Hi friends! Today I’m sharing a few tips and tricks to planning the perfect vacation! If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I love to travel. I’m always looking forward to the next vacation, and sincerely enjoy planning the itinerary before taking off. Last year I went on about 12 trips, for both business and pleasure. I’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way, that I’ll be sharing with you in this post. This post is going to get you excited to easily plan your next getaway!
The Tips & Tricks
1. Planning Should Be Fun! Grab a Glass of Butter and Make It Fun!
I always kick off my planning with a bottle of of Butter Chardonnay by JaM Cellars! Butter is typically my planning partner in crime because it’s easy-to-drink and available almost everywhere – just find it in the wine aisle! The planning process should get you excited for new scenery and adventures. With a little wine in me, I tend to plan more fun adventures! It eases my travel anxiety (SURPRISE! Yes, I get a little anxious being adventurous) and I always convince myself to plan more exciting excursions and choose interesting restaurants.
It’s so much more fun to plan by grabbing a glass of wine, sitting back, and enjoying the process of vacation planning!
2. Pick a Time of Year and Region to Visit
90% of our travels are in the USA. We love seeing our country, and it’s more affordable to stay domestic. Not to mention, we can jet away for longer by staying in the country.
Jesse and I have a goal of seeing all 50 states, so we try to pick cities we have never seen and go from there! Once we pick a region, we’ll figure out what time of the year is best to visit, and move on to the next part of planning.
In February, we’re heading to Salt Lake City for a ski trip, and I’m also getting ready to plan a girl’s trip to Florida with my best friend Makenna. Whenever Makenna and I plan trips together, we’re drinking Butter!
When planning New York Fashion Week last year, we had a couple glasses of wine and decided to book eight days versus the three that most people go for. Best decision ever! If it wasn’t for Butter, we wouldn’t have done it, and the planning process would have been a lot less fun! I can’t even explain how amazing that trip was.
3. Nail Down a Budget
Knowing your overall budget before planning a trip is very important! It’s ok if the budget is a range, versus an exact figure, but it helps when planning flights, hotels, and activities.
When I book a trip, our budget starts with flights and hotels. We then leave the rest for food and adventure money! It’s WAY more fun to not stress about money on a vacation, so figure that out before you go too far into the planning! I also recommend having a second glass of Butter before you enter in that credit card number. I’m a spender by nature, but I feel a lot better about spending money on trips when I’ve got some wine on board! Just being honest. 🙂
4. Once You Pick a Destination, Find Flights!
If you’re flexible with airlines, I recommend checking out Kayak. Kayak will lay out the available flights during your timeframe, and it’s super easy to check out all of the schedules and prices in one place! We always book our flights direct on the airline website, but at least we know pricing before we commit.
5. Research Hotels
Trip Advisor is a phenomenal way to research hotels! I grab my glass of Butter Chardonnay and start scrolling through the top ten hotels in our budget, in the region we’re heading, and look through the traveler posted photos and reviews. It helps take the mystery out of where we’re choosing to stay and makes me a lot more comfortable with our choice! Bonus tip: use the JaM Cellars WineFinder to make sure there’s plenty of Butter near the hotel you’re staying at.
6. Find Itinerary Inspiration
Again, TripAdvisor is a great way to find out some of the best activities in the area! I also look up some of my favorite bloggers, and see where they’ve gone. Most of us travel domestically more than anything, so chances are I’ll find some cute restaurants and places for photos on their blogs posts, as well as great restaurant and activity recommendations. I’ve also found that reaching out to friends is a great way to crowdsource activity suggestions and uncover hidden gems – use your network to start creating that itinerary!
7. Start a Packing List
Once the flights and destination are planned, start creating brief packing list! You can do this a number of ways, but Google Sheets is one of the best because it lets you collaborate with everyone that is going on the trip to make sure you aren’t doubling up on things like hair straighteners and portable speakers. This will also eliminate the chance of forgetting something important.
I hope these tips and tricks help you with planning the perfect vacation! Don’t forget to go try Butter, it’s seriously the best for vacation planning and just enjoying any time! And, once you get to your destination, you can use the JaM Cellars store locator to find the wines near you by entering the zip code HERE.
This post was inspired by JaM Cellars—all opinions are my own.
Find Butter Chardonnay and additional easy-to-love wines
California Candy Dry Rosé, JaM Cab and Toast Sparkling in the
wine aisle. Head to your local grocery or find a store near you, just enter in your zip.