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How to Plan a Trip

How to Plan the BEST Vacation For You & Your Family!

Deciding to take a vacation is exciting!  

We’ve planned vacations 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 our major tips / tips / advice / resources here into one page.

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Trip Planning Steps

We breakdown our steps to plan a trip, to help you put yours together.

Our Planning Tips

Our hottest tips and travel planning advice for you.

Budget Travel

Tips for planning a budget vacation & how to get the most for your money.

Tools & Downloads

Download our most popular tools and resources to help plan your trip.

Booking Resources

Search and book popular activities and hotels for your trip to Ireland!

Packing & Gear

Advice for packing and recommended gear for your trip.

Know Before You Go

What to research & know before your trip.

On the Road

Travel advice for while you are away on your trip.

Steps to Plan a Great Trip!

Beginning the trip planning process can be a little overwhelming. So to help you get started, we wanted to share with you some of the main steps we take when planning a vacation.

1. Travel Constraints

It’s important to consider right away what you are working with before doing your research and getting too excited. 

2. Type of Vacation

Decide what type of vacation want to have.  Is it going to be just a relaxing getaway?  An active vacation? Lots of sightseeing?  Or a combination?  This will really help you when it comes to researching.

3. Research

Once you know the answers to the first two questions, then you are really ready to start researching your trip.  Hopefully, that’s why you are here on our site! We’ve got 500+ plus blog posts on this site to help you out.

4. Planning Tools / Templates

It depends on your personality how much you really want to get into this part. I think it’s really important to use some type of tools to help gather information about your trip. Whatever works for you is most important. However, we’ve given you links to our own planning tools / templates and even sample travel itineraries to help make it easier for you!

5. Booking

Now that you’ve finalized your ideas and done the research, it’s time to start making bookings!

6. Packing & Final Preparations

This is always such an exciting part of the planning process!  I love getting everything organized for my trip and packing (sometimes weeks in advance). I lay everything out, make checklists, and countdown to the departure date!

While every person is a bit different, these are the primary steps we take for planning a trip.  And we hope that this outline and the tools / resources we’ve included here on this page will help you plan the best trip ever!

Booking Tools & Resources


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Hotels 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!

Our other go-to favorite hotel booking tool!  With one of the largest selections of accommodations from around the world (especially in Asia), we have found Agoda to be a great booking tool.

Not only is it user friendly and easy to filter, but we have found great deals!  Use the search box in the side bar to find hotels now, or use the button below to go to their site.


Activities / Tour Tickets

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  


Downloadable Itineraries & Planning Templates

Other Tools / Downloads / Sample Itineraries (various destinations)

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Our Travel Planning Tips & Advice

What to Look For in a Secondary Day Travel Bag

Travelers often will put in a lot of thought into finding the right secondary day travel bag.  They want to be sure they have enough space to carry their belongings, as well as having a convenient way to transport their luggage and access items quickly.  However, many...

Secondary Travel Bag – Mountainsmith Tour FX Review

Having a great secondary travel bag is essential for all types of travelers. This is especially true when you are a true traveler that uses various modes of transportation.  We have used planes, trains, buses, tuk-tuks, and yes even elephants to travel from point A to...

Guest Post: Road Trips With Young Kids – by Dave D.

When you are young and carefree road trips seem like one of the best ways to explore the world. With the wind blowing in your hair, and the highway stretching before you, road trips can bring an endless series of adventure and experiences.  It seems, however, that...

What Makes the Best Travel Souvenirs

I confess, I do have a box full of shot glasses and even a few fridge magnets.  Having grown up as a traveler, I collected these items over the years.  But now, these items just sit in a box and collect dust because I've come to realize that I have no desire to...

Money Travel Tips you Need to Know

Whether you are traveling domestically or internationally, managing your money while you are traveling can be a bit stressful.  This is especially true when you are dealing with exchange rates and foreign currency!  But with some advanced planning, you can...

Couples Travel Blogs to Follow in 2014

  As we kick off another awesome year, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite travel bloggers that we enjoy following and our favorite posts from them in 2013.  Making memories as they explore the world together, here are some of our Top Couples Travel...

Budget Travel

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Packing Tips & Gear Recommendations

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Know Before You Go

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On The Road

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