Travel Planning Woes
by Sonia Kulkarni
Photography by Camilla Stejskal
Traveling can be pretty hectic. You have to keep in mind the cost of travel, food andhotel accommodations.Earlier in life, family tend to pay the bills and do the planning for every trip. So when the day comes and you finally start planning travels with your friends, things can get a bit stressful. Not only is there a financial burden, but you also have to keep everyone’s interests and ideas in mind. When you first start planning, the trip may seem doomed. But in the end, everything will work out.After reading our guide you will have planned a vacation for the books.
Dates and Destination
Having a group of people agree on a single day is a struggle in itself. Having a group of people agree on a single weekend or even a week is a mission and a half. Students pack their summer to the brim with work, internships, classes and family obligations making it impossible to find a single time that works for everyone.
Planning in advance is the key to a stress-free trip. If possible, try blocking out weekends as soon as you decide that you want to go on a trip. Dates can be finalized later on.
Even harder than choosing dates is agreeing on a destination. Sometimes when you plan a road trip, there are several cities and landmarks that you want to see. Then you realize that it is nearly impossible and unrealistic to do five cities in three days. In this case, it’s better to settle on ”deeply exploring one city, which you might actually find more fulfilling than running from city to city and barely settling down before picking up your things again!
Most of the time, you have a set location of where you want to go…but things may change after you have your set dates. There is a lot of surge pricing in the hotel industry during the summer season. Keep this in mind when choosing your destination and even consider looking at accommodation prices prior to choosing a destination to avoid conflict later on.
If you still want to cut costs, stay 10-15 minutes outside the city (or even by the airport). Accommodations in these areas are guaranteed to have lower price tags and these hotels almost always have free breakfast or meals or some sort…and who doesn’t like free things? Also since it’s outside the city, there are so many flyers with discounts that might help you plan your trip!
Okay so here is the hardest part: the actual traveling and choosing the activities.
Another key to a successful trip with friends is organization and of course, always having snacks. If you and your friends are bad planners, making a list of everything you want to see and do—with cost and time frames of each activity—will make your trip a whole lot smoother. It’s also a good idea to research different restaurants and shops in your general area so you can stock up on tasty treats in advance.
If you are going to a leisurely destination such as a beach, it’s best to have a set time frame of how long you want to be there, what restaurants are there and what you want to do when you’re there, whether that be relaxing or activities.
If you are going to more adventurous places, it’s best to have a list of activities you want to do, the cost of each activity and how long each activity will take as you’ll have a more restrictive time frame.
Carefully planning before you depart, in the car/airplane on the way, at the hotel or before you go out and explore is the key to avoiding conflict. Make sure every voice gets heard and make sure everyone has a turn of doing his or her desired activity.
There are so many websites and travel guides to help give you ideas on what to do and where to stay in each city. This might help you stay organized and cost conscience.