It has been more than a year since our last trip – for obvious reasons. However, things are (hopefully) starting to look better and the hubby and I booked a trip with the kiddos to South Padre Island and San Antonio in the next few weeks.
We’re heading down for a week in South Padre and then two nights in San Antonio heading home. We’re driving, and since it’s about an 8 hour drive, it only felt right to break up the trip on the way back. Plus, I haven’t been to San Antonio in years.
In honor of our upcoming trip, I thought it fitting to write a post about how to make the most out of travel time. I’ve realized over the years that the better you are about planning leading up to it, the more time you can focus on having fun while you’re there.
I also just want to maximize the travel time that we have since it has been so long and also cherish the time with the kids while they’re still small. Making memories with them is the most important thing.
Plan Your Outfits
I’ve written about this step previously and I echo it here because it is really important. I always, always lay out and try on all my clothes before I go. It literally takes me all day the day before to pack for myself because of this and I’m ok with that.
I want to look into my suitcase and know what I’m wearing in advance so I don’t take precious time to pick out a haphazard outfit that may or may not fit and then change three or four times trying to make something work.
Keep a Second Toiletry Bag
I have a basket in my bathroom linen closet that has all the tiny, travel sized items that I would ever need on a trip. Makes it super easy when packing because I just throw everything into the toiletry bag and head out. No questioning what I need and running last minute errands because I forgot to pack something.
Create a Budget
This might be the least fun one on the list but it is just as important. Nothing ruins trip memories faster than realizing you spent way too much doing all the things.
Knowing how much you want to spend while on vacation keeps you from stressing about doing so. It also helps you realize what things are worth splurging on and also what you can skip.
Instagram is the queen of travel bloggers that, I’m sure, have “been there, done that” a million times over. You can look up different hashtags for the city you’re going to and get a sense of what to do and where to eat before heading out.
Some of the places will, of course, be tourist traps but there’s also a bunch of great local suggestions in there too.
Utilize Google Maps
Now, once you stalk the Instagram and find all the places you want to go to – open those places in Google maps and tag them in a list named for your trip. So if you’re going to New York, then make a list called “New York” and label all the places you want to go.
Even label your hotel or where you’re staying so you can see how far things are and plan out your days in advance. Then after you go you can either delete the list or keep it for another trip.
Limit Your Phone Use
These days, it’s hard to realize how often we reach for our phone even when we don’t intend to. Totally guilty of picking up my phone and either opening my emails or Instagram for no reason – then next thing I know a few hours has passed and I have done nothing for the day.
I know I need to be better and when I’m on vacation I do really try and soak up as much time with the family as I can. I usually only pull my phone out to figure out where to go to eat or take a picture of the kiddos.
Consciously limiting your phone use will make sure you’re really enjoying and taking in your surroundings and enjoying the moment. Now just to figure out how to translate that to regular, every day.