7 Things To Consider When Planning A Trip

7 Things To Consider When Planning A Trip

For a more stress free planning process
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Planning a vacation may seem like a lot of work--and you're right. Knowing exactly what to do and when and where (and all those other "w" words) may seem like a big undertaking. Over spring break, my friends and I planned our first trip to New York. Let me tell you, there was a lot I had to learn about planning a trip. The way to effectively and thoughtfully plan a vacation is by breaking the whole thing up into different categories and tackling one at a time. Here are seven categories that I break a trip up into.

1. Decide who's going with you

This may seem like a no-brainer, or at least something that's not too difficult to figure out. But picking out people to go on vacation with you is important. Make sure you pick people you are compatible with and know that you will have a good time with. If you don't enjoy the same things, then it's probably not meant to be.

2. Decide where to go

Again, another easy one. But this one takes a little more thought regarding money and the overall goal of the trip. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to relax for a bit? Then the beach is right for you. Are you trying to explore and experience more culture? Then New York may be your scene.

3.When will be the best time?

If you have a set amount of time, whether it be spring break or your only week off in the summer, then this decision is already made. But even then, the timing is so dependent on many other factors. Narrow this down to the best week (or two) and make the decision based on everything else (transportation, accommodations, etc.)

4. How to get there

Flying, driving, or even a train? There are so many options. You have to decide what your priority is. Are you on a stricter budget or a stricter time table? Also, be sure to check local deals and whatever you do, book early for lower rates.

5. Living accommodations

This category has become more complicated in recent years with the larger number of options available. Not only are hotels an option for short term stays, but with airbnb, you can now rent out entire apartments very inexpensively.

6. Entertainment packages

Now that you know the "where" and the "how," now you have to figure out the "what." What are you going to do when you get there? How are you going to make the most of the trip? If you plan on getting a lot of different things squeezed into your trip, then there may be an entertainment package that can get you a good deal on many different venues. Otherwise, make a tentative schedule and see what kind of deals you can find ahead of time.

7. Transportation

Last, but not least, is transportation once you're at your destination. If you drive there, then you already have a car and are set to go. However, if you choose another method of travel transportation, then your only options are to rent a vehicle, rely on public transportation, or use taxi services and Uber.

Planning a vacation is not an exact science, nor will it always work out 100%. But using these tips and being aware of what suits your needs the best will make the planning a whole lot easier.

Cover Image Credit: Emma Hodson

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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The 7 Most Essential Dos And Don'ts Of Packing For Freshman Year

Don't pack every article of clothing you already own.

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This guide actually came as a request from one of my best friends' mom who is having some trouble helping her pack for her first year of college. As summer has winded down I figured I would write the guide to pack for college that I really wish I would've had a year ago, especially since my mom and I went a little overboard when it came to packing.

1. Do pack in bulk when it comes to toiletries 

Lucky for me my freshman year I had my own bathroom and didn't have to deal with a community shower. This year that's not the case, unfortunately. However, I learned that you can never have too many packs of makeup wipes, bars of soap, razors or sticks of deodorant. It's going to save you trips to the store at school and save you some money throughout the year.

2. Don't pack an abundance of towels

I made the HUGE mistake of bringing like six towels and about eight washcloths. Just bring two or three towels that you can rewash over and over again and two or three washcloths. Having too many towels took up way too much space that I could've used for anything else.

3. Do bring a Keurig 

If you love coffee but hate waking up early, this is going to be your Lord and Savior! Most dorms won't allow you to have coffee pots in your room since they're a fire hazard, so this is the perfect solution. I'd suggest stocking up on K-Cups and buying the Wal-Mart brand because they are MUCH cheaper than any of the other brands you will find.

4. Don't pack a ton of cups and mugs

I brought like six mugs and ten plastic cups with me to school this past year when in reality I used one or two mugs and my water bottle. You might find it hard to part ways with all of your cute mugs, but in reality, you really don't need them. Just bring one really good one and a few plastic cups. Most of the time you're drinking water in your room and drinking pop and other stuff in the dining halls so you don't need a plethora of cups.

5. Do bring a Brita Filter 

I cannot stress this enough! When you're in your dorm all you have to drink is water from the faucet, so you're going to want to purify it and keep it in your fridge. Trust me, you'll thank me later.

6. Don't bring clothes that you barely wear now 

I hate to break it to you, but your closet just about shrunk twice its size. I know that you're going to want to pack every piece of clothing in case you really need it. Well, the truth is if you don't wear it now you're not going to wear it once you get to school. So take your absolute favorites and staples, things you know that you can't live without and leave the rest at home.

7. Do bring decorations for your dorm 

This definitely needs to be done in moderation as well. Chances are your dorm room is not going to be huge so too many decorations will make it look crowded. With that being said though you're going to want to bring them. You're going to want to make it homey and comfy and decorations are the answer to that!

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