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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11 Inexpensive Road Trip Destinations For College Students

Because adventure.
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College is a time to make memories. It is a time to set out and explore the world. The only problem is that it can be difficult to travel when you’re flat-out broke. Many college students are discovering that while the cost of textbooks and tuition increases, their travel funds sadly decrease. Since jet-setting to Paris or Rome may be out of reach at the moment, many students are resorting to road trips within the United States to fix their case of wanderlust. Not only are road trips much more affordable, but they also allow for more spontaneity and exploration. There are countless of hidden gems just waiting to be explored, so grab some friends, put on your favorite Spotify road trip playlist, hit the road and make memories at these 11 incredible places.

1. Havasu Falls, Arizona

It is hard to believe that such a breathtaking waterfall can exist in the middle of the desert. Thankfully, Havasu Falls is no mirage. The falls are located in a remote region of the Grand Canyon and can only be accessed through a 10-mile hike. The entry fee to the park is relatively low and the overnight camping fee is even lower, making it a great destination for college students on a budget.

2. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Instead of spending a semester's worth of tuition on an expensive snowboarding trip, students can try a cheaper alternative - sandboarding. Located in Southern Colorado, Great Sand Dunes National Park is a unique destination that offers a variety of activities. Businesses right outside the park offer the rental of boards, sleds and even skis all specially made for the sand. This means that the rental and entrance fees are the only costs for a fun-filled day of surfing the dunes.

3. South Padre Island, Texas

Whether you head to South Padre for an exciting, fun-filled spring break or for a relaxing weekend getaway, renting a condo is the way to go. The cost of renting a condo can be very low if you split it among several people, which means you can enjoy a tropical beach vacation without breaking the bank.

4. Las Vegas, Nevada


Vegas can either be a very expensive destination or a very inexpensive destination. That's why it is important to play your cards right - and I'm not just talking about gambling. Skip staying the night at the high-end hotels and enjoy their free attractions instead. If you decide to hit the casinos, make sure to keep track of your money - those textbooks don't pay for themselves.

5. Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

In the fall, college campuses across America celebrate the chilly weather with football games, bonfires, and pumpkin-spiced everything. For those who want to switch things up, pack your bags and head to the Smoky Mountains. These beautiful mountains are a must-see in the fall due to the stunning scenery and fall foliage. Try renting a cheap cabin or camping at Smoky Bear Campgrounds to save money.

6. Austin's Sixth Street, Texas

Sixth Street is an iconic and historic street in the heart of Austin. From the exciting nightlife and multitude of bars to the live music and unique art galleries, Sixth Street offers a little something for everyone. For a truly unique Austin experience, stay at the affordable Firehouse Hostel, just minutes from Sixth Street.

7. Daytona Beach, Florida

Located about and hour and half south of Jacksonville, Daytona Beach is notoriously known as a wild spring break destination for college students. While exploring all the concerts, bars and clubs that Daytona has to offer, students can take advantage of the free party bus for easy and affordable transit.

8. Albuquerque, New Mexico

For the low price of only $10 per person, you can experience Albuquerque's annual Balloon Fiesta. A photographer's dream, the Balloon Fiesta offers tons of unique sights, shopping opportunities, and delicious food. If you can't make it to Albuquerque in October, when the Balloon Fiesta takes place, there are plenty of other affordable places to explore. From Sandia Peak to Old Town, Albuquerque offers something for everyone.

9. Rainbow Springs State Park, Florida

For water lovers, this Florida gem has it all. Kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving and tubing are just a few of the many activities you can enjoy in the crystal clear water of the Rainbow River. Since this destination is off the beaten path, it is an affordable alternative to Florida's Discovery Cove.

10. New Orleans, Louisiana

Two words: Bourbon Street. Full of iconic bars, local jazz musicians and interesting cuisine, there is never a dull moment on Bourbon Street. As if this famous street wasn't crazy enough, in February thousands of college students flock there to celebrate Mardi Gras. Though the prices of drinks can be high during this time, students can save money by booking their hotel ahead of time. For under $100 per night, Astor Crowne Plaza offers guests a luxurious stay on a budget.

11. Pacific Coast Highway, California

Though this one is not quite a destination per se, it should definitely be high up on your bucket list. This coastal highway, also known as Highway 1, hits many of California's major cities such as San Fransisco and Santa Monica. As if a trip to these cities is not exciting enough, the drive itself is extremely scenic. To save money on this trip, try booking cheap hotels or even stay for free at hostels. Of course, with this trip and all of these trips, you are bound to spend some money. But the memories that you will make on these trips will be worth every penny.

Cover Image Credit: StockSnap

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11 Stages Every Natural-Born Overpacker Goes Through Packing For A Trip

Is it really over packing if you find a way to wear it all?

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If you know me, you know that I am the queen of overpacking. Anybody who has ever traveled with me can stand by me on this one. I mean honestly, the last cruise I went on I packed 17 pairs of shoes.

This past week I was packing for another trip, and I realized that I have a tendency to go through the same cycle every single time.

So, this is for you overpackers, like myself. The 12 stages that you are bound to experience, even if you try to avoid them:

1. I'm so excited for this trip, I think I'll pack two weeks early!

2. *Two weeks later* Oh my gosh, my trip is tomorrow, where did the time go? Better start packing!

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3. Where do I even begin?

4. Shoes! Start with shoes! *Throws 14 pairs into a duffel bag for a four-day trip* Let me add one more pair, just for good measure!

5. Now the hard part: clothes. What if it's hot? What if it's cold? What if I randomly become famous on this trip and need to make an appearance? I guess I should pack some of everything!

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6. I haven't worn this shirt in two years, but for some reason I feel like I'll need it this trip! I'll take it!

7. *Trying on clothes* SO MANY OUTFIT OPTIONS! Better take them all.

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8. OK, what am I even doing at this point?

9. *Has mental break down, calls friend* Packing is so hard! I can't do this anymore! I don't know what to bring. I want my mom.

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10. *Random motivation* OK, I can do this. I have to do this. I've got this.

11. *For four-day trip* Looks like I have 15 pairs of shoes, 9 skirts, 7 jeans, 10 jackets, 16 shirts, 12 dresses, 6 scarves and 3 hats!

I'm all set!

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