Planning is crucial to a successful trip. It may not be the most exciting for some, however, I love this part the most. You get to pick all your favourite things, plot them out and make sure you tick them off, one at a time and never miss a thing!
If you haven't started researching yet, check out Top 5 Websites to research, How to choose your Travel Accommodation or How to get your 2018 Travel Organised you will need to have your research done before you can start the planning stage of your trip.
Let's do this!
If you're like me, there are random scrabbles in notepads everywhere, it's best to get this all collated to make everything clearer. Lists are the best format. I have the Absolute Must Do's, these are things I will not budge on.
Also, I think it's important to create lists for different people. Usually, I am travelling with my boyfriend Will, so I create his own list which consists of Craft Beer Bars, Burger Joints, Coffee Shops and Trainer Stores. My list will have Cocktail Bars, Cafes, Independent Homeware Stores, and Damn fine food.
2. Google Maps
I always plot my information into Google Maps so it helps me on the road. Particularly if you are a bit stuck in an area and do not want to wander around aimlessly. It happens when you're hungry, no one wants to be Hangry whilst searching for a spot to eat; this has saved many an argument.
Creating an itinerary is a great idea as you won't waste any time. It doesn't have to be exact but a general flow or a rain day itinerary etc. Don't get me wrong I love to plan free time, but I do just that, I schedule it in, that way I never miss my "musts" but I have time to stumble on those hidden gems too.
So your trip is coming together nicely now, you have everything mapped out, a rough itinerary so now it's reservations time. Where possible I will try and get reservations for my fave places to eat to avoid disappointment, this has happened so many times; so I won't chance it anymore - especially if you are in a big group! Try finding a table for 6 in NYC at 8pm.
If I am going somewhere popular, I order my tickets in advance. It means less time queuing and less money spent as you will usually get a hefty discount versus rocking up on the day. I think it's important to get as much of the trip paid for before you go so you have more money for spending when there.
Ladies and Gents your trip is planned out ready for you! I bet it feels good right. I feel super excited at the end of this process as I know what incredible things are in store for me.