, I think it’s safe to stay the trip will not suck.
I get back from Temecula at the end of this week and then Brandon and I leave for Morocco and Egypt in the middle of March. This is the trip I am WAY TOO excited for. We’re celebrating my 30th birthday and I just legit cannot wait to be back in Africa. We went to South Africa in January of last year and it was one of the most surreal experiences we’ve ever had. Morocco has been on my list for a while and I can’t believe in less than a month we’ll actually be there. And don’t even get me started on Egypt. Like, WHAT???
One week after we return from Morocco, we’re heading to Provence, France for a friend’s wedding. First of all, I’m a huge romantic so a wedding in Paris is basically a dream come true. I can’t wait to celebrate love with my love (soooo cheesy) and experience a new place with him. Brandon’s mom is also coming on the trip and I just think it’s going to be so fun for us all to explore together as a family!
The last trip I have planned for the year is the Almafi Coast with my mom. My mom and I have never traveled out of the country just the two of us and it almost brings me to tears when I think about how much of an amazing experience this is going to be for us! My mom has never been to Europe and while I have been to Italy, this is going to be a huge first for the both of us. I can’t wait to just eat all of the pasta, soak up some sun on the Mediterranean and just enjoy some much needed bonding time!
Whew. Okay, so that’s my travel lineup for the year (so far). I don’t foresee too many other big trips – not made of money ya know – but I’m so excited to see where the rest of 2019 takes me. In addition to giving you guys a little peek into my plans for 2019, I also wanted to share a few of my biggest tips for planning big trips. I get a lot of questions about how I find cheap flights, pack cute clothes, etc. I shared a Q&A post a few months ago with more details but consider the tips below the things I do every single time I plan a trip!
My Go to Travel Tips
- Set flight alerts: I can’t stress this enough. If you have a destination and timeframe in mind, sign up for Skyscanner and set a flight alert. You select the destination, origin airport and the dates you want to travel. Anytime the flights drop in price, you get an alert. That’s how we scored our tickets to Morocco for only $500. We do this for every big trip. I also signed up for Scott’s Cheap Flights and get daily flight deals for any trips leaving Atlanta. These alerts are the source of some of my favorite trips like South Africa, Maui
andParis (in 2017). You don’t have to spend all your coins on flights – if you plan far enough out, you can definitely get a great deal.
- Make a to-do list: This is the “Type A” in me. Once I book a trip, I make a to-do list and sometimes even a spreadsheet outlining everything I need to do to prepare for the trip. Book a hotel, select/change flight seats (if we can), secure a visa if one is needed, make reservations for a few meals, book a tour guide and any activities, list out places we want to visit, make a packing list, print documents…the list goes one. This helps to keep me sane and organized. Something about international trips just gives me so much anxiety so I like to cut it back by flexing my planning skills.
- Create a budget: Again, maybe this is my Type A side coming through or maybe this is something everyone already does! I like to create a budget for how much I plan to spend for the entire trip including all expenses and some extra emergency money. I then create a little plan and timeline for how I’ll come up with those funds if I don’t have them already. We either set a little aside from each check until we reach our goal or we switch things up with future plans to cover expenses for the trip. It’s so important to set a budget so you don’t end up overspending once you get to your destination -or at least for me. I have very little
self controlwhen it comes to adorable souvenirs.
- Gather inspiration: This might be my favorite part of the planning process. I love looking through travel guides and Instagram for inspiration for whatever place we’re traveling to. I look for things to do, places to see and even outfit inspiration. I save the photos to my archives or add them to my little planning spreadsheet. I also reach out to some of the people I come across and ask for recs and tips. The tour guide we found for Egypt actually came from a blogger’s post I saw on IG. Can’t wait to
explorethe pyramidswith him!
- Try something new! Brandon and I have been dying to do a road trip for the longest time and I’m pretty sure when it’s time for us to venture and travel cross country, we’ll be using One Way RV Rental. Some other ideas for an out of the box trip idea might be glamping, some sort of water-themed stay and I still want to do a cruise!