If you’re following the series of simple vacation planning, you already know what’s next! Where did you decide to go? (feel free and share it in the comments below) Now that we’ve decided where our travels are taking us, let’s find out what to do and where to eat once we get there. You may be thinking “uh, why don’t we just decide when we get there?” That’s all fine and good if you want to live on the edge and on the fly. But if your travel partners aka family, are ANYTHING like mine, your decision making process may go a little bit like this:
Me: “Okay love, what are we doing today?”
Hubs: “Hmmmm. I don’t know what do you want to do today?”
Me: “Well, I don’t really know what there is to do since I’ve never been here.” *googles “things to do in…..”*
*continues to sit on hotel bed for an hour hollering out things to do*
And then it’s lunchtime so ……
Me: “What do you feel like for (insert meal time)?”
Hubs: “I don’t know. What do you feel like?”
So, if this sounds like you and your family, then read on. These are some basic pointers of how we have almost eliminated this conversation while on vacation. If you tried them and they worked for you, share them here! What works for us may not work for everyone but your ideas might speak to someone reading!
Finding What to Do at the Destination
Once you figure out where you’re headed, there is no shortage of resources to help you find activities to do in that area. Chamber websites, Google, and Pinterest are all great places to locate local activities, free tours, affordable museums, hikes and other activities. Chambers of Commerce are business membership driven organizations that stand behind their businesses so you know if you find it on a chamber site, it will be a reputable business. Pinterest is a great place to find places and things to do. There is a plethora of travelers that share exciting activities to do in crazy random places. The bonus of using Pinterest is you’ll get honest reviews from travelers that generally aren’t getting kickbacks for their review. Some of the articles can help save you money as well by booking tours or activities ahead of time. If you’re in a pinch, you can utilize Groupon to find deals on tours and activities as well. Nothing more disappointing than looking forward to an activity and finding out it’s booked and unavailable for the time you’re there.
How to Have Happy Travelers (or somewhat happy)
The first thing is to make sure there is something for everyone to do. If you choose an activity and only a few are happy with the choice, then you’ll have some pissed off travelers and that’s no fun. Have everyone do some research on what the destination offers and things they would like to do while there. Compile a travel board on Pinterest that includes all of the things people want to do, or better yet, invite your travel buddies to a collaboration board and then you all can add your ideas there. If you’re traveling with small children, then make sure you add their ideas too (if they are old enough). This gets them involved in the process which will give them some ownership and empowerment in the decision. Besides, you’re teaching them a valuable lesson; plan and making decisions!
Finding Where to Eat at the Destination
Decisions will quickly derail your relaxing vacation and turn it into a nightmare of meltdowns and dinners by yourself. We’ve already discussed the dreaded “what do we do” and “where do we eat” conversation so let’s talk about how to avoid that. First, let’s face it, you may not feel like a specific type of food once you get to where you’re going. That’s okay! Here are some tips to help you with that!
- Food Network – watch or google a few episodes of Diners Drive Ins and Dives. Youtube has a ton of videos from Guy Fieri’s travels and you can narrow down by city or state to find where to eat int he area you are visiting. Pro Tip: If you’re a regular watcher of Triple D, start a notebook or notes in your phone about the different places you want to go. Then you can create your very own foodie tour!
- Travel Channel – again, much like Food Network you’ll find some great places to eat along with things to do in various cities and countries. Grab a notebook! We found one of the best off the wall places two hours from our destination thanks to Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown.
- Buzzfeed – they often have articles like “top 10 places to eat in (city name)” or “best coffee shops in every US state” which give some great recommendations.
- Social Media – what a better place to get recommendations than your friends! Use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to ask your friends or followers for the best places to eat in the city you’re visiting. Often word of mouth produces the best choices of where to eat. After all don’t you want to eat where the locals eat?
Now don’t stress on planning every single meal; sticking to planning one or two meals a day will still leave a bit of flexibility in your schedule.
So far, we have decided where to go, what to do there and where to eat while we are there. Next week we will finish off our vacation planning series with what to pack and a little freebie bonus! Share in the comments what resources you use to find out the happenings of places you visit! New resources are always awesome! Have you signed up for your 2019 Coffee Event Guide? Till next time friends!