Plan Your Trip

Everything You Need to Plan the BEST Vacation For You & Your Family!

Yeah, vacation! Who doesn’t love going on an exciting and memorable trip. 

We’ve planned trips all over the world for ourselves, family, friends and clients for years. So to help you plan the best vacation for you and your family, we’ve compiled here on this page everything that you need to know. From planning, researching, finding trip ideas and inspiration, sample itineraries, tools and checklists, budgeting calculators, and expert travel tips for getting the most out of your trip!

Since we’ve got a lot of information around planning your trip, we wanted to make it easier for you to navigate and find what you need. So to help make it easier, we’ve divided this page into sections.

Feel free to click on any of the icons below to jump to that section of information. You can also click the arrow on the lower-right of the screen to scroll back up to the top of the page at any time.

Click Links Below to Jump to Sections


Detailed steps for how you can plan a great vacation!


How to save money, get the most for your money, and other money travel tips.


Be inspired and discover fun trip ideas to help you decide on your travel destination.


View & download editable sample itineraries to inspire you and customize yourself!


Useful tools, calculators, downloads & advice for planning of your trip.


Search and book popular activities, hotels and rental cars for your vacation.


Tips for packing for your trip and recommended gear we use.


Prepare to enjoy your trip with blog posts from our own experiences.


Our goal is to make trip planning easier and more fun for people just like you. And when it comes to planning for a trip, we’ve got loads of experience doing that! From weekend getaways to the mountains, Disney trips, cruises, RV adventure through our beautiful US national parks, and epic adventures in nearly 40 countries!

Detailed Steps for Planning Your Trip = a Big Ol’ Guide!

Once we gathered all our advice together in one place, we realized it was pretty massive. So we decided to dedicate a whole page of our website to this topic. The guide also has a table of contents, to make it easier for you to jump around to sections as you need.

Read our massive, complete guide for How to Plan a Trip to get everything you need to know. 

In this guide, we’ve broken the entire trip planning process down for you into manageable steps and included our advice along the way from our experience. We’ve also linked to relevant blog posts to expand on some subjects.

No matter what type of travel you enjoy or what stage you are in the planning process, our goal is to help you be able to put together the very best vacation that you will remember for years to come!

Happy travel planning to you!!!

Josh and Liz

Money, Budgeting, and Saving for a Trip

One of the biggest obstacles for many of us when it comes to travel is money!  Most of us aren’t born rich, but the thing is…you don’t need to be rich to travel!  

jar of money and stacks to save money and budget


In fact, I didn’t grow up in a family with a lot of money and yet I was lucky enough to travel so many places. From Hawaii, Florida, Mexico and more. 

So I learned at a young age it really comes down to knowing how to budget and save money for vacations. Even as a young adult when I didn’t make a ton of money, I was able to save up enough to go on my first trip to Europe and even a trip to Asia!

Yeah — I definitely wasn’t bringing in much of any money in my 20’s. But I traveled well!

Where there’s a will there’s a way. And that’s very true when it comes to saving money for a vacation.

But also, if you do a great job at planning your trip then you can also find so many ways to maximize your travel budget and even creative ways to score deals on vacations. Allowing you to do a lot more with less!

Additional Money, Budgeting, and Saving Tips for Travel

Money Travel Tips You Need to Know

How to Get a $3000 Vacation for Only $1000

Travel Inspiration & Trip Ideas You'll Love!

Now this is the fun part. Whenever you are planning a trip, it’s helpful to look around and be inspired.  

That’s probably how you found us here at Peanuts or Pretzels!

josh and liz standing on hardened lava rock in hawaii that swallowed a road sign! The road is closed, apparently - haha!

Being able to go online and browse around on social media or searching on Pinterest for travel ideas can be a lot of fun. And you are sure to find loads of inspiration from stunning photos and helpful vacation ideas. 

Below are some of our top travel inspiration and trip ideas blog posts that may help you come up with ideas for your next great vacation. 

Sample Travel Itineraries

Over the years we’ve taken a lot of trips. And being the planners that we are, we put together some pretty awesome itineraries!

As time went on, many of our friends and family who were planning trips would ask to have copies of our itineraries to help with their planning.

So we decided to turn our Sample Itineraries into a whole section of our website to help all of our readers out!

Some of our most popular travel itineraries include:

Planning Tips & Tools for Your Trip

When it comes down to actually planning a trip, we’ve got a lot of content to help you out. For example, if you are renting a car in another country you might need to get an international driver’s license or be interested in some tips for driving in other countries

Or if you are considering different accommodation options, we have written about our first time using Airbnb & our experiences with Airbnb from NYC to Hawaii

Perhaps you are looking for budget accommodation options, such as a hostel?  There are actually a number of perks to staying in a hostel, and it could be a good option for some travelers. 

Also, you might need to think about getting travel health insurance or learn about how to buy the right travel insurance for your needs. 

liz in drivers seat of car in ireland countryside - driving on the opposite side of the car!

Check out some of our other travel planning tips and tools that you might find helpful in planning your trip!

Travel Booking Resources

After you’ve done all the research and planned out a great itinerary for your trip, it’s time to start making some bookings!

From booking flights, rental cars, hotels and activities – we’ve included links and resources below to the same tools that we use when booking our trips.

These are platforms that we very familiar with and have used a lot over the years. So we recommend them as a great way to DIY and book your own trip!

We use a combination of different types of accommodation when we travel. For hotels, bed & breakfasts and hostels, we prefer because of their rates, great maps, and other perks. But if we are staying for a longer period or have a group, we prefer to use Airbnb to rent an apartment or house. We love Airbnb because we feel like a local! is one of our favorite online hotel booking tools that we often use for our travels.  They have a good selection of a variety of quality accommodations with good rates, and we often find deals with breakfast included.  Using the convenient search box below, you can begin searching deals right away!


Click on the banner to sign up and get a deal on your next booking from us!

sign up and save money on airbnb beach house overlooking sunset with palm trees

View & Book Awesome Activities HERE!

We partner with multiple tour / activity operators to provide our readers with the most comprehensive list of things they can do. Take some time to search all of them – because some offer exclusive activities that you can’t buy elsewhere and prices may vary too. So search around all 3 of the websites below, and find the BEST option to to make your vacation GREAT!

1. Get Your Guide

Get Your Guide is a partner that we really love due to their prices and great selection of fun & unique activities in popular tourist destinations all around the world!

Search Get Your Guide HERE

2. City Discovery

City Discovery is also another platform that we partner with. We particularly like some of their hop-on / off options in popular cities around the world as well as many of their other activities!  Click the banner below to search their deals! Find the Best tours, Excursions & Activities with City Discovery

3. Viator

Viator is one of the most popular activity / tour booking platforms out there.  They offer some high quality tours & activities in some of the most popular vacation destinations.  Be sure to check out their City Passes to get into multiple museums and tourist sites all for one price! Click the banner below to search their deals! Book now on Viator  

Packing & Gear for Your Trip

Packing – either you love it…or you hate it!

Regardless of how you feel, we’ve gathered some of our packing tips and recommendations here to help you when it comes to packing for your trip.

Personally, we enjoy packing because it’s all about the anticipation building for the upcoming trip.  In our house, Josh is the over-packer. Liz is the minimalist packer. So that’s something that we have to manage!

liz with open trunk of car going through bags to unpack shoes for a hike

Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about packing. No matter if it’s a short trip, or an extended trip around the world (yeah, we’ve done that before!).  We’ve had experience choosing the best bag for travel, best backpacks for travel – oh and we have both come to LOVE packing cubes!  Seriously, packing cubes are amazing for so many reasons. 

We’ve also discovered that sometimes having just the right travel gear can really help. From comfortable walking shoes, packable raincoats, travel towels, etc. 

But it’s not just what you bring with you. It’s how you bring it. 

For example, we all know those airlines just love to get you with fees!  So it’s important that you know things like airline carry-on requirements, TSA restrictions for liquids, etc. 

Josh at the airport removing liquids from a bag before checking on the flight

Check out some of our most popular packing and gear blog posts:

tips & Advice for Traveling

When you set off on your trip there are still some other things to consider. Here we have gathered some of our top content related to general travel tips and advice to help ensure that you have an awesome vacation and get the most out of it! Knowing these things in advance will help you plan your trip accordingly from the start.

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